The Global Citizen Festival mobilized 60,000 people in New York’s Central Park for a night dedicated to raising awareness and funds to end global extreme poverty by 2030.
Lead host Hugh Jackman, joined by his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, introduced rousing speeches by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. Additional hosts included Adrian Grenier, Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes, and Olivia Wilde.
Headlined by Jay Z with a surprise performance from Beyonce, the festival gathered an impressive live music line-up that included a feisty performance by No Doubt (with an emotional duet with Sting on “Message in a Bottle”), Carrie Underwood, Tiësto, and a blistering performance by one of my favorites, The Roots (LOVE Amir and his passion for doo-wop).
The tickets were given away for free in a lottery system with the invitation to fans to “share content about three main themes: vaccines, education and sanitation” with the goal of bringing wider attention to global poverty.
Global Citizen Festival was sponsored by H&M and supported by the H&M Conscious Foundation. The Foundation’s ambassador Alek Wek announced their partnership with WaterAid to deliver safe water and toilets to 250,000 school students in many of the world’s poorest countries by 2017.
Anoop Jaim from Humanure was announced as the Waislitz Global Citizen Award winner.
Snippet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Speech at Global Citizen Festival in New York City, USA:
“Because, you are the future. What you do Today, will decide, our Tomorrow.
I feel, a current of hope, in this Park. Among you, I feel confident about the future…
You are touching, the lives of those, who are not as fortunate, as you are. What an admirable act, this is. What a sacred mission.
For you to think, about those, who are far. Whose faces, you have not seen. Whose names, you do not know. Whose nationality, does not matter to you.
For you to convert, your thoughts into action. And devote, your time, and energy. So that others, may have a better future too.
Those living in poverty. Without education. Without basic sanitation. Without opportunity. And worse, without hope.
I salute you”
Leading up to the annual UN General Assembly, The 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, held September 21, 2014 in New York, marked the 8th annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards ceremony, which was hosted by Seth Meyers. CGI honored Leonardo DiCaprio for his environmental activism and the president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, for peacemaking. Hayat Sindi (Founder & CEO, i2 Institute) and Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez (Co-founders, Coalition of Immokalee Workers) were honored for their leadership in civil society. CGI also honored Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs (Founding Chairman & CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm) for his leadership in the private sector.
The Clinton Global Citizen Awards – attended by Shane Smith (VICE), Lyor Cohen, Tom Freston, Ufuk Sevinc, Dr. Hermann Buehlbecker – honors outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership and impact in addressing global challenges.
This year’s awards were presented by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria and Randy Jackson, the event’s music producer.
The emotional ceremony featured performances by Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz and Raining Jane and The Roots.
Donna D’Cruz, Rasa Living, consults businesses and individuals on Spirit, Senses, and Style. She is a DJ/performer, designer, and leads regular meditation events at Phoenix House (America’s Oldest Drug and Rehab Center and The Standard Hotel “DIP INTO BLISS” ®.” Follow Donna on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Instagram