Kirk Franklin and TobyMac did not just name their groundbreaking Fall tour after the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech, they are committed to carrying on the meaning of the words of that speech through the youth of our country. Franklin and tobyMac realize the future lies in the children of today and through a contest in conjunction with “I Have A Dream-The Tour,” they hope to teach youth to love and accept each other’s differences and that racism does not have to limit what they can be.
Tour sponsor The Message Bible will be partnering with Franklin and TobyMac to highlight youth organizations that are walking out the dream and instilling the ideals of Dr. King. Twelve tour cities have been chosen to participate in the contest, “I Have a Dream, TooŠ” where youth from these organizations will be asked to draw out their “dream” for the future. Tour partner, the E.R.A.C.E. Foundation (Eliminating Racism and Creating Equality), will choose 10 winners from the submitted drawings in each participating tour city. All 10 winners and the director of each highlighted youth organization will be special guests at that market¹s concert and will have their picture taken onstage with Franklin and tobyMac. The top two winners will also receive a $100 savings bond to be used for college and their artwork will be featured in a calendar produced by The Message.
“We¹re excited to partner with Kirk and tobyMac in this unique chance to impact these communities,” says The Message Brand Manager Mike Kennedy. “God calls us to live out our faith in a real and tangible way and we saw this as a distinct opportunity to do just that. Assisting Kirk and tobyMac in providing at-risk youth organizations with the resources they need to change the lives of these children is a natural extension of our desire to see The Message lived out in people¹s lives.”
The Message will donate 2,000 of the calendars to each participating organization to use as a fund raising tool. Kennedy predicts that the tour will raise up to one-half million dollars for the youth organizations involved.
“I wanted to be able to point to something concrete that we are leaving behind on this tour,” comments Franklin. “Now through this partnership with The Message Bible, we have the potential to leave more in each city than we had ever imagined.”
“Our goal is to bring attention to organizations that are working with kids every day and to let those kids know that what we have in common is greater than our differences, and that our differences are what make us beautiful,” says tobyMac.
Franklin, a multi-GRAMMY and Dove award-winning artist, has sold over 12 million records to date, making him one of the top-selling gospel artists of all time. He currently has eight Platinum records, including his latest album, The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, as well as his earlier projects, God¹s Property (three-time certified Platinum) and The Nu Nation Project (two-time certified Platinum). During the past year, Franklin has earned three NAACP Image Awards, five Stellar Awards, two Dove Awards (as artist and producer of The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin) and eight Dove Award nominations.
As founder of the most successful Christian group of all time (dc talk), tobyMac has achieved career sales of more than six million, four GRAMMY Award wins and numerous Dove Award nominations and wins. More recently, tobyMac made his solo debut with the release of Momentum and has already seen much success. Debuting at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, Momentum quickly gained sales of nearly 330,000 units, two #1 singles (“Extreme Days” and “Somebody¹s Watching Me”), a GRAMMY Award nomination, and more than 15 Dove Award nominations and six wins. His next studio project is due out in spring 2004.
The Message Bible is published by NavPress, a Christian publishing company affiliated with The Navigators, which is also recognized in the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) as the publisher of THINK, and Piñon Press books, as well as the periodicals Discipleship Journal, Pray! and Current Thoughts & Trends. Since its full Bible release in 2002, The Message Bible continues to be one of the top-selling Bibles. In July 2003, NavPress introduced its student version of The Message, titled The Message Remix. Message products have sold more than eight million units collectively since the initial release of The Message New Testament in 1993. For more information, please visit www.navpress.com and www.messagebible.com.
Kirk Franklin and tobyMac Share Dream With Youth – page 3
Gospo Centric and B-Rite Music, owned by Vicki Mack Lataillade and her husband Claude, was founded by Ms. Mack Lataillade in 1993 with $6,000 she borrowed from her father¹s postal pension. In addition to Franklin, Gospo Centric & B-Rite Music artists include Stellar Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Dorinda Clark-Cole, Gold-selling Stellar Award winner Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers, GRAMMY Award-winning gospel music legend Tramaine Hawkins, Gold-selling Stellar Award winner Trin-i-tee 5:7, Six-time Stellar Award nominee Byron Cage, Reggae legend Papa San, three-time Stellar Award nominee Natalie Wilson & the S.O.P. Chorale, GRAMMY Award-winning producer/recording artist Percy Bady and “American Idol” Wild Card R.J. Helton.
The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, Franklin¹s most recent album, is distributed by Provident Music Distribution and Zomba/BMG Distribution.