Activism in the City that Never Sleeps
Buzz words and mottos as 2030 Now and Global Citizen; social issues as Climate Change, Global Poverty and Gender Equality, and music as activism were front and center all last week in the city that never sleeps. Beginning with The Social Good Summit and UN Week and culminating with The Global Citizen Festival, one would be hard pressed not to catch the positive fever that had spread throughout the city and the world, thanks to modern technology – live streaming and live telecasts.
With issues as diverse as education, sustainability, clean water and aids, it certainly is a wild world. “Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world,” lyrics from early adapter and goodwill ambassador Yusuf/Cat Stevens, still resonate today and it was fabulous to hear him perform at last Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park. It had been over 40 years, since he last graced the big apple with a performance.
Curated by Cold Play frontman Chris Martin, the festival’s goal is to eradicate global poverty by 2030, plus spotlight the many social challenges our world faces, engage people to act and become a global citizen. At last count, over 60,000 do-gooders were in attendance. The only way to snag a ticket to this music lovefest of musician and celebrity A-listers, dignitaries and activists was to have performed an act of volunteerism. Headlining were artists from a wide range of music genres: Major Lazer (EDM), Demi Lovato (pop), Kendrick Lamar (hip hop), Metallica (heavy metal) and Rhianna (pop) with guest appearances by Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Usher, Ellie Goulding, Yandel and Yusuf/Cat Stevens.
Inspiration is a splendid thing, especially when it sparks action for social change. New York City was certainly the thought starter and igniter last week for inspiring minds and building future global activists and leaders.
The Social Good Summit kick-started the week. Sponsored by Mashable, United Nations Foundation and 92nd Street Y, the 2016 rendition brought together like-minded do-gooders to hear from global change-makers and world leaders on the many social issues. Inspiring panels, videos and calls for action were the norm of the two-day summit. Held annually preceding UN Week, the Summit’s theme 2030 Now, connecting today creating tomorrow has the goal to eradicate our world’s most serious social issues by 2030. UN Week’s General Assembly focused on the sustainability development goals a/k/a global goals – a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
In the case of social change, it takes more than a village – it takes a global community of activists and passionate people. There are many incredible organizations striving to push the envelope for change. In its short existence, Global Citizen has done an amazing job of mobilizing the masses to do just that. It serves as a social action platform for a global generation that wants to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Since 2012, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over six million actions to solve these challenges.
Yes, it’s a wild world with serious issues to combat and overcome. With dynamic organizations, inspiring events and passionate citizens rallying around the call for social change, together, we really can change the world for the better! – Abbe Sparks
Featured Image Credits:
Author: Anthony Quintano
Image Title: Global Citizen Festival Central Park New York City from NYonAir
License: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)