NEW YORK CITY – Motivated by his past as an impoverished youth, music icon Jay-Z fights poverty at home and abroad. The star founded the John Carter Foundation with his mother in 2003, providing scholarship support to at-risk youth wishing to attend college. Though Jay-Z’s quest to fight poverty began in the United States, he has since broadened his efforts to address global poverty.
Jay-Z first decided to address poverty abroad in 2006 after performing a show in Africa. He realized that “something as simple as [clean]water” could greatly benefit those living in poverty, so he sought to construct 1,000 clean water pumps on the continent before the conclusion of his tour.
Jay-Z partnered with the UN and MTV to raise awareness about the water crisis. MTV aired a documentary called “The Diary of Jay-Z: Water For Life” that followed the star as he met with people across the globe in need of clean water. In 2008 the UN presented him with a humanitarian award for these efforts, thanking him for bringing both awareness and relief to the worldwide water crisis.
More recently Jay-Z has partnered with several other musicians to address global poverty through the Global Citizen Tickets Initiative. This initiative is part of the Global Poverty Project, which brings awareness to the world’s most pressing poverty-related issues.
Fans of Jay-Z can register online or through a mobile application to support various causes, including women’s empowerment, food security, clean water, and the elimination of diseases like polio and malaria. They can earn points to apply to a ticket lottery by raising awareness via social media networks or through fundraising. Last year’s Global Ticket Initiative Festival in New York City raised $1.3 billion in pledges for poverty-related causes.
Jay-Z has clearly succeeded in bringing awareness to the issue of global poverty, motivated by his rough upbringing in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects. His actions reveal the power one individual can have in the quest to end global poverty.
– Katie Bandera
Sources: Rolling Stone, Access Hollywood, Monsters and Critics
Photo: Huffington Post