Children's prayer

Youth choir brings the house down with poignant performance of Andra Day’s ‘Rise Up’

Girls from the Renaissance Youth Center Choir moved the audience at the Women in the World Summit with an electrifying rendition of the empowerment anthem

The closing performance at the Women in the World New York Summit on Sunday moved many to tears and filled the audience with hope for the future. Following an inspiring “Youthquake” panel and a call to action by five Generation Z activists, 10 girls from the Renaissance Youth Center Choir took to the stage to perform Andra Day’s “Rise Up”.

Day’s empowerment anthem, which was released in 2015 and adopted early by the Black Lives Matter movement, was penned by the singer when she herself needed motivation, hope and courage. “My music and personal life were both stagnating at the time,” she told TIME, “and a friend of mine had been diagnosed with cancer. ‘Rise Up’ started as a sort of prayer – I thought about what I needed to hear to be able to get back on my feet.”

“I just had no idea the bigger meaning the song would take on, but I’m grateful,” Day told the Chicago Sun Times. “I think it’s grown me as a person spiritually and emotionally, and continues to remind me that what you do in music can change people’s lives and affect them in a real way.”

The Renaissance Youth Center was founded in 2001 to provide opportunities for at-risk inner-city youth in the Bronx area of New York City. Children are given help to accomplish their goals, regardless of their socio-economic background, via a range of cultural, educational and athletic and social skills training.

Read the lyrics of Day’s wonderfully uplifting anthem below:

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousands times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
We’ll take it to its feet
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh oh
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousands times again
And we’ll rise up
Rise like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousands times again
For you oh oh oh oh oh
For you oh oh oh oh oh
For you oh oh oh oh oh
For you

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