A Los Altos teen with a passion for music and social justice is organizing and hosting a benefit concert for the Tahirih Justice Center to be held this Saturday in Mountain View.
Fifteen-year-old Aaron Bao, a rising high school sophomore at The Harker School in San Jose, has already surpassed his goal of raising $20,000 in ticket sales for Soaring in Concert, an event slated for Aug. 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center, located at 230 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View.
The concert will feature performances by award-winning musicians including pianist Paul Ji, grand champion of France 2 TV’s “Prodiges”; cellist Lucas Chen, first-prize winner of the U.S. Open Music Competition; saxophonist Anthony Qin, first-place winner of the American Protege International Concerto Competition; and other musicians. Tahirih Justice Center is a national nonprofit that assists immigrant survivors fleeing gender-based violence.
“Our goal was to raise $20,000 but Aaron has already exceeded that, and the truth is we can really use the financial support right now,” said Executive Director Morgan Weibel of Tahirih’s San Francisco Bay Area office. “Dozens of families surviving gender-based violence will be supported by these funds.”
Bao, a musician himself, said he first heard about Tahirih from a friend and was immediately struck by the organization’s mission.
“They continue to persevere and pursue this ideal of having equality in the U.S.,” Bao said of Tahirih. “Immigration laws as well as violence against women that has been prevalent in the past years and the situation has been quite fraught. They have continued to be part of the nation’s leading team on these issues. So that was very inspiring to me, the fact that they’ve fought for so long.”
Weibel said that fundraisers like this one are critical to keeping Tahirih operating, "especially as we see some of our historical grant funders deprioritizing funding for immigration due to the misperception that it is not as necessary now that the Biden administration is in office."
“In reality, we still have so much work to undo the harmful policies of the past administration," Weibel said.
Those interested in attending the concert can purchase tickets here. Those who would like to donate directly to the Tahirih Justice Center can do so here.