On Tuesday—International Wrongful Conviction Day—world-renowned musician and social justice activist Joan Baez kicked off her new 20-city tour at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. Baez, who is partnering with the Innocence Project and the Innocence Network to raise awareness around the issue of wrongful conviction, spoke with Forbes magazine earlier this week about her roots in the social justice movement and how they spur her support of the Innocence Project.
Baez said that she realized as a young girl that inequality was something that she couldn’t tolerate. As a young Mexican-American, she was well aware that racial discrimination would be a reality in her life and something that she would fight.
“I was brown and wasn’t accepted. But I knew the real issue was for the blacks,” the New York native told Forbes.
Baez has remained a crusader for equal rights for the past 50 years. She’s been an active demonstrator in civil rights and anti-war movements, as well as a key player in human rights and anti-poverty work. Her interest in innocence work is no surprise.
“I work best when there’s a goal aside from giving a concert and I am very excited about the Innocence Project,” she told Forbes.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Tuesday night’s show included a performance of the song “Billy Rose,” which “was offered in the context of the singer’s work with the Innocence Project and Innocence Network.”
The tour goes through November 7.
Learn more about exciting partnership between Baez, the Innocence Project and the Innocence Network.