The slickly produced 30-minute video follows Russell’s efforts since 2006 to raise awareness around the world about Uganda’s guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, whose terrifying actions have landed him the top spot of the International Criminal Court’s most wanted list. Kony’s rebel group has kidnapped thousands of children, turning the boys into child soldiers and the girls into sex slaves.
In a determination to “make Kony a household name,” so that Uganda military can find and arrest him, Russell has met with key politicians and his Invisible Children campaign has targeted 20 “culture-makers,” including Tim Tebow, Angelina Jolie, Ryan Seacrest and Taylor Swift.
Russell says that on April 20, he and his team of volunteers will “blanket every street in every city until the sun comes up,” plastering Kony’s name and likeness in an effort to flush him out. The more people who know who he is, they believe, the fewer places he has to hide.
“#KONY2012 Spread the word!!!,” Rihanna Tweeted Tuesday. And again on Wednesday: “PLEASE go to Invisiblechildren.com Even if its 10 minutes … Trust me, you NEED to know about this! #1LOVE.”
She wasn’t the only star with thousands of followers spreading the news.
Oprah: “Thanks tweeps for sending me info about ending #LRAviolence . I am aware. Have supported with $’s and voice and will not stop.#KONY2012.”
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs: “Dear Joseph Kony, I’m Gonna help Make you FAMOUS ! We will stop YOU #StopKONY ! All 6,OOO,OOO of my followers RT NOW Pls!”
Justin Bieber: “#Kony2012 is number 1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide!! See why … It might change ur life.”
Nina Dobrev: “I’m going to ask EVERY PERSON WHO FOLLOWS ME to Please watch this video. Its incredibly important, I know that every one of you will be effected by its message. I wont even have to ask you to RT because I know you will. #stopkony and save the children. I’ve got close to 1.9 Million followers, if you all watch this and help in the smallest way it will make the BIGGEST LIFE SAVING DIFFERENCE.”
Ian Somerhalder: “thank you @ninadobrev! I Just watched this. IF there is 1 thing you do today: PLS WATCH THIS & RT – it just changed my world.”
The Kardashian sisters: @KourtneyKardash wrote, Just watched the KONY 2012 video. In tears and I want to help make a difference. Make KONY famous.” To which @KhloeKardashianOdom replied, “U helped by spreading the word!” Even Kendall and Kim simply tweeted “KONY 2012”
Nicole Richie also tweeted “Make Kony Famous.”
Rounding out the chatter was Don Cheadle, who blogged all his tweets in one post on his website, imploring people to “use your critical minds” and do your research before getting involved.
By Kristin Boehm and Dahvi Shira