Who Run The World? #GLBLCTZNS
Last weekend in NYC has been a whirlwind of inspiration and advocacy for change. Pope Francis was in town, riding through Central Park on his “Popemobile,” speaking to the United Nations and giving a beautiful mass at Madison Square Garden. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met formally for the first time in two years at the United Nations General Assembly. And nearly 60,000 people gathered on Central Park’s Great Lawn for the Global Citizens Festival on Saturday — including, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafai and me!
The Global Citizens Festival is a free, yet ticketed, event aiming to raise awareness in issues such as ending world poverty, empowering women through education and taking care of our environment. This event is a fabulous way to raise this awareness, because by making the Festival free and including a diverse musical lineup (including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce and Pearl Jam) people of all backgrounds, ages, genders, ethnicities and interests were present.
When my friends and I (finally!) walked onto the Great Lawn after waiting two hours in line on 5th Ave., Leonardo DiCaprio was speaking about the environment and urging us to recognize that we need to do what we can to “save the planet.” Something I found interesting was that apart from who was listed on the concert lineup, the rest of the speakers were a mystery to everyone. Throughout the day and into the night, the Festival lasted from 3p.m. to 10 p.m., surprise speakers including Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates, Malala Yousafai and Michelle Obama took turns at the podium. These speakers stressed that all global citizens, and we are ALL global citizens, need to understand the issues present in our global community. Through inspiring speeches, each of these influential figures encouraged us to take action that will help influence those in power to make the necessary changes that will help our world become a better place.
The musical performances were incredible and inspiring as well. Beyoncé’s performance was phenomenal and she sang from a set list that stressed women’s empowerment and her brand of feminism. It was incredible to have the opportunity to see my favorite singer team up with the First Lady to stress that poverty is sexist, and that women all over the world deserve the right to an education. It was also incredibly inspiring and emotional to hear Malala Yousafai speak on the same issue, especially after I had read about her incredible journey in I Am Malala.
The hardships that people face around the world are many and extreme. Attending the Global Citizens Festival this past weekend reminded me how blessed I am in every aspect of my life and inspired me to start thinking about how I can help others experience some of the things many take for granted, especially the right to an education. We are all global citizens and thus have a responsibility to make our global community a better place. How will you help make this change?
Stay Classy! xx