Last year, thousands of people came together in Manhattan’s Central Park to enjoy some of the biggest names in music. It cost concert goers nothing. The catch? Donate time and effort to signing petitions, sharing content, tweeting at companies, and pledging support to organizations working in tandem with the Global Citizens.
With this conversion of activism into tangible benefits, Global Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans has created a new type of activism in which 60,000 people are mobilized into action while having the opportunity to experience the live music they love. This type of involvement matches the participants’ own interests with those of NGOs and the bottom billion around the world.
As the likes of Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Band of Horses, and K’naan graced the stage with their sets last year, they ended with a collaborative version of “Rockin’ in the Free World,” with assorted members from the bands. After such a lineup it seems hard to improve.
Yet, this is exactly what has happened. The new lineup is even more impressive than before as the Global Poverty Project and Global Citizens have acquired headliners like Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and Kings of Leon. And it’s not just performers.
This year’s festival on September 28th will coincide with the United Nations General Assembly. The UN’s highest ranking figure, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will be in attendance at the concert.
Other big names in attendance include the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, and three U.S. Congress Members. But it doesn’t end there. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Liberian President, will receive the Global Citizen Movement Award for her efforts on women’s rights. Her presenter? The face of activism, Bono of U2.
Bringing such a cast to a festival has incentivized activists and Evans is capitalizing on it. His most recent idea aimed at focusing social media to pressure Trojan, Durex, ONE, and Lifestyles condom companies to commit 2% of profits to family planning worldwide. If a participating activist was to tweet at a condom company they would receive 5 of the 8 points necessary to receive a ticket for this blockbuster concert.
As 222 million women and girls are without access to contraceptives, family planning, and sexual education, profits will go towards providing these important services for 120 million of these women. The funds raised will go towards “It Takes Two” and other family planning initiatives.
Access to family planning and contraceptives allows women around the world to understand their own fertility and provides them with alternatives to childbearing. This can help prevent childbirth at a young age and promote their continued education and success.
– Michael Carney