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Global Citizen Festival: NYC was an event like no other. From Mariah Carey’s dazzling performance to the awe-inducing stage presence of Metallica, the event on Sept. 24 was truly a sight to behold.
But while the atmosphere of the night was both electric and exhilarating, it was also a reminder of the challenges our world is currently facing and the need for collective action.
With inspirational activists, world leaders, and artists taking a stand to end extreme poverty NOW, this year’s Global Citizen Festival — with twin events in New York’s Central Park and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana — showed us once again that music can galvanize people for change and unite personalities and countries in ways we never imagined.
Overall, the 2022 Global Citizen Festival campaign culminated in $2.4 billion announced to end extreme poverty — including more than $440 million earmarked exclusively to initiatives to end extreme poverty on the African continent. Find out more about the impact of the Global Citizen Festival campaign here.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most inspiring quotes from the red carpet that kicked off Global Citizen Festival: NYC. We’re sure they’ll leave you inspired and ready to keep taking action.
Ballet dancer and activist Misty Copeland attends Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
“Speaking to this issue [of extreme poverty], it is so important to acknowledge that it’s a real thing and that we’re all not that far from it. This isn’t a ‘them’ issue; it’s an ‘us’ issue. From my own experience growing up houseless for most of my childhood, it hits so close to home, and I think it’s all of our responsibility to use our voice, our platform, our talent to raise awareness to it.”
We ❤️ @RachelBros + her advocacy work to support education through @EduCannotWait#GlobalCitizenFestivalpic.twitter.com/qxpCDJJhCN
“We were making such progress towards eliminating extreme poverty. The reality is that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been set back with our efforts as a global community. Ending extreme poverty isn’t just something that we can look toward in the future, but something that can happen now. We need those commitments from leaders around the world; we need the light of fire.
“I’ve been a Global Citizen for nine years, and one of the things I appreciate is that being a Global Citizen continues to inject hope into my veins, watching the small actions we can take every day and how they can come together to make a bigger impact in a world where issues we’re facing — like climate change, a decline in access to global education, difficulties for women and girls across the globe — can feel overhwelming. But we’ve seen it in action over all these years. When we all do a little bit, we can do a lot.”
Science educator Bill Nye attends Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
“It’s fine for us to be celebrating, but there’s people who just don’t have anything and they’re getting flooded. It really isn’t fair for the developed world to crank out all these greenhouses gases, which are causing climate change, sea level rise, flooding the developed world … This is a real deal. It affects everybody in the world. Let’s deal with it. The idea isn’t to do less. The idea is to do better with what we have.”
President of Rotary International Jennifer Jones attends Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
“We’re all Global Citizens, regardless of whether we’re governments, whether we’re not-for-profits … We’re all part of this world. We’re one planet. We need to protect her. Until every child is protected, none of them is safe … In terms of disease prevention, so much of our world has no idea polio still exists, so oppotunitiess like tonight help to shine light on it and make sure that people understand that vaccines work, science works. We need to make sure that is top priority.”
Actress, singer, and UNICEF Ambassador Sofia Carson attends Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
“Our voices are our most powerful weapon, and nowadays with social media, our voice can reach the entire world. We’re so honored to be a part of a generation filled with such young, fearless voices. We’re here to make an actual and tangible change, and we are. And we can only do that together.
“Being able to use my voice for change and for good is the greatest honor of my life. Being a UNICEF ambassador, being here at Global Citizen … I love what Global Citizen stands for because we’re all Global Citizens of this world and we all have to take care of each other. The fight to end extreme poverty is one we have to fight together, and I’m so happy to be here to get one step closer to that.
“The more the world comes together and our voices come together, the closer we come to making real change, and the more awareness spreads. My heart lies in the education of young women … Being able to shed light upon those issues is what we need to do with our voice.”
Journalist, host, and producer Scott Evans attends Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
“There are so many things in the world that are pointing to how badly we’re failing, how insurmountable the odds can be that we can meet any of the success we’re longing for, reaching for, planning for, pleading for. But then there are things like today that remind you that every action counts and that you always move in the face of opposition when your heart is true and your intention is pure. No matter how small, move — make it happen. It’s up to us.”
We caught up w/@womenintrainin1 sisters + co-founders Breanna & Brooke Bennett on the #GlobalCitizenFestival Red Carpet to talk about period poverty before they took to the stage to announce the launch of the Global Menstrual Equity Accelerator and #PeriodForChange initiative: pic.twitter.com/jtPd9qehto
Brooke Bennett: “We kind of always wanted to do something for our community, and so when we found out what period poverty was — which is the lack of menstrual products and menstrual education — we decided to start Women in Training.”
Breanna Bennett: “It’s so important because Global Citizen is making a positive impact on the community, and if we all take roles in being part of Global Citizen and doing things to impact our community, we can make the world a better place, one by one.”
Brooke Bennett: “We started Women in Training when we were 12. So it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always make an impact in your community.”
Global Citizen Life