SEATTLE, Washington — On June 27, Dwayne the Rock Johnson hosted “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future,” Global Citizen and the European Commission’s summit to raise funds for low-income and vulnerable communities as part of Global Citizen’s COVID-19 response. The event followed a successful solo Global Citizen fundraising concert put on by Lady Gaga a few weeks before. “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future” consisted of streamed concerts, interviews, short lectures and other performances.
Performers and Special Guests
Stand-out performances included Miley Cyrus in the Rose Bose stadium, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and the cast of Hamilton’s zoom choir as well as Usher’s tearful “I Cry” rendition. Special guests spanned the spectrum of media, ranging from Kate Upton to Justin Bieber and Shakira to Lin-Manuel Miranda. Some, like Kerry Washington, used the opportunity to educate audiences. A consistently fierce advocate for the links between racism and poverty, Washington explained systemic racism and how COVID-19 only exaggerates existing racial inequality.
Other performances also held a definitive social justice tone. For example, Jennifer Hudson sang “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” while sailing down the Chicago River. Washington and Hudson’s appearances followed Black Lives Matter momentum in the United States. Linking such a powerful moment in the United States to global structures of poverty and health inequity helped increase awareness of the world-wide needs of those disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Other Advocates and Figures
Besides celebrities and individual figures, activists and teaching moments, governments also joined the event. All G7 member countries, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, offered financial and political support. State coalitions, such as the European Union and the United Nations, also participated.
Advocates and political figures such as Journalist Katie Couric, philanthropist Melinda Gates, NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also made appearances. Furthermore, many corporations developed aid plans as well. These plans incorporated company specialties however they could. Donations included:
- Google pledged $25 million to WHO efforts and Ad Grants which will assist vaccine dispersal.
- P&G donated $10 million worth of products like COVID-19 tests.
- UNICEF, aided by IHS Markit and Colgate Palmolive, gave $5 million to help Nigeria and nearby countries in their COVID-19 response.
- Vodafone stating their intent to install more than 10,000 4G towers to increase viewership of public health campaigns in low-income countries.
The Success of Global Goal: Unite for Our Future
Via these efforts and others, the organization’s name, Global Citizen, truly came to life as more than 40 governments, 50 celebrities and 20 institutions pledged support. This success rested on Global Citizen’s social media presence, which allowed global access via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as well as more than 30 cable channels in various countries. Funds came in the form of cash grants totaling $1.5 billion with loans or guarantees totaling $5.4 billion. Global Citizen’s COVID-19 response “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future” raised $6.9 billion to help those disproportionately struck by COVID-19.
– Rory Davis