Katy Perry and Black Eyed Peas to Co-Headline Rock the Vote Virtual Kickoff Concert
"Our democracy needs our voices," said Ne-Yo, who will also appear. "Voting is the moment to be the voice for injustice and for equality"
Katy Perry, the Black Eyed Peas and a number of other music stars and politicians will Rock the Vote and take the virtual stage on Thursday night to encourage Americans to cast their ballots in the 2020 presidential election.
Perry and the Peas will co-headline the live virtual event — described as "a mix of performances and messages" — while Eve, Big Freedia, Lucy Hale, Ne-Yo and a number of other musicians are set to join them. Rosario Dawson will co-host with Dear White People's Logan Browning and Chuck D and Eve.
"I'm excited to be a part of this kickoff to Democracy Summer 2020 with so many amazing talents, activists and speakers," Perry, 35, said in a statement. "The young people of America are speaking loud and clear on the streets and online, and come November, it will be more important than ever to fight for justice and equality, and against systemic racism, with our ballots."
We are seeing the urgency for change in America happening in real time. This is the moment for us to use the most important tool on the planet to fight for that change
"We are seeing the urgency for change in America happening in real time," Ne-Yo said about the event. "This is the moment for us to use the most important tool on the planet to fight for that change ... our right to vote. Our democracy needs our voices. Voting is the moment to be the voice for injustice and for equality. But most importantly, to be the voice for humanity. We cannot let each other down in the local elections or on Nov. 3. To vote is to be the voice for our future."
Eve said she was excited to join the upcoming voting effort.
"It’s time for everyone to do their part, no sitting on the sidelines!" she said in a statement. "Our voices are needed and so is our vote! Our future depends on it.”
Rock the Vote, the long-running nonpartisan organization, traditionally teams up with celebrities and other prominent public figures to advocate for voting rights.
This summer, the organization joined forces with Voto Latino Foundation, When We All Vote, March For Our Lives and others "to register and mobilize 200,000 new voters over the summer" through its "Democracy Summer 2020" initiative.
Thursday's virtual concert will officially kickoff the organizations' joint campaign.
The announcement comes in the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed after being held down by multiple officers — including a white officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he said he couldn't breathe.
Viral video of the altercation sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice and police misconduct that eventually spread across the globe.
A spokesperson for Thursday's Rock the Vote event tells PEOPLE that funds will be raised during the livestream for black-led and focused organizations, such as the National Action Network and the Community Justice Action Fund.
"The event will highlight the importance of Black Lives, young people making their voice heard, and emphasize that there are four million young people turning 18 this year," the spokesperson says. "They will be who keeps the pressure going, then head to the polls to vote in the fall."
Other musicians performing or speaking at Thursday's concert include Saweetie, Amara La Negra, MAX, Leslie Grace, Skylar Astin, Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson. Actor Alex Wolff will also join, as will activists "Little Miss Flint," Greg Jackson and others.
"The diversity of America is what makes it great, and it is also what makes it our country as well!" La Negra said in a statement. "I am Dominican proudly, yet I am a black woman always! I am honored to be amongst the caliber of talent and public figures for the Rock The Vote virtual event on June 18, 2020. I matter! You matter! And together, we will always matter!”
The Rock the Vote kickoff will stream online Thursday (8 p.m. ET).