We Are All Human Foundation Revives 1945 Spanish Language Version of the U.S. National Anthem to Recognize Hispanic Community in America’s War Against COVID-19
— New studio recording of El Pendón Estrellado, originally commissioned by the U.S. State Department under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, released to the public —
NEW YORK, NY – April 14, 2020 – (LATINX NEWSWIRE) – The We Are All Human Foundation (WAAH), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion and equity, today released a newly recorded rendition of the official Spanish language version of the U.S. National Anthem, which was first commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. The release of El Pendón Estrellado (The Star-Spangled Banner), recognizes both the 75th anniversary of FDR’s death on April 12 and the role of the Hispanic community in the front lines as Americans fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 1945, musician and composer Clotilde Arias was commissioned by the U.S. State Department under President Roosevelt to create an original translation of the national anthem as part of his Good Neighbor Policy with Latin America that could be sung, shared abroad and widely circulated. Even with FDR’s intended broad reach, this official version has been all but forgotten.
“Franklin Roosevelt once said that one of the great regrets of his life was that he could not converse in Spanish,” said David B. Woolner, Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace. “Had he lived but a few more years, there is little doubt that this beautiful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner would have inspired him to recommit himself to learn Español to speak with the American Hispanic community in their first language. The We Are All Human Foundation deserves credit for reminding us— as FDR did —of the important role that Hispanics across the nation are playing in helping us meet this crisis.”
In the newly-released, contemporary music video, the official Spanish version is performed by Jeidimar Rijos, the 2019 winner of “La Voz,” the Spanish-language version of the hit series “The Voice,” and features footage of Hispanics serving on the front lines of the war on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Spanish version of the U.S. national anthem is a treasure as it represents U.S. Hispanics, who are both 100% Hispanic and 100% American,” said Claudia Romo Edelman, founder and CEO of the We Are All Human Foundation. “It is especially relevant now because US Hispanics are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and also disproportionately exposed since we are not only truck drivers, medical workers and food producers, but also a significant portion of the service workers who have been laid off from hotels, restaurants and small businesses.”
The release of El Pendón Estrellado is an important part of a long-term initiative – the Hispanic Star – a platform focused on unifying Hispanics nationwide and celebrating their contributions to advance and support America. The Hispanic Star recently launched the Hispanic Response and Recovery Plan in response to COVID-19 to serve as a clearinghouse for information and to communicate, organize and mobilize individuals nationwide in order to help mitigate the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 on Hispanic small businesses, entrepreneurs and independent workers.
Romo Edelman concluded, “The Hispanic Response and Recovery Plan aims to set a path for a solid and speedy recovery by unifying Hispanic leaders, but we need allies like Corporate America to step up, to incorporate Hispanic owned businesses into their supply chain and to keep their employees on payroll. Luckily, over 150 companies have signed the Hispanic Promise to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. Now we need them to help Hispanics, to help America.”
The production of the music video for El Pendón Estrellado was led by global advertising agency Grey Wing. The idea started to see light early January when Grey Wing and We Are All Human began exploring the most impactful way to bring the Hispanic Star campaign to life, ultimately deciding to create a music video using the lyrics of the U.S. national anthem in Spanish. The song was finally recorded in Townhouse Studios in New York, on March 13, 2020.
“This is the most compelling campaign I’ve ever worked on, and its urgency has brought out a unique kind of creative idea with both empathy and edge,” said Per Pederson, global creative chairman of Grey Group. “Like all strong campaigns, it builds on an undeniable truth –the Hispanic community has always been a backbone of this nation and it has always risen to the occasion.”
To learn more about the Hispanic Star campaign and Hispanic Response and Recovery Plan or to join the movement, visit hispanicstar.org.
About We Are All Human
The We Are All Human Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to equity, diversity and inclusion. Made up of an experienced group of marketers and sustainability activists with backgrounds from the United Nations, global affairs, media, and the corporate world, our team is committed to making change through collective action.