ACTIVATE: Global Citizen Movement

LOS ANGELES, California — Hugh Jackman, Usher, Uzo Aduba, Pharrell Williams and several other celebrities are back in the spotlight this week due to a National Geographic campaign. In partnership with Procter & Gamble, National Geographic is releasing a six-part documentary series called ACTIVATE: Global Citizen Movement. The series showcases the work being done by these celebrities around the world for the movement, which is dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 through advocacy, activism and awareness.
The main goal and effort of ACTIVATE: Global Citizen Movement is to be part of the commitment to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are a set of 17 goals agreed upon by 193 countries in order to fight global poverty. Some of these goals include zero hunger, quality education, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and climate action. By working with world leaders, Global Citizen has made a massive impact on political accountability. By working with well-known celebrities, they are able to mobilize and spread awareness on a much larger scale.

Episode 1 Breakdown

The first episode, released on Thursday, September 5, focused on the efforts of eradicating poverty. It highlighted Becky G’s awareness and activism. Becky G traveled to Mexico to support women-owned businesses. She wanted to shift the focus to women empowerment in countries where most women never make it past a first-grade education. It also focused on the work and mobilization of Hugh Jackman.

Jackman has been an outspoken supporter of the fight against global poverty for several years. He founded the Laughing Man Coffee Company in order to work with farmers in impoverished nations. Working with Global Citizen, he helped the organization host a festival in Central Park, New York, to bring together celebrities, world leaders and famous activists from around the world in order to perform and promote the movement’s mission and spread awareness.

Upcoming Episodes

Although the first episode emphasized general efforts to end poverty, each of the following five episodes has a different specific focus on areas where ACTIVATE: Global Citizen Movement is making an impact.

  • Episode two: Common and Usher will take a look at how ending the cash bail system in New York will have positive effects on various communities and will explore alternatives to an often unjust system. It will also take a look at racial prejudices within the justice system and how it affects people of different ethnic and economic backgrounds.
  • Episode three: actress Rachel Brosnahan will travel to Peru and will take a look at how humanitarian organizations are working to provide education in countries ravaged by natural disasters, economic instability and war. Brosnahan and Global Citizen will also urge the U.S., U.K. and Irish governments to pledge millions of dollars to Education Cannot Wait which is a global fund for providing education during crises. 
  • Episode four: The focus will be on keeping girls in school after they reach puberty as well as providing feminine products necessary for girls growing into adulthood. Gayle King and Bonang Matheba work to encourage the South African government to commit $58 million towards ending poverty related to female puberty. Priyanka Chopra Jonas will work to rally people and governments in order to end educational disruptions for young girls. 
  • Episode five: Using a different approach, this episode will focus on the impact that climate change and pollution have had on various parts of the world. Pharrell Williams will help urge governments, corporations and individuals to find alternative solutions to current waste efforts and Darren Criss will travel to the Philippines to take a first-hand look at how lives are affected by this kind of waste. 
  • Episode six: The final episode partners with Uzo Aduba to bring awareness to the millions of people in Nigeria who lack clean water and supplies. Aduba and Global Citizen will attempt to rally thousands of citizens to call on their leaders to make a change and provide help. The hope is to convince governors to use state funds to help eradicate contaminated water and related problems.


ACTIVATE: Global Citizen Movement is keeping it interesting and entertaining while still presenting facts and information about poverty and those in need. Seeing familiar and admired people speak up about something they are passionate about can help viewers connect to the issues and generate interest in the Global Citizen Movement. Due to its impact and the domino effect it has had, billions of dollars have been spent to help eradicate global poverty, and millions of people have already been helped. The Global Citizen Movement is well on its way to reaching its goal of eradicating poverty by 2030.

Jessica Winarski
Photo: Unsplash


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