JusticeAid Fall 2021 Concert
Mavis Staples and Amy Helm coheadline the Oct. 19 concert; photo courtesy of JusticeAid

We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

JusticeAid’s 2021 Fall Concert

JusticeAid sees Mavis Staples and Amy Helm as natural coheadliners for the nonprofit’s latest initiative: reimagining public safety. In the aftermath of the racial reckoning and nationwide protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, JusticeAid is helping raise funds for the Neighborhood Defender Service’s Police Accountability/Community Empowerment Program, which advocates for Black and Brown communities that face over-policing. PACE will receive 100 percent of proceeds from the Oct. 19 concert. Longtime human rights advocate and civil rights icon Staples, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., is a musical legend. She also has a personal connection to her costar: She worked closely with Helm’s father, Levon Helm of the Band, in the 1970s and knew Amy growing up. With classics such as “Respect Yourself” and “We Get By,” Staples will do what she does best: connect with an intergenerational audience. “So many young artists are … obsessed with her [and] talk about how she’s such a huge influence on them,” says Danny Melnick, a consultant for JusticeAid. Helm, an Americana staple in her own right, will share more than a taste of her new album, What the Flood Leaves Behind. Both artists are also committed to change and police accountability. As Melnick explains, what’s been happening to people of color is not okay. “We know that it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort and a lot of energy from all sorts of different people to make this change.” He says JusticeAid is “shining a spotlight on these best-practice organizations” by saying, “We see you, we hear you, and we’re going to help you.” JusticeAid’s Fall Concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. justiceaid.org. $35–$150.