Model UN at UCLA Takes On the Grammys

by Mari on March 5, 2013

This guest post was provided by Kyle Khandikian, Head Delegate and Director of  Travel Team, UCLA

Emily Savastano, Kyle Khandikian, and Cassie Smith attend a pre-Grammy Awards party hosted by the UN Foundation. (Photo Courtesy of Kyle Khandikian)

With award season in full swing, the closest most of us get to the glamorous red carpets and swanky after-parties is through our television sets and online via social media. This year was set to be no different for those of us at Model UN at UCLA; the big award shows fall right in the middle of the quarter, perfectly aligned with midterms and all the plethora of other things that go on in our club and on our campus. So when we were invited to a pre-Grammy party, we all did a double take. The Grammys? Is this a crisis update?

The United Nations Foundation partnered with a number of non-profit, entertainment, and other industry leaders including Global Youth Forum and producer and musician Timbaland to launch the mPowering Action mobile application, an entertainment-driven application that seeks to connect youth worldwide and provide them with opportunities and resources both in their local communities and globally. The application officially launched on February 8, 2013 at L.A. Live in Los Angeles during Grammy Week, and we were invited to the launch party by the UCLA International Institute. Headlining the event was none other than Avicii.

The application’s main goal is to inspire youth around the world to better their lives and the lives of others:

To join the initiative, youth can download a free mobile application through which they will connect with their peers around the world, share their stories, stream exclusive songs by participating artists and producers-in-residence, discover information on the issues most important to them, and explore a database of non-profit organizations in their regions to seek help or to volunteer anywhere in the world. (Source:

If you’re like us and do MUN not just because it is fun but because it is a way to explore and understand the various issues our world faces today, this new global technology initiative probably impressed you like it did us. New problems need new solutions, and to see such a project integrating social media and technology to address the world’s youth is very refreshing and encouraging. And having celebrity backing certainly doesn’t hurt.

We were so honored and excited to have received the initiation to be a part of the application’s launch. It was a real treat for most of us who are entrenched in conference preparation throughout the year. We put on our swankiest outfits (which weren’t too hard to find, thanks to Model UN) and arrived at the event at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles just across the street from the Staples Center, where the Grammys would take place two days later. It wasn’t long into the cocktail hour that the event began, and who greeted us but Timbaland himself! It was very exciting to see a major celebrity with considerable clout talking about real issues that most of us are very familiar with because of time both in and out of committee. But then something really unexpected happened, something that can only best be described with the following two words: Justin Timberlake.

Justin Timberlake and Timbaland both gave surprise performances at the launch! So did Agnes Martin, Estelle, and of course Avicii! It was an incredible experience. Though none of us do Model UN with pre-Grammy parties in mind, it was really nice to enjoy a small perk that came along with the job this year. Model United Nations at UCLA would like to thank the United Nations Foundation, Global Youth Forum, the United Nations Association of the United States of America, and Kelly Siegel from the UCLA International Institute for the special invitation! To learn more about Model United Nations at UCLA, visit us at and on Facebook at

Emily Savastano, Secretary General of LAMUN and Mark Warwick, President of Model UN at UCLA


The UCLA Model UN team poses for a photo before the party.

UCLA MUNers take in an Avicii performance at the pre-Grammy show.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: