Meet a Scientologist—Dustin McGahee, a Voice for Human Rights

Scientologist, singer and songwriter Dustin McGahee uses music to teach human rights.

Dustin McGahee, 21, combines a love of music with a passion for human rights. A singer and songwriter, McGahee uses his music to educate youth on the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the little-known document adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

“At 18, I began to realize there was more to life than just me, my friends, my family—I was living in a ‘bubble’,” says McGahee.

McGahee, volunteering for the Florida chapter of Youth for Human Rights International, decided to develop a program that educates and activates students, engaging them through music and raising their awareness on human rights issues. He has carried his message to more than 10,000 people through live performances in Taiwan, Barbados, Switzerland and the United States, and reached millions more through radio, television and newspaper articles.

Encouraged by the response to these activities, McGahee contacted Youth for Human Rights chapters and invited them to join in a global human rights awareness project—the “International Walk for Human Rights.” The idea was to hold peaceful walks on December 10, United Nations Human Rights Day, to promote human rights as articulated in the UDHR.

The first year, 2009, volunteers organized walks in 12 countries. The next year, 62 walks were held in 27 countries, and in 2011, 70 walks took place in 30 countries. Thousands walked—in Mongolia, Nepal, the United States, India, Morocco, Ghana, Venezuela, Denmark, France and many more, and their impact was amplified by local and national media carrying their message to millions of people.

McGahee composed a song for the walk, “10,000 Voices (For Human Rights).” Now sung in countries around the world, it gives youth a common voice as the theme song for the International Walk for Human Rights.

McGahee has no illusions about the magnitude of the problem or the work that needs to be done. The walks are only a start, he says.

“Every night, children go to bed hungry; people are imprisoned just because of their beliefs; boys and girls are forced to become child soldiers or trafficked into slavery,” says McGahee. “But we can make a difference. We want to wake up the world.”

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