Japan 2020: Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement: The Power of Song, Tokyo


In December 2017, The Power of Song CEO September Penn made her first trip to Japan with mentor Makoto Fujimura. The trip was powerful as the pair made a series of presentations they called “Silence and Gospel.” Penn sang and Fujimura shared about his book, Silence an Beauty.

The success of the effort, led to requests for Penn’s return to Japan in December 2018. Seeds were growing for a request to bring her signature production, Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement: The Power of Song to Japan in 2020.

It would be an undertaking like no other The Power of Song Inc. had considered. The production has been performed only in the United States and carrying the core cast of nearly three dozen people presented a great opportunity to show the organization’s strength.


After performing at Aoyama Gakuin University in conjunction with professor Azusa Nishimoto’s studies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Penn began building relationships that have opened the unique event that will create a cross cultural exchange between American artists and youth with Japanese performers and children.

Support for this effort will help to share the message of non-violence and love for our neighbors through a cross cultural exchange.

The production is scheduled to go to stage in summer 2020.

Aoyama Gakuin University
The Power of Song CEO September Penn (center) stands with Professor Azusa Nishimoto of Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan after a performance regarding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the university’s chapel.