Warner Music Nashville Hosts Robert F. Kennedy Jr. For Discussion On Fighting Water Pollution

Photo ID (L to R): Scott Underwood (Train); Ronnie Dunn; Emmylou Harris; Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Waterkeeper Alliance); Chris Janson; John Oates; John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville); David Whiteside (Tennessee Riverkeeper); Zac Cockrell (Alabama Shakes); Trevor Terndrup (Moon Taxi)

Warner Music Nashville’s Chairman & CEO John Esposito welcomed a number of Nashville’s top music artists, as well as passionate supporters of clean water initiatives, to the Warner Music Nashville office on Jan. 14 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tennessee Riverkeeper. The Tennessee Riverkeeper and the Waterkeeper organizations defend the fundamental human right to drinkable, fishable and swimmable waters, and they combine firsthand knowledge of local waterways with a commitment to the rights of communities. The event raised $60,000 for the initiative.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. served as keynote speaker for the evening, while Tennessee Riverkeeper Executive Director David Whiteside offered an introduction.

The son of New York Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy Jr. is a co-founder and President of Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental protection organization that seeks to preserve and conserve water resources. He has been named Time Magazine’s Heroes For the Planet. He is a partner in Silicon Valley’s VantagePoint Ventures Partners’ CleanTech investment team.

Pictured: John Oates, Aimee Oates, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Emmylou Harris, John Esposito, Chantel Esposito

Earlier in the day, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had also stopped by Patagonia Nashville to discuss the work of Waterkeeper Alliance, which was launched in 1966 by what he called a “blue collar coalition of commercial fishermen who mobilized to reclaim the Hudson River from its polluters.”

Waterkeeper Alliance now unites more than 300 Waterkeeper groups that fight the planetary environmental crisis, protecting 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on six continents.

“People ask me what’s the most important thing for the environment? For 30 years I said the best thing we can do is have true free market capitalism. A true free market promotes efficiency and true efficiency means the elimination for waste and pollution is waste. It’s the undervaluation of our resources that causes us to use them wastefully.” Kennedy said.

Numerous artists attended, including Emmylou Harris, John Carter Cash, Ronnie Dunn, John Oates, Train’s Scott Underwood, Chris Janson, Alabama Shakes’ Zac Cockrell and Moon Taxi’s Trevor Terndrup.

Warner Music Nashville artist Chris Janson brought a guitar, keyboard and harmonica to offer songs including “Good Vibes,” “Drunk Girl,” and his 2x Platinum single “Buy Me A Boat.” “I’m so proud to be a part of the Tennessee Riverkeepers,” he told the crowd. “Keep this up.”

“I am passionate about protecting our planet on all fronts,” said Esposito. “Clean water is imperative to our survival. David Whiteside and the Tennessee Riverkeeper organization work on a daily basis to protect our water rights. I cannot think of a better way to salute Riverkeeper as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary.”

Warner Music Nashville is dedicated to improving sustainability efforts within and outside of its Music Row headquarters. The company’s employee-driven enterprise, WMGreen, has made strides toward its goal of 90% waste diversion by implementing composting and additional recycling services, donating surplus food from events to local organizations, eliminating single-use items from offices, working with sustainable vendors and more. WMGreen has partnered with numerous organizations in the local Nashville community to drive change and encourage sustainability. The successful initiative has proved a catalyst for the entirety of Warner Music Group, with local WMGreen committees beginning to form across the globe.

Pictured: John Carter Cash, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ana Cristina Cash

Chris Janson performs.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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