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Millennial Celebrities Fighting Global Poverty
The term “millennial” is one that has garnered some negative attention in the past decade in that many associate the generation with adjectives like “lazy” or “entitled.” While there are people of all dispositions and work ethics in every generation, the following is a list of five millennial celebrities fighting global poverty and challenging stereotypes about their age group.

5 Millennial Celebrities Fighting Global Poverty

  1. Harry Styles: Former member of the hugely successful group One Direction, Styles is showing that he is not only a talented singer but also a generous philanthropist. Styles’ “Treat People with Kindness” slogan is proving to be a mantra that he takes seriously as he raised $1.2 million in donations for 62 charities around the world during his 10-month tour in 2017. Styles’ 2020 tour is also supporting various charities worldwide including Freedom from Hunger and Help Refugees. He will be donating proceeds from exclusive merchandise purchases and a portion of ticket sales to various charities across the globe.
  2. Rihanna: Singer and businesswoman Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012 in honor of her grandparents. CLF supports and funds education and emergency response programs in various parts of the world including Malawi and Barbados. Rihanna is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness. Through her lipstick campaigns with MAC Cosmetics, she helped raise $60 million in 2013 to benefit women and children affected by the disease.
  3. Drake: Record-breaking hip-hop artist Drake has been involved with a number of philanthropic efforts. In 2010, Drake visited a poor community in Kingston, Jamaica, and became inspired to give back. He donated $30,000 to a learning center in the community, stating that “I went there and they had ‘Drake’ all over the walls, spraypainted, and all the kids were running after us. So I donated $30,000 to build computer schools for the kids.”
  4. Emma Watson: Former star in the Harry Potter franchise and more recently in the film “Little Women,” Emma Watson is not only a talented and intelligent actress but also an active philanthropist. Watson, a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, recently visited Malawi to celebrate achievements that U.N. Women and the Malawian Government made including the annulling of child marriages to allow many women to return to school. Watson stated that “It’s so encouraging to see how such a harmful practice can be stopped when communities work together to pass laws and then turn those laws into reality.”
  5. Beyoncé: Bestselling singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is no stranger to poverty-fighting efforts. Beyoncé headlined the Global Citizen Festival in 2018 alongside guests like Ed Sheeran and her husband Jay-Z. Together, they raised $7.1 billion to aid Global Citizen in its fight to end global poverty. This money will go towards improving education, sanitation, health care and women’s rights around the globe.

These five millennial celebrities are breaking down negative stereotypes about their generation and serve as inspiring role models for the world when it comes to reducing global poverty. These celebrities’ efforts and generosity are changing the lives of countless impoverished people around the world for the better.

– Hannah White
Photo: Flickr

Global Citizen FestivalMusic festivals are growing in number and popularity across the globe. The Global Citizen Festival, however, offers so much more than good old fashioned entertainment. Here’s how this festival is mobilizing its attendees to fight against global poverty.

Who is in Charge?

The organization behind the festival is a nonprofit called the Global Poverty Project. The main goal of the organization is to educate people about global poverty issues and ways they can help. In 2011, the Global Poverty Project launched the Global Citizen Campaign, which has led to a total of 14 million global-poverty-reducing actions by people across the world. The campaign’s ultimate mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The organization is also well-known for launching the first Global Citizen Festival seven years ago. The annual festival is held in New York City’s Central Park and features a slew of well-known performers such as Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and The Weeknd. The premise of the festival may sound reminiscent of Live Aid, the 1985 “superconcert” which raised nearly $127 million in famine relief for Africa.

How to Attend

In order to obtain a ticket for the festival, potential concertgoers must watch online videos about global poverty, complete quizzes on these videos and take action by volunteering, or emailing/calling congress members. Those who accomplish these tasks are rewarded with a free ticket to the festival. The event itself is alcohol-free and is loaded with global-poverty related booths that offer games, photo-ops, information, and opportunities to take action. At previous Global Citizen Festivals, world leaders have come on stage intermittently to educate attendees about all that can be done to combat global poverty in their everyday lives following the music festival. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among these speakers.

The Festival’s Impact

The actions that the festival incites have led to the creation of programs, policies and funds; the effects of which have been felt by nearly 647 million impoverished people across the globe. For example, after receiving 4,700 tweets from Global Citizens, The Power of Nutrition (a U.K. based team of investors) committed to providing Rwanda with $35 million allocated toward ending malnutrition in the nation. Policies and commitments such as these which have been prompted by Global Citizens equate to more than $37 billion.

The Global Citizen Festival is a prime example of a positive, action-oriented event with the aim of eradicating global poverty. It offers people an affordable way to fight the good fight, while also enjoying the talents of world-famous performers.

– Ryley Bright
Photo: Wikimedia

BeyGood Fellowship ProgramLast December, Beyoncé performed at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa, a festival aimed at ending global poverty. The 2018 festival was in honor of Nelson Mandela, former South African president and activist who died in 2013. Over 90,000 people attended the festival, which raised $7.1 billion worldwide. The highly anticipated performance garnered high viewership and engagement worldwide, and parts of the performance were streamed online. However, this was not the beginning of Beyoncé’s charity work in South Africa. Her foundation, BeyGood, has spotlighted local organizations for years. Now, BeyGood plans to return to South Africa twice a year to help develop and execute its community outreach plan. In doing so, BeyGood created the BeyGood Fellowship Program.

BeyGood Fellowship Program in South Africa

The BeyGood Fellowship Program in South Africa is being executed in partnership with Global Citizen. The two organizations are working to empower local youth in helping end world poverty by 2030. Each youth fellow receives a paid, yearlong job opportunity and will focus on one of four pillars of activity from Global Citizen: creative, campaigns, rewards or marketing.

In late March 2019, the BeyGood foundation reviewed applications and returned from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. Once there, BeyGood representatives met with four fellows who have been working on the project since the Global Citizen Festival in December. They also met with local partners to see how their work has been going and what is needed to ensure future success.

BeyGood Foundation Partnerships in South Africa

In addition to the organization’s work in South Africa, the BeyGood Foundation is partnering with UNICEF USA and Chime for Change on a campaign called Every Drop Counts, bringing clean water to Burundi. The BeyGood Foundation also works with an organization in Johannesburg, IkamvaYouth. This organization aims to pull children out of poverty through after-school tutoring. Founded in 2003, IkamvaYouth is youth-driven and offers career advice and psychological services. It impacts 5,000 youths per year across 15 branches.

Moreover, BeyGood is partnered with 9-year-old arts organization Lalea, whose mission is to support youth through after-school art programs. The organization helps students manifest their dreams and think creatively to accomplish their goals. BeyGood’s visits to South Africa enabled them to check in with all of these programs and more. More importantly, it allowed BeyGood to ensure they are engaging the communities they serve and maintain and create future success.

Though the BeyGood fellowship program in South Africa is relatively new, the organization has continuously worked with various South African organizations to aid youth development. The program has executed on their promises to the community. Ultimately, BeyGood is an example of how to incorporate youth in the fight to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Ava Gambero
Photo: Google Images

Louder Together: A Festival for ChangeEvery year, the Global Citizen Festival blends advocacy and entertainment in New York City and Mumbai. In order for one to get tickets to the festival, they must “earn their tickets after taking a series of actions to effect change around the world,” which is tracked through an app. Once a person has earned enough points through actions that benefit world issues, they are then entered into a drawing to win tickets to the festival. The festival partners with organizations like UNICEF, Rainforest Alliance, World Food Programme and many more.

This year, Comlpex Networks and Global Citizen released a documentary called Louder Together: A Global Citizen Documentary; New York to Mumbai, which features footage from the festival’s locations in New York and Mumbai from 2016. The film focuses on the mission of the festival as well as interviews with performers. Hugh Jackman is the narrator (and also an executive producer) for the documentary, which features artists like Coldplay and Rihanna.

Louder Together delves into how Global Citizen was able to take its festival from Central Park all the way to Mumbai, a city on the other side of the globe. People from India can be seen in the trailer discussing how this event can help change the minds of young people, which in turn changes the country.

The CEO of Global Citizen, Hugh Evans, poignantly remarked that the festival “transformed their cities into arenas of advocacy in the fight to end extreme poverty.” This festival brought people from all walks of life and from all over the world to become louder together about issues that affect them. Global Citizen has only existed for six years, but it continues to grow, as evidenced by its expansion into new countries, cultures and medias.

Louder Together is being streamed for free on Go90, a streaming service. The documentary is a great way for people to learn about the causes that Global Citizen advocates for, as well as how the arts can be used to both entertain and educate people. Louder Together is a shining example of the way citizens and celebrities can come together to help change the world.

Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr


The Global Citizen Festival launched in 2012 as part of the Global Poverty Project, founded by Hugh Evans and Simon Moss. The movement is based on an online platform and mobile application that utilizes the power of education, communications, advocacy, campaigning and the media to take action against extreme poverty. The Global Poverty Project partners with other organizations such as UNICEF, OXFAM, ONE, Save the Children, The Global Fund and more.

The result of last year’s festival was 1.3 million online actions taken, leading to 44 commitments and announcements. Combined, these announcements are worth $1.9 billion and could impact 199 million people, just from the Global Citizen Festival of 2016 campaign. Commitments have not only been made by U.S. companies such as Walmart, UPS and Johnson & Johnson but also by nations such as the Netherlands and Canada.

With more than 60,000 participants attending the first festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park, the event quickly became popular. In 2016, the performance lineup included Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Kendrick Lamar and Metallica. There were also special guests like Coldplay’s Chris Martin. The band headlined the previous year and Martin is the current Global Citizen Festival curator.

The festival is free, but spectators cannot just attend. Instead, fans must engage with campaigns in order to win Global Citizen Festival spots. Activists can accumulate points that act as currency to bid on tickets to the Global Citizen Festival and other live events. The restriction is that only current campaign points can be used during each campaign.

For the upcoming July Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany, the organizers plan on handing out 9,000 free tickets to the show to people who sign up and pledge action.

“In bringing the Global Citizen Festival to Germany for the first time, we are calling on the G20 to take action and responsibility for moving forward on the Global Goals,” Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans said.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr

ending_extreme_poverty

By the end of the year, the Millennial generation is projected to outgrow the Baby Boomer generation in the U.S., being predicted to grow to 75.3 million. Their large numbers will become crucial to helping end extreme poverty by 2030.

Since 1980, the world has made the unprecedented progress regarding extreme poverty–cutting extreme poverty in half from 43 percent in 1990 to fewer than 20 percent today.

Even with this upward progression, over 1 billion people worldwide suffer from extreme poverty, living on less than $1.25 per day. To make steps toward ending extreme poverty by 2030, 188 countries agreed to the UN’s goals at the World Bank Meetings in 2013.

If Millennials around the world connect themselves through social media and other events, this goal will become possible. As the first generation to have full access to technology at a young age, Millennials can spark a conversation and voice their concerns via social media.

While social media is beneficial in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty, events and festivals are taking place around the country to get the generation involved in the project.

On April 10, 2014, Global Citizen partnered with the World Bank Youth Network to host End Poverty 2030: Millennials take on the challenge in Washington, D.C. The event focused on the important role Millennials play in the fight to stop extreme poverty, even featuring a short film created by award-winning film writer and director Richard Curtis.

Over 1,000 people, including Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, attended the event while thousands more watched the event online. During the event, Ki-moon had a few encouraging words for the generation.

“I know that your generation can break this vicious cycle of extreme poverty, and I count on your strong engagement,” Ki-moon said.

More awareness for extreme poverty can be found at the Global Citizens Festival on Sept. 26 in Central Park. The music festival will include superstars Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, with more to be announced on the festival’s website.

This year in order to buy a ticket, potential buyers are encouraged to complete the Eight Global Steps before entering their name into a raffle system. Some of these steps include tweeting the UN’s Global Goals or signing a petition to bring awareness to the Global Food Security Act.

Since the festival’s inception in 2011, $1.3 billion has been raised to support extreme poverty.

As festivals and events continue to be organized and geared towards Millennials, there is hope to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Alexandra Korman

Sources: Forbes, Global Citizen, Pew Research
Photo: Huffington Post

Global_Citizen_Festival
H&M is known for providing fashionable and affordable styles for men, women and children. However, the Swedish clothing store chain also does its part to promote sustainability across the world. That’s right – H&M knows how to make fashion sustainable.

A proud partner of the Global Poverty Project, H&M is dedicated to supporting the mission to end extreme global poverty and building sustainable lives for people around the world.

By default, H&M is also in a partnership with Global Citizen, the online platform for the Global Poverty Project that provides crucial information about ongoing problems in the world and actions global citizens can take to eliminate them.

Most recently, H&M and Global Citizen have launched an exclusive t-shirt line to promote the Global Citizen Festival this fall. Musicians Coldplay and Ed Sheeran also contributed to the designs to show their support for the fight against global poverty. Coldplay and Sheeran will also perform at the Global Citizen Festival on September 26th.

Each shirt has a design unique to the musician and is made entirely of sustainable materials. At $9.95, the shirts are on sale at all H&M locations in the U.S. and 25 percent of the proceeds go to Global Citizen.

Furthermore, H&M encourages customers to donate gently used clothing to be recycled. Donation stations are located in every H&M store nationwide until Sept. 17, in a box that advertises the Festival.

Tickets for the Festival are free of monetary charge. Instead, guests must earn their tickets by taking actions against poverty. For every customer that purchases a t-shirt or donates clothing, H&M will provide them with the opportunity to earn free tickets.

Sheeran expressed his excitement to work alongside H&M and Global Citizen to create a shirt that fights back against poverty, uniting people to take meaningful action. T-shirts and fashion are no longer all about style; fashion is now also about taking sustainable steps towards a positive future.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: PR News Wire, Global Citizen 1, Global Citizen 2
Photo: Google Images

Global_Citizen_FestivalOn Sept. 26, the fourth annual Global Citizen Festival will take place — a unique concert that uses music to raise poverty awareness. Celebrity activists and humanitarian leaders have banded together to organize this year’s festival. They hope to channel hype and excitement over the concert into anti-poverty action.

The Global Citizen Festival began as an anti-poverty platform in 2012. Each year, the concert acts as a hub for campaigns that work towards global development and poverty eradication. This year, the festival will be timed to coincide with the launch of the United Nations’ new Global Goals, designed to end poverty by 2030.

Global Poverty Project, an organization that aims to end extreme poverty by increasing the number of people taking anti-poverty action, hosts the yearly concert. This year, the concert will take place on the Great Lawn at Central Park. Coldplay’s Chris Martin has played a leading role in creating the concert’s lineup.

For the second year in a row, MSNBC will be serving as a media partner of the Global Citizen Festival. The network will air a live simulcast of the full concert on their website. Youtube is also a worldwide digital streaming partner for the Festival, and will feature a special live stream of the concert which can be found here.

Last year, celebrity activists including Hugh Jackman, Adrian Grenier, and Jessica Alba, and world leaders like United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the musical acts. The all-star lineup included Beyonce, Jay Z, Sting, Tiesto, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, and more.

As 2015 is an especially important year for the global fight against poverty, this year’s festival is sure to not disappoint. This September at the UN General Assembly in New York, world leaders will announce a new set of global goals designed to fight inequality, protect our planet, and most importantly to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Organizers of the Global Citizen Festival hope that this year’s concert will act as a launching pad for essential policy and financial commitments needed to achieve these goals. Early initiation of such commitments is indeed a critical step.

For those who seek immediate anti-poverty action, Global Citizen is offering a chance to win free tickets to the concert on their website, www.globalcitizen.org. By following the outlined poverty-fighting steps on the organization’s website, people can maximize their chances of earning a free concert ticket!

Keeping in line with the anti-poverty spirit, H&M is also offering points towards winning tickets to the festival for those who donate gently used clothes at any store location. Clothing donations will start being accepted on Sept. 17 and will continue up until the concert.

Stephen Colbert, Salma Hayek, Deborra-Lee & Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington, and Olivia Wilde will be hosting the event. Perhaps even more exciting is this year’s lineup, which includes—among others—Pearl Jam, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, and of course, Coldplay.

With the perfect location, rock star hosts and performers and an incredibly noble cause, this year’s Global Citizen Festival is sure to live up to its hype. By pairing live entertainment with global development goals, the Global Poverty Project has certainly raised the standard of strategic anti-poverty innovation.

Sarah Bernard

Sources: MSNBC, Audio Ink Radio, Global Citizen
Photo: Google Images

Stephen Colbert & Hugh Jackman to Host Global Citizen Festival
Is there anything better than music that plays for a good cause?

The 2015 Global Citizen Festival will take place in New York City’s Central Park on September 26. The Festival will celebrate the launch of the United Nations’ Global Goals, a set of 17 initiatives designed to protect the environment, support universal education and end extreme poverty by 2030. Featured headliners include Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

Although the free event announced the artists earlier this summer, it just recently revealed the hosts of the show. The group of mega-talented individuals that will share the stage with the musical headliners include Stephen Colbert, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Salma Hayek Pinault, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde.

An online platform created by the Global Poverty Project in 2012, Global Citizen features informative articles and innovative campaigns dedicated to ending extreme poverty, injustice and inequality. It has hosted the Global Citizen Festival since 2012. The hosts this year will encourage festival attendees and fans around the world to become involved in Global Citizen’s mission to eradicate poverty.

In fact, in order to earn tickets the festival requires that people “take action” against poverty. After visiting the Global Citizen website to create an account, fans must perform a series of honorable actions to receive tickets to the festival. Such actions include signing virtual petitions against poverty, tweeting to world leaders and calling the U.S. State Department about the U.S. foreign aid budget.

Colbert and Jackman have expressed their excitement to host the festival as well as their firm belief that extreme global poverty can be eliminated by 2030. World leaders will be in attendance this year, providing the hosts and global citizens alike with the opportunity to voice their support of the Global Goals and the eradication of poverty.

Since 2012, the Global Citizen Festivals have made significant impacts in eradicating poverty; people have taken more than 3 million actions on the Global Citizen website. This September, the Festival will be jam-packed with good music, great people and an awesome cause.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Rolling Stone, Global Citizen 1, Global Citizen 2
Photo: Tick Pick

Coldplay-Girls-Living-in-Poverty
Today, 62 million adolescent girls around the world are not receiving an education.

Together, Global Poverty Project and the band Coldplay would like to change this. As partners, the dynamic duo will encourage countries to vote in favor of global education, ideally announcing their support at the Global Citizen Festival in September, where Coldplay will perform.

If countries fund continued education, extreme poverty can be alleviated. An annual $39 billion will provide these girls with 12 years of free, sustainable education – the same amount it costs to fund eight days of global military spending. Continued education has the power to provide the impoverished with sustainable livings, better health and overall independence.

In the past several years, Coldplay has positively used their fame to shed light on the issue of global poverty. As a headliner at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival this September, the English band will bring attention to the Global Goals, a set of 17 initiatives that seek to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change. The first goal is to end poverty, but the fourth goal is to ensure unbiased, quality education for all humans.

Due to gender inequality, girls are often refused an education. Not only is providing girls with an education a basic human right, but it will also help to break the cycle of extreme global poverty. Girls that go to school are more likely to postpone unwanted marriages and pregnancies, are less susceptible to HIV and AIDS and gain knowledge and skills that lead to a sustainable life with increased earning.

Coldplay is calling on world leaders to support global education to ensure that all humans are granted access to quality education, especially girls that are held back by outdated gender inequalities. Through social media, partnerships with honorable nonprofits and their earned fame, Coldplay chooses to stand up for the girls, understanding that education has the power to end global poverty.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen, Global Goals, UNICEF
Photo: Under the Gun Review