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John Legend headlining Harry Belafonte's social justice festival

John Legend, Carlos Santana, and comedian Chris Rock are helping Harry Belafonte launch his inaugural human rights festival by headlining the Georgia event.

The veteran musician and civil rights activist is aiming to draw attention to the need for social and racial justice with the Many Rivers to Cross festival, which will take place over two days at the start of October (16).

Rappers Common and Public Enemy, singer Estelle, and rocker Dave Matthews are also among the top acts performing at the Chattahoochee Hills bash, while Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams and fellow humanitarians Danny Glover, Dr. Cornel West, and author Michelle Alexander will also be making appearances.

A statement released by Belafonte reads: "Many Rivers will be an opportunity for artists to mobilize audiences through their music and to stir up America's collective consciousness and commitment to progressive action.

"It will also provide a crucial space for these artists to connect and collaborate with activists, thought leaders and community organizers from across the country and use their platforms to amplify ideas and solutions to advance human rights for all."

Many Rivers to Cross is organised by officials at Belafonte's Sankofa.org social justice charity and the concert news is particularly timely as racial tensions continue to rise in the U.S. following the deaths of African-Americans Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, who were shot dead by police in two separate shooting incidents, and the slaying of five cops in Dallas, Texas at a Black Lives Matter protest last week (ends08Jul16).

Chris Rock recently joined Alicia Keys and fellow stars, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine, to call for action in the wake of the violence with a new public service announcement.

The ad, filmed for Alicia's We Are Here movement, features the celebrities listing 23 ways black people in America could be killed in 2016, recalling real-life incidents that cost members of the community their lives.

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