'We Can Be Heroes': DC Superheroes Fight Famine in Africa

on January 23 2012 5:52 PM
"We Can Be Heroes" is a new initiative from DC Entertainment, Time Warner and three NGOs all striving to bring food and nourishment to Africa. The campaign uses the recognizable Justice League characters to bring attention to the famine crisis i
"We Can Be Heroes" is a new initiative from DC Entertainment, Time Warner and three NGOs all striving to bring food and nourishment to Africa. The campaign uses the recognizable Justice League characters to bring attention to the famine crisis in the continent. Courtesy

The Justice League of America, including Earth protectors Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, are all teaming up to fight famine in the Horn of Africa as part of an campaign called We Can Be Heroes. The new initiative -- backed by DC Entertainment, Time Warner and three NGOs -- strives to bring food and nourishment to those in need by donating up to $2 million over two years to Mercy Corps, Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee, which are all currently working to end famine in Africa.

In the Horn of Africa, 13 million people are suffering through the worst hunger crisis in 60 years, says the campaign video. They need a hero. You are needed. Thousands of children are struggling to stay alive. One small act can make you a hero. Join the Justice League to fight the hunger crisis. Give now. DC Entertainment will match it 100%. We can be heroes.

Time Warner, including its divisions like Warner Bros., has also pledged to match any employee donations. The campaign also banks on an online store, where users can buy clothes or accessories that send 50 percent of all proceeds to the three individual charities.

The fight to end famine is nothing new, but DC Entertainment has brought awareness to the effort by leveraging its popular coalition of superheroes, collectively called the Justice League of America. On the campaign's Web site, each hero represents a quality that hopes to inspire consumers to donate their dollars to the cause.

Superman represents Strength. Superman is the world's most powerful and iconic superhero. Sent to Earth from the planet Krypton, he was raised with unwavering morals and internal strength to always do what is right.

Batman represents Justice. Unrelenting vigilante and master strategist, Batman has dedicated his life to protecting the innocent. He is a man pushed to his physical and mental limits in the pursuit of justice.

Wonder Woman represents Equality. Wonder Woman is the world's most iconic female superhero. On a mission to battle evil wherever it lurks, she is a symbol of power, inspiration and quality.

Green Lantern represents Willpower. Chosen for his ability to overcome fear, headstrong test pilot Hal Jordan is the first human member of the intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps.

The Flash represents Drive. The fastest man alive, the Flash is committed to stop crimes from happening and solve those he's too late to prevent.

Aquaman represents Responsibility. Half-human and half-Atlantean, Aquaman is forever an outsider to both worlds. He inherits the responsibility to protect land and sea, from themselves and one another.

Cyborg represents Communication. After a horrific accident, football star Victor Stone was rebuilt into Cyborg, a digital and physical tank. As the world's greatest hub for communication and information, Cyborg fights to hold onto his humanity while protecting us all from technological threats.

While its platform may use heroes with otherworldly abilities to promote the cause, the campaign centers around the idea that anyone can be a hero, even through a small, generous act.

[The tagline] extends not just to the everyday people, but to the Africans suffering on the ground, said George Rupp, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Such people often have to fight for survival or overcome great odds to provide for their families.

Africa will need a Herculean effort from the DC and Time Warner campaign; the famine is the worst to hit the continent in more than 60 years. Subject to untreated water and rampant diseases like malaria, Africa is home to more than 750,000 malnourished children, and in Somalia alone, one child dies every six seconds.

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