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The Action Thread Part Two

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Bono Commissions 17 Street Artist Murals to Raise AIDS Awareness

9/19/2019 by Gil Kaufman


Olivier Hoslet/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Bono of U2, co-founder of the One campaign visit in Brussels, Belgium on Oct. 10, 2018.

Bono has tapped legendary street artist Shepard Fairey to help him with a new initiative to raise awareness in the fight against AIDS.   

The U2 singer, one of the founders of the global AIDS charity RED, has tapped 17 artists to paint murals in New York, Washington, Lyon, London, Berlin and Paris in advance of next month's Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Lyon (Oct. 10).   

"Street artists have been raising the alarm in the fight against AIDS since HIV appeared — from the streets of New York in the 1980s, and now in the next weeks in cities around the world with Paint (RED) Save Lives," said Bono in a statement. "There has been a lot of progress, more than many experts predicted, but not enough yet to put the sirens to rest. Young women continue to bear the brunt of this disease and maddeningly, every week 6,000 of them are needlessly infected. I'd call that an emergency. (RED) is the color of emergency."   


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Cory Ring @chopemdown
(SAVES LIVES) by Trevor & Cosmo





Among the artists creating (RED)-inspired art for the project are: Add Fuel, Bisco Smith, BRUSK, DALeast, Faile, Faith XLVII, Hera, HOW & NOSM, Inside Out Project, Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Ludo, Olek, Ron English, Stephen Powers, Trevor & Cosmo, and WK Interact; there will also be a PAINT (RED) street art auction on Artsy to raise additional money for the Global Fund.

I'm proud to be part of PAINT @RED SAVE LIVES: the first-ever global street art initiative to #endAIDS. Be sure to visit: https://t.co/tn3OYfHWEI to learn more about this project, it's important! Thanks for caring. - Shepard pic.twitter.com/xBtW14vZ40

— Shepard Fairey (@OBEYGIANT) September 19, 2019

"I'm always inspired by organizations that aim to minimize suffering and cater to those who need help the most, rather than the affluent or powerful," said Fairey -- best known for his "HOPE" posters for Pres. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign -- in a statement. "I don't believe compassion should have borders. I also admire the model of encouraging businesses to give back and do good things for the world. That philosophy is reflected in my own art and business practice. In my artworks for (RED), I used symbols that I hope apply universally and appeal to the best side of people's nature. I never want anyone to die prematurely or fail to receive the treatments that can help them. AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are all huge problems, so I'm happy to be a small part of what needs to be a huge effort to treat them."


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Courtesy of (RED)
Shepard Fairey, 'We Shape the Future Rose Shackle'


The artworks are intended to engage and encourage political leaders to fully fund the fight against AIDS, with key sites in New York, D.C., Berlin and Paris getting transformed during this month and early October ahead of the Global Fund meeting that will determine funding for the next three years to help save 16 million lives while cutting the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half.

Some of the artists have also created custom augmented reality Snapchat Lenses, which users can share on Instagran, Facebook and Twitter.

Introducing: PAINT @RED SAVE LIVES. We’re going around the world and partnering with many of the world’s top street artists to create iconic @RED murals. Stay tuned for tons of ways for YOU to take action & join the fight to #endAIDS. https://t.co/K9Vop8uyQ3 #paintRED pic.twitter.com/fX5NA0eu0h

— (RED) (@RED) September 18, 2019

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When disaster strikes, hope comes in clean clothes

P&G is supporting families in crisis from natural disasters, homelessness, and poverty by doing what a great friend would do: their laundry.


The P&G Tide Loads of Hope program helps thousands of families who are affected by natural disasters.




CLAUDINE ZUKOWSKI, P&G’S Global Disaster Relief Leader, loves her job: offering some of her company’s best-loved brands like Tide, Crest, Pantene and Pampers when and where they are most needed, in the wake of great loss. “In just the past couple of years, we’ve just seen an unprecedented number of disasters. They tend to be increasing in intensity and severity and affecting more and more people,” she explains. “When people lose everything they had, there is something comforting about being able to put on deodorant, wash their hair and brush their teeth,” she explains. “It’s these small acts that help them feel normal again and that is where our products can provide a unique benefit. P&G has a history of giving back to our communities and in times of disaster, we’ve discovered the huge impact we can make by being there with our brands. When disasters happen, you see neighbors looking out for neighbors, people coming from far and wide to help. It’s great to see people taking care of each other and we’re touched to be a part of that.”

In this spirit of community, P&G helps victims of disaster on many levels, working with a number of leading non-profit disaster relief organizations to provide P&G Disaster Relief Kits, part of the P&G Mobile Relief Program created in partnership Matthew 25: Ministries. Through this effort, they are able to go directly to the areas where there’s been the most damage, to reach the people most in need with products that help bring back a sense of normalcy and dignity.

In 2005, in the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina, P&G created The Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program to offer much-needed free laundry services to families on the Gulf Coast. Recognizing that clean clothes can mean so much—particularly at a time when clothes are often all that people have left—the Tide team created a mobile laundromat where survivors, first responders, and volunteers could bring their clothes to be washed, dried, and returned to them free of charge. The resilience and spirit of the people of New Orleans inspired Tide to expand the Loads of Hope program to help more families across the U.S. Since then, the program has washed and dried more than 68,000 loads of laundry for nearly 50,000 families across the U.S. and Canada.


The California wildfires were devastating to many communities. P&G helped the victims of this disaster by working with a number of leading non-profit relief organizations to provide P&G Disaster Relief Kits, part of the P&G Mobile Relief Program created in partnership Matthew 25: Ministries.


When Hurricane Michael landed, the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program helped families recover with much-needed free laundry services.


For Sundar Raman, Tide’s North America VP, whose division runs the program, making a difference is all about teamwork, timing, and a sensitive, personal touch. “When disaster strikes, our Corporate Disaster Relief team reaches out to the people on the forefront—like The Red Cross, Matthew 25 Ministries, and FEMA—and they determine when is the right time and what is the right location for a service like Loads of Hope,” he says. “We want to be able to deliver clean clothes to people at those specific moments when all they have are the clothes on their back. The simple act of wearing your own clean clothes means so much to people. It’s self-esteem, it’s a sense of confidence, it’s like ‘okay I can rebuild starting back up from this point’ and you see all of those emotions encapsulated in that moment when people pick up their clean clothes.”

Since Katrina, the increase in natural disasters has created a greater need for assistance. P&G has responded by increasing its investment in this program.

“We’ve expanded from the original truck to now having two mobile units for Tide Loads of Hope, so we’re able to respond more effectively and more places whenever needed,” Zukowski says.

“Depending on the scale of the disaster, we will deploy one or both trucks and possibly split the trucks to cover a wider area in a storm that’s caused widespread destruction. One truck is outfitted with 12 energy-efficient Whirlpool washers and dryers and can do 100 wash/dry cycles a day. The second is outfitted with 18 washers and dryers and can do 200 wash/dry cycles a day. We’ve been everywhere from New York to Florida to Texas to California to provide people recovering from disaster some of the basic essentials.”

The past few years have seen a huge increase in the number of deployments for the Loads of Hope team. To offer a sense of scale, Zukowski explains just how much laundry they did for how many people. “Over two deployments alone, the team washed more than 2,600 loads of laundry and helped approximately 1,400 families. Just this past year, in 2018, we had some of our longest deployments. Following Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, the mobile relief team was on the ground for three weeks, and then, when Hurricane Michael arrived, they were on the ground for several more weeks before moving on to California to help with the wildfires.”

Often, it’s more than just clean clothes that the Loads of Hope team can offer survivors of disaster; it’s a sense of normalcy and the hope that they can rebuild.

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SEPT. 19, 2019




Everything NCT 127 Fans Need to Know About Global Citizen Festival

Here’s how NCTzens can make the most of the K-pop band’s first performance in NYC.

Hey, NCTzens! Think you know all things NCT 127? Check out our guide below to see if you are ready to fully experience the K-pop boy band at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York City. 

Read More: Here's Who Is Playing the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York

1. This is NCT 127’s first New York City show.

We’re honored to welcome Doyoung, Mark, Johnny, Haechan, Yuta, Taeyong, Taeil, and Jaehyun to Central Park on Sept. 28 for their first-ever NYC show. If you are the kind of NCTzen who wants to watch from as close to the stage as possible, you may want to arrive early. Doors for the festival open at 2 p.m. ET. Either way, be prepared to wait in line for a security screening. 

2. The group will play as part of the full Global Citizen Festival lineup.

While we wish the boys could perform every song from We Are Superhuman, NCT 127 is part of the larger lineup of incredible artists playing from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. We won’t be announcing set times, so be sure to not miss a minute of the festival whether you are tuning in or attending in the park.   

3. The show is free, but everyone needs a ticket to get into the event. 

Did you take action for the chance to win tickets to the 2019 festival? If not, NYC-area residents still have a few opportunities to earn a pair of passes to see NCT 127 by showing up at the Global Citizen booth in Central Park on Sept. 22, taking action at Hudson Yards, and keep an eye on our Instagram for your final chances to earn tickets throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. No one will be permitted into the park without a ticket. 


NYC! 🗽We're headed your way on 9/28.
You should come see our show for FREE!
Download the Global Citizen app today to start earning points toward 2019 Festival tickets: https://glblctzn.co/nyc2019 #PowerTheMovement

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

4. Central Park prohibits certain items from entering the grounds. 

Unfortunately, if you’re planning to bring your NCT 127 Fanlight, you’re out of luck. The NYC Parks department strictly prohibits them for safety reasons. You can find a full list of what’s allowed inside along with other answers to frequently asked questions here.

5. You can watch the whole performance in real time anywhere in the world. 

Can’t attend the festival? Follow along wherever you are to see NCT 127 with Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., Carole King, and more live from the Great Lawn. Here’s how to watch, listen, stream, and follow the full event

6. Anyone can host an NCT 127-themed watched party on Sept. 28.

Want to be more than a “Regular” superfan? Host a watch party for fellow NCT 127 stans! Find our full guide for festival-watching here, and check out our exclusive NCTzen shirts in our online store.

7. Post your festival photos from wherever you are using #PowerTheMovement. 

Connect with us and other Global Citizens by tagging us and #PowerTheMovement on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and wherever else you can help spread the word to end extreme poverty. We’ll share our favorites from the day on our account. 



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The 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented by Citi and Cisco and in association with our Production Partner, Live Nation. MSNBC, Comcast NBCUniversal, and iHeart will serve as Presenting Media Partners and will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and on iHeart Radio Stations. The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson.

Proud partners of the 2019 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, Verizon, and NYC Parks.

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Women are powering change in Malawi

December 11 2018 | By: GUEST BLOGGER


Join the fight against extreme poverty

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Guest post by Kate Pritchard, MCC.
Originally published by the Millennium Change Corporation (MCC). All photos are credited to them.

The Sub-Saharan nation of Malawi has made progress in human development over the past decade, but it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half the population live in poverty, and 25% live in extreme poverty.

When MCC and the Government of Malawi began looking at the primary constraints to the country’s economic growth in 2009, one thing stood out—the availability and quality of the nation’s power supply. Just 10% of Malawians had access to grid electricity and even for those connected to the grid, power was often unreliable and cut for eight to 12 hours per day.

But inadequate power doesn’t tell the whole story of life in Malawi. The country is also hindered by gender inequality. Women in the agricultural sector tend to have smaller plots of land, and those in other sectors suffer from a lack of access to credit and capital. So, when we partnered with the Malawian government to revamp the nation’s power sector, we didn’t limit our efforts to producing more electricity. We also sought opportunities to help women in the country advance in the context of the power-focused compact.

I traveled to Malawi ahead of our compact closeout and met with some of the inspiring women who have been empowered by projects implemented under MCC’s compact. Not only are those women compact beneficiaries, they are working to reshape the country’s future.

At MCC, we believe that one of the best ways to accomplish our mission to reduce poverty through economic growth is by investing in women’s economic empowerment. The reason is simple—research shows that empowering women leads to stronger economies, increases in household incomes, and higher profits for businesses. So, no matter what sector we invest in—power, land, transportation, water—we look for ways to ensure that women are provided opportunities to play a key role in driving progress that will positively impact them and their communities. In Malawi, women helped to realize the potential of efforts across the power-focused investment, making key contributions to each of the three compact projects: infrastructure, power sector reform and environmental management.

Powering Change: Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project

Hydropower generation plays a big role in Malawi’s power sector, but chronic weed infestations and excessive sediment buildup in the Shire River Basin as a result of poor land and environmental management, have led to hydropower disruptions and inefficiencies.

The compact’s $32 million Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project was designed to implement modern environmental and natural resource management techniques in areas upstream from the hydropower plants. The project also included a Social and Gender Enhancement Activity that focused on engaging women to improve how land along the riverbanks is used and reduce the negative impact on natural resources while increasing economic opportunities and decreasing outages at downstream hydropower plants.

Emily Hussein used to spend her days collecting firewood and charcoal, which she would sell as her only source of income, leading to deforestation and soil erosion. But with the help of MCC’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project, she secured a loan that allowed her to become a beekeeper—decreasing her impact on the landscape and increasing her family’s household income.

“The project has changed the lives of women here,” said Emily. “I can now borrow money from the village bank and repay after I have sold honey. When I get the money, I use it to buy fertilizer in order to ensure that we have a good harvest.”


Emily Hussein transitioned from cutting trees to beekeeping and selling honey.

Powering Change: Infrastructure Development Project

Upgrades to the power infrastructure formed a major piece of our compact with Malawi. A new high-voltage 400kV electricity transmission line—a significant upgrade from the old 132kV line—was built and is now connected by a host of newly constructed and upgraded substations. The line will provide a stronger and more efficient, higher voltage backbone for the transfer of electricity across Malawi.


Women working at the Nkhoma substation outside of Lilongwe, one of the end points of the new 400kv line that has greatly increased the capacity of Malawi’s power sector.

Women worked on sites across the country as new lines and substations were constructed and rehabilitated. Women working at the Ntonda substation in Blantyre had the opportunity to work on site in the morning, and attend training sessions in the afternoon to build specialized skills in bricklaying and carpentry, skills that will help them to earn more in future work.

Powering Change: Power Sector Reform Project

Infrastructure alone cannot solve the systemic, long-term challenges of energy access in Malawi. Effective institutions and strong policy frameworks are also needed to support continued expansion, encourage private sector investment and boost economic growth. As MCC worked with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), the national electricity utility, to improve processes and operations, the role of women was front and center. The utility successfully recruited a Gender and Social Inclusion Manager and established a unit to lead the development and implementation of ESCOM’s Social and Gender Inclusion and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy. Now, ESCOM will provide gender training and technical support to their entire staff.

“Research has shown that organizations which have included women in their decision making forums and even in all the operations of those organizations are able to perform much better than organizations which don’t have women in their committees or teams,” Gender and Social Inclusion Manager Elube Chienda told me.


Elube Chienda, ESCOM Gender and Social Inclusion Manager.

ESCOM is also planning for their future workforce with a partnership with the University of Malawi. The scholarship and internship program aims to support the next generation of female engineers as students build their skills both in the classroom and in real world. “The idea is to ensure that we motivate them, and we inspire them so that when we have vacancies they will be the first ones to apply,” said Ms. Chienda.

When I spoke with ESCOM scholarship recipients about how the program had changed their lives and aspirations, they were full of hope and confidence. “I’m graduating not only with theory and knowledge. I’m also graduating as an experienced engineer,” said scholarship recipient Mary Mnewa.


Recipients of ESCOM’s engineering scholarship and internship program.

With the completion of our five-year compact, MCC and the Government of Malawi have set the stage for more reliable power to be delivered across the country. At the same time, infrastructure upgrades and institutional reforms have secured the foundation for private sector investment while optimizing the potential benefits to women and local communities by promoting women’s economic empowerment through new job opportunities and reforms that incentivize women’s participation within the power sector.

Empowering women in Malawi is helping to power the country, and MCC is proud to have played a role in cementing new opportunities for women in the future. This compact shows that investments don’t have to choose between policy and institutional reform, infrastructure improvements, and economically empowering women. As we move forward in our pursuit of poverty reduction, MCC will continue to make the economic empowerment of women a priority, regardless of which countries and sectors we are investing in.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organizations highlighted.

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Foto de Mencap.

Do you have a learning disability? 
Are you over 18 years old? 

We want to understand more about your experience of going out and enjoying nightlife 🕺 and social activities 🎸.

Your help with this could make a huge differencel! 👏
Share your thoughts now: https://bit.ly/2PZ2TEn 👈

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Catch Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell, Alicia Keys + more LIVE from NYC at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival. Follow along on MSNBC, iHeart Radio, YouTube, and Twitter starting at 4 p.m. ET on 9/28.



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How to Host a Global Citizen Festival Watch Party

You didn’t need an excuse to have your friends over for a hang, but here’s a great reason anyway.

Global Citizen Festival takes New York City’s Central Park once again on Saturday, Sept. 28. 

While we’d love everyone to be able to take action and join us on the Great Lawn, this year we’re encouraging Global Citizens worldwide to host watch parties during our New York City festival next week. 

What’s a watch party, you ask? It’s a chance to come together and celebrate the progress and commitments Global Citizens have made over the last 10 years, while also identifying issues that must be solved in the next decade. Gather your friends, family, and other activists to watch, listen, and stream performances by artists like Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., Carole King, and more starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sept. 28. 

You can follow along with the full 2019 Global Citizen Festival in on MSNBC, iHeart Radio, andYouTube and Twitter, powered by Johnson & Johnson. Once you decide how you want to tune in, follow our guide below for the ultimate festival experience outside of Central Park. 

Whether you invite one #Glambert or 10,000 #NCTzens, we want to see you show up in real life anywhere in the world. 

1. Subscribe to our channels and follow our partner coverage 

Find us at @glblctzn on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and subscribe to our channel on YouTube. We’ll be covering the event on our social channels, and our friends at Brut will be broadcasting the event on Snapchat from backstage. Keep an eye on MSNBC’s TikTok account for day-of challenges and duels. 

2. Invite everyone to arrive early for the pre-show programming 

The good news: Hosting a watch party means you get to skip the line for entry into Central Park. But you should plan to tune in early to the 2019 Global Citizen Festival so you can catch all of the red carpet action from the comfort of your home. 

3. Stock up on at least five hours’ worth of snacks 

In the mood to order food? Stay on brand for the festival with a pineapple pizza — Adam Lambert's favorite — or try remixing your usual order with barbecue sauce, sans tomato, a la Johnny Seo, one of the beloved members of NCT 127. While Carole King is known to drink apple juice on stage, we here at Global Citizen HQ always unite around GT’s Kombucha. 

4. Cozy up in our merch and share the moment online 

The Global Citizen Shop fuels our movement. By repping our gear, you promote our message to other potential activists and support women-owned businesses like Prinkshop. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to post a picture of youreself in your merch to help #PowerTheMovement. 

5. Download these apps ahead of time and turn on push notifications 

Don’t wait until showtime to download and get logged in to your social apps. We’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes content leading up to the festival. Bonus points for everyone who already has the Global Citizen and iHeart Radio apps with push notifications turned on. 

6. Let us know what you think of the show 

We know the artist performances, special guests, and world leaders will give you a lot to think about for awhile. Share your watch party highlights and IRL discussions with us using the hashtag #PowerTheMovement. We can’t wait to hear what you think! 

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The 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented by Citi and Cisco and in association with our Production Partner, Live Nation. MSNBC, Comcast NBCUniversal, and iHeart will serve as Presenting Media Partners and will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and on iHeart Radio Stations. The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson.

Proud partners of the 2019 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, Verizon, and NYC Parks.

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Foto de Music Generation Waterford.


Calling all wind, brass and percussion players – Brass Off 2019 is coming to Waterford City!

Music Generation Waterford and Music Generation Carlow will present Brass Off, a 3-day band camp for young wind, brass and percussion players. A team of professional musicians will lead a series of workshops, sectionals and chamber groups, taking place 30 October - 1 November 2019.

For more information, contact Music Generation Waterford.

Co-funded by Music Generation / Arts Council Ireland Partnership #ArtsIreland

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SEPT. 28, 2019




20 of the Most Amazing Things That Just Happened at 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York

The festival saw jaw-dropping musical moments and incredible commitments.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, which include gender equality, good health for all, and universal education. You can join us in calling on world leaders, individuals, and big corporations to step up for what’s right in the world by taking action here.


On Sept. 28, 2019, New York City’s Central Park once again became home to the Global Citizen Festival.

With musical performances from the likes of Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, One Republic, H.E.R., Carole King, and more, plus life-changing commitments across issues areas like gender equality, plastic pollution, and education — it was a night not to be missed. 


If you weren't able to make it in person, however, you can still check out the top 20 most awe-inspiring, emotional, heartfelt, and hopeful moments from throughout the night.


1. Ben Platt waved to his mom and dad

Broadway star Ben Platt warmed the hearts of people in the crowd when he waved to his mom and dad from on stage, and then brought the audience to tears with moving renditions of “Bad Habit” and “Rain” from his debut album Sing to Me Instead.


2. Leaders committed to Education Cannot Wait

Millions of children around the world are unable to go to school because of conflict, natural disasters, and other emergencies. The global nonprofit Education Cannot Wait (ECW) exists to help the most vulnerable children — including those impacted by conflict and crisis — return to school. 

On the festival stage, Ireland, Norway, the US, and the LEGO Foundation reaffirmed their pledges to commit funding to ECW — with a total of $216 million committed by world leaders to ECW this week. 

GCF19_YamineSherif_EthanJudelson_063.jpgImage: Global Citizen/Ethan Judelson

"Our experience is that education is the key to breaking cycles of conflict,” Ciarán Cannon, Ireland’s minister for development, told the crowd. “Education fosters inclusion, tolerance, and human rights across the globe.”

"We believe that children and young people, even in the most difficult of situations, must have access to quality education if we are to enable them to realize their life changes,” he added.  


3. Nigeria’s Plateau State governor pledged to end open defecation by 2023

Not having access to clean water and sanitation can have a devastating impact on a person’s life, affecting their chance to go to school, secure employment, stay healthy, and break the cycle of poverty.

Since last year, Global Citizens have taken over 150,000 actions calling on governors of Nigeria to take a stand against open defecation — where people defecate in the open because of a lack of modern toilet facilities. 

Simon Bako Lalong, the governor of Plateau State in Nigeria, told the festival audience that “76% of Nigerians today live without access to basic clean drinking water and sanitation, and children, girls, and women are hit the hardest by this devastating reality.” 

In answer to Global Citizens’ calls, Lalong announced $43 million in direct government investment to fight open defecation, and an additional $33 million to be secured in private sector investments. 

4. One Republic played “Halo” 

One Republic’s Ryan Tedder touted his eclectic songwriting credits for some of the most popular artists in the world before performing a powerful version of Beyoncé’s “Halo”, as the Central Park crowd joined in for a massive sing-along. 


The alternative rock favorites played some of their greatest hits including “Apologize,” “Secrets,” and “Counting Stars.”

Tedder ended the set by applauding the audience for their activism.

"Thank you guys for doing acts of kindness to get here,” he said. 

5. Mexico committed to achieving a world where #SheIsEqual 

Singer, songwriter, actor, and Global Citizen Ambassador Becky G has long campaigned with Global Citizen and partners to help end gendered economic discrimination.

On the Global Citizen stage, Mexico listened to Becky G and Global Citizens’ call. 

Martha Delgado Peralta, the vice foreign minister of Mexico, took to the stage to announce that Mexico will be adopting a new “feminist foreign policy plan” that would put women’s empowerment at the front and center of the nation’s decision-making. 

"From mandating gender equal appointments of ambassadors, to committing to advance the rights of girls and women through our engagement in the United Nations and other international forums, we firmly believe that our commitment to a feminist foreign policy will positively impact the lives of women and girls in Mexico and around the world,” Delgado Peralta stated.


6. Carole King performed in Central Park for the first time since 1973

New York native and music legend Carole King played a long-awaited show which saw tens of thousands of Global Citizens singing along to her 1971 hit “You’ve Got a Friend.”

She also performed — to huge applause for the crowd — a stunning rendition of Aretha Franklin's “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, as well as her own hit “I Feel The Earth Move”. 


King ended her set by calling on the crowd to take action for the protection of the environment, urging them to call their senators and remind them “they need to support the environment and earn their votes.” 

Her set also featured a stirring duet performed with Kelly Clarkson, of the Gilmore Girls theme tune “Where You Lead.”



7. Always committed to double its donation up to 100M period products to keep girls in school 

Over the next two years, menstrual hygiene brand Always will double its donation up to 100 million period products to help combat poor menstrual health and keep girls in school. This incredible commitment is double Always’ donation from the past two years, and was met with rapturous applause from the crowd. 

Jennifer Davis, global femcare president at Procter and Gamble, took to the stage alongside actor, director, and activist Katie Holmes to highlight that education is a “powerful and proven way” to advance gender equality and economic growth — and why periods should never hold girls back. 

"Global Citizens, together we can break the menstrual stigma and end period poverty,” Davis said. “Periods should not stand in the way of a girl and her education. Let’s create a world where she is equal.” 


8. Dakota Johnson spoke up for survivors of sexual violence 

One year ago, at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival, Dakota Johnson gave out her own phone number. She asked women and girls around the world to call her and leave a voicemail, telling their stories of sexual violence and harassment. 

This year, she again took to the stage to report back to the crowd what’s happened in the past year. 

"I received calls from six of the seven continents, from 70 different countries, adding up to around 60 hours of real stories,” she said. “These stories are from every age, and every gender, 95% being women.” 

GCF19_DakotaJohnson_EthanJudelson_264.jpgImage: Global Citizen/ Ethan Judelson

"The oldest called identified as 71, the youngest as 11,” she continued. “I listened to these stories. And I promised I would get them heard, so now you can listen to.” 

Around these voicemails, Johnson has created a new podcast called The Left Ear, to “create a safe and compassionate conversation around sexual violence, and to bring awareness to the fact that we live in a time where gender-based violence affects over 35% of women around the world.” 

9. Two-time Grammy award-winning artist H.E.R wowed the crowd

Hot off the heels of her latest album I Used to Know Her, R&B sensation H.E.R got the crowd swaying with her soulful voice and hypnotic tunes. The 22-year-old performed a powerful cover of “Make It Rain” and brought the house down with her song “Best Part.” 

"I’m only 22, so the fact I have this voice is so powerful,” she told the crowd. “Thank you Global Citizen.”



9. K-Pop supergroup NCT 127 brought electrifying choreography to the stage 

Seoul-based supergroup NCT 127 — featuring eight singing and dancing prodigies — brought the very best of K-pop to the Global Citizen stage. 

Their first performance in New York City absolutely did not disappoint, performing their biggest hits “Highway To Heaven” and “Superhuman.” There wasn't a dance move performed that didn’t cause a chain reaction of screams from adoring fans in the audience. 


10. Alicia Keys ran through her catalogue with grace and poetry

Alicia Keys prowled across the stage with joyful swagger as she led the crowd through her greatest hits. Early in her set, she brought out H.E.R. to join her onstage to jam out to Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” 

Before getting the crowd swaying and belting the words to her classic “If I Ain’t Got You” the R&B superstar gave a refrain-filled homage to collective action.

"Music just makes you remember, it makes you remember how important all of us together are so important, and tonight that’s what we’re here for,” she said. “Because we are the power of the collective, the beautiful sound of the collective, the beautiful noise of the collective, and when we support each other, and we love each other, and we fight for each other, we come up with beautiful music.”

Keys then played the local anthem “Welcome to New York” as the Manhattan skyline glittered in the background, and closed out with “No One” as thousands of cell phones lit up the Great Lawn. 

"We believe in love, we believe in change, we believe in greatness,” she said. 


11. Kal Penn and Bill Nye urged companies to protect the oceans 

Global Citizen ambassadors Bill Nye and Kal Penn applauded the launch of Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Principles — a United Nations initiative — a set of nine guidelines for protecting marine life from further degradation and promoting vibrant ecosystems. 

The pair called on major companies that are taking action to fight plastic pollution, which is causing great harm to marine life.

GCF19_BillNye_EthanJudelson_405.jpgImage: Global Citizen/ Ethan Judelson

"Cisco just signed the Sustainable Ocean Principles, but they’ve taken a step further and committed to reduce 75% of all foam packaging by 75%,” Penn said. 

"Earlier this week, the Minderoo Foundation committed $300 million to launch a revolutionary plastic initiative to end worldwide plastic waste,” Nye added.



12. Leonardo DiCaprio thanked youth climate activists 

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio dedicated his appearance to celebrating the youth activists leading a global climate movement

"Last Friday, young people led the world in strike,” he said. “Millions of brave individuals did more than simply walk out of their school and places of employment.”

Related StoriesSept. 28, 2019These 3 Teen Climate Activists Just Shared Such a Powerful Message at Global Citizen Festival

"They took a stand,” he added. “They set an example of true leadership that our planet so desperately needs. These young people have said clearly, definitively, and without fear, that the time for inaction is over.”

DiCaprio introduced three of these leaders to the Global Citizen Festival stage — Alexandria Villaseñor, Xiye Bastida, and Selina Neirok Leem — as “true Global Citizens who are powering the movement from the frontlines...who should give us hope that change is possible.”  


13. The crowd got “Happy” with Pharrell Williams 

Pharrell Williams was welcomed onto the Global Citizen stage by Metallica drummer and activist Lars Ulrich, who said it best when he labelled Williams a “musical superman.” 

The environmental and gender equality activist certainly lived up to his name, bringing his trademark swagger to the stage to play hits “Freedom” and “Happy.” 

Against the backing vocals of the Voices of Fire choir, Williams sang to the crowd: “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” 

Which is exactly what they did.


14. Forest Whitaker and Angélique Kidjo asked the world to invest in human capital

Actor Forest Whitaker and singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo put pressure on the world to invest in human capital.

"I truly believe that a country’s greatest resource is its people,” Whitaker said. “Human capital –– the education, skills, and health of people –– will play a pivotal role in the transformation of global economies.”

Kidjo also highlighted the importance of ensuring that every child receives access to vaccines and food to make sure they reach their full potentials. 

The pair asked Global Citizens to encourage governments to join the UK, Norway, and others to support the World Bank’s Human Capital Project to build human capital in the world’s poorest 59 countries in the next 10 years. 

15. Laverne Cox paid tribute to pioneering AIDS nurses

Actress and LGTBQ activist Laverne Cox shared an exciting new project with Global Citizens that will help continue the work started at Ward 5B San Francisco General Hospital, the first dedicated AIDS unit in the US.  

GCF2019_LaverneCox_J&J_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen.jpgLaverne Cox (2nd R) speaks onstage during the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

"In the early 1980s, the term ‘gay cancer’ began as a whisper heard in the hallways of hospitals across America,” she said. “Soon after, millions of lives were lost as new cases were rapidly diagnosed around the world.” 

"Fear and stigma spread quicker than the disease itself,” she continued. “But during those dark years, there were heroes who made a difference, providing hope and humanity, like the nurses who created Ward 5B at San Francisco General Hospital.” 

Cox announced she’s partnering with Johnson & Johnson to launch their new red band-aids. For every box sold, 20 cents goes to the Global Fund to help end AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the people living with HIV/AIDS in the world live. 

"Change, real change, can only come from the courage, resolve, and commitment of pioneers like the nurses of San Francisco General,” Cox said.

16. Natalie Portman is helping wipe out 3 deadly diseases in 11 years

Activist and actress Natalie Portman called on the world to join her and sign a petition to help wipe out three diseases that affect the world’s most vulnerable people by 2030. 

Portman made a promise to seven year olds everywhere that, by the time they turn 18, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis will be eradicated. 

GCF19_Speakers_EthanJudelson_471.jpgImage: Global Citizen/ Ethan Judelson

"Not too long ago, these diseases ended lives and destroyed communities,” Portman said. “Then the world came together and created the Global Fund. Thirty-two million lives have been saved since, but millions of lives are still at risk.” 

Portman welcomed Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund, and Norwegian Prime Minister and Winner of the 2018 Global Citizen Prize, Erna Solberg, onto the stage. 

Solberg announced that Norway — following the over 51,000 actions taken by Global Citizens — will increase its contribution to the Global Fund to $2.02B Norwegian kroner ($228 million) by 2023.


17. Chris Martin & others highlighted the 2020 Global Citizen campaign 

The Global Citizen Festival will come to five continents simultaneously on Sept. 26, 2020, through the Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream campaign

"The number of artists will keep growing,” Martin said. “And I hope the number of Global Citizens will keep growing.”

You can find out about Global Citizen’s 2020 campaign here


18. Lagos' governor committed $100M to ending open defecation 

More than 59,500 children under the age of five die because of poor water and sanitation in Nigeria each year. 

Ending open defecation is essential to protecting children from waterborne illnesses, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos, Nigeria, pledged his support to this effort at the festival.  

"This is our last, and most critical, chance to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change, and reduce inequality in time to reach the 2030 Goals,” Sanwo-Olu said. 

"Together, we can power the movement and create a world free of extreme poverty. And you can count on Lagos State to do its part,” he said. “I am pledging $100 million for clean water, sanitation, and ending open defecation in Lagos State by 2025.”

19. Rami Malek channelled Freddie Mercury 

Rami Malek so convincingly embodied Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody that he took home the award for Best Actor at the 2019 Academy Awards. 

Who better, then, to introduce the iconic rock group Queen + Adam Lambert?

"This music gives us the resolve and strength to be our most authentic self,” he told the audience. “We get to be real, we get to own ourselves, and I feel you all owning yourselves tonight. I am too.”

"We’re about to listen to one of the greatest bands of all time,” he continued. “As Freddie said, ‘Are you ready for the show? Are you ready to rock and roll?’”


20. Queen + Adam Lambert

As a thunderstorm loomed in the distance, the moment fans waited for all night finally arrived with a burst of red as crimson curtains parted to reveal Queen + Adam Lambert. 

Lambert energetically launched into all of Queen’s biggest songs, showing off the full range of his powerful voice with delicate precision and nuance. As the livestream panned to crowd, people could be seen enthusiastically jumping as they sang along to every word in “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Somebody to Love,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

GCF2019_Queen_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_001.jpgAdam Lambert and Brian May of Queen perform onstage during the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Freddie Mercury too joined the set in spirit, when a heartbreaking video of him performing “Love of My Life” played in the background as guitarist Brian May sat on a stool and strummed his acoustic guitar.


The second half of the set was pure energy as Lambert built from “Under Pressure” to karaoke favorite “Bohemian Rhapsody," which inspired a roaring chorus from the audience.

Freddie Mercury returned in video form for a stunning back-and-forth of "Day-O" with the crowd, and then the evening ended with Lambert in a crown and jewel-encrusted cloak delivering thundering takes on "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions," a fitting end for a festival dedicated to the fight to end extreme poverty.

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PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES is the first global street art campaign to end AIDS. A collective of the world’s greatest street artists will turn the streets of Lyon, Paris, London, New York, Washington DC, and Berlin into their canvasses to inspire people and encourage political leaders to fund the AIDS fight at the Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Foto de (RED).

Foto de (RED).

Foto de (RED).

Foto de (RED).


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