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Inclusion, Empowerment & Social Justice Company news South Africa

Global Citizen Prize 2020 honours people shaping the 'World We Want'

Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo, Tori Kelly to perform at Ceremony Hosted by John Legend
John Legend
John Legend

With appearances by John Oliver, Katie Couric, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Scott Evans and Usher
Global Citizen Prize will also stream on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TIDAL on 19 December.

Televised Special Honoring People Shaping the ‘World We Want’ Will Air 20 December on SABC 3 at 9.30pm and TRACE Anglophone West Africa and Vodafone.

International advocacy organisation Global Citizen has announced the winners of the 2020 Global Citizen Prize. Bryan Stevenson, Sir Elton John, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Warren Buffett, Sesame Workshop and the Co-Founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement will be recognised for their efforts in shaping the world we want and doing pivotal work to help end extreme poverty.

Hosted by John Legend, the award ceremony will feature an incredible musical line-up, which includes performances from Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo and Tori Kelly. The event will also feature presenters including John Oliver, Katie Couric, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Scott Evans and Usher.

“We are honored to celebrate this year's ‘Global Citizen Prize’ winners who have made it their life’s mission to be the change we want to see in the world,” said HUGH EVANS, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF GLOBAL CITIZEN. “Our hope is that through this award, their leadership will inspire people all around the world to make an impact in their own communities, at a time when the world needs it most!”

Proud partners of the Global Citizen Prize include: Cisco, P&G and Citi. This year’s Global Citizen Prize will be recognized across six categories, including: Global Citizen of the Year, Global Citizen Prize for World Leader, Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader, Global Citizen Artist of the Year, Cisco Youth Leadership Award and the Global Citizen Country Hero Award.

Bryan Stevenson has been named as the recipient of the Global Citizen of the Year Prize, which celebrates an individual who has proven exceptional and sustained impact toward the end of extreme poverty and its systemic causes. As Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), Stevenson has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

Sir Elton John will receive the Global Citizen Artist of the Year Prize, which honors a creative individual or group using their platform and their work to create change not only through conversation but meaningful impact. A singer, songwriter, philanthropist, and composer, John also tirelessly works to end the AIDS epidemic through the Elton John AIDS Foundation and most recently was a leader in raising vital funds for the global COVID-19 response.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will receive the Global Citizen World Leader Prize, which honors a political figure who advocates for and has implemented policy changes that have improved the lives of those living in poverty. Finalists for this year’s Prize also included Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Chairwoman & Managing Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva and Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima. President von der Leyen has shown extraordinary leadership during her first year in office, driving significant and exemplary impact for the global community and contributing to achieving a just and sustainable future for all, in particular through her relentless work for equitable access to tests, treatments and the vaccine against COVID-19. The winner of the Global Citizen Prize was selected by an independent committee of more than 30 judges and included former Heads of States and Governments, other political leaders, and champions in the development community. The committee deliberated and gave careful consideration to all the nominees who embody the spirit of global citizens through their work, identity and community collaborations.

LifeBank Founder Temie Giwa-Tubosun will receive the Global Citizen Business Leader Prize, which honors an individual in the business community who has combined business goals with positive human impact. Recognized for her work as a health advocate in addressing blood shortages in Nigeria, as well as her innovative use of technology and the partnerships harnessed to expand LifeBank initiatives, Giwa-Tubosun is also recognized for LifeBank’s COVID-19 response, including creating a national register, launching testing centers, and free delivery of medical oxygen to COVID-19 patients in isolation centers.

The winner of the fifth category, the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award, will be announced on December 19 during the awards proceeding. The finalists for the Cisco Youth Leadership Award, include Founder and President of Virtualahan, Ryan Gersava (Philippines); Founder and CEO of the Myna Mahila Foundation, Suhani Jalota (India); and Founder and Managing Director of Water Access Rwanda, Christelle Kwizera (Rwanda).

The Global Citizen Prize: Country Hero Award, which celebrates individuals around the world who have shown exceptional commitment to achieving the Global Goals and championing the most vulnerable, will be presented in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia and Mexico. Country Hero Awardees, include: Burnet Institute Director & CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC (Australia); Founder of Help A Girl Out Yanique Brandford (Canada); Founder of Space2GroW and women’s rights advocate Anab Mohamud (Germany), Co-Founder of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo (Mexico), Executive Director of Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER) Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi (Nigeria), Directors of the WISE Collective Brenda Madumise-Pajibo, Onica N. Makwakwa and Pinky Mgobozi (South Africa) and Co-Founder and Co-Director of Green New Deal Fatima Ibrahim (United Kingdom). The Country Hero Award in Australia, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom is presented by Vodafone, and in Mexico by Citibanamex.

In addition, the Global Citizen Prize is introducing three awards, selected by Global Citizen and a team of advisors to recognize individuals or organizations who have demonstrated exceptional impact over the preceding year, creating positive change and inspiring others through compassion, innovation and unwavering dedication in their respective fields.

Warren Buffett will receive the Global Citizen Prize for Philanthropy, honoring a philanthropist, or philanthropic group, who has shown extraordinary leadership, stepping forward to accelerate their giving in support of the world’s biggest challenges and in pursuit of achieving the United Nations Global Goals. Historically the most giving person in the world, Buffett has vowed to gradually give more than 99% of his wealth to philanthropic foundations and announced earlier this year that he donated another $2.9 billion worth of stock to nonprofit groups.

Sesame Workshop will receive the Global Citizen Prize for Culture & Education, honoring an individual or organization who has excelled in creating positive change through an artistic or educational endeavor. The nonprofit Sesame Workshop has a storied history of bringing critical early childhood education to children in over 150 countries through the power of media and the Sesame Street Muppets and tackling the toughest issues facing children, like HIV/AIDS, family homelessness, autism, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, in ways that children not only can understand, but that also help them to grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

The Black Lives Matter movement, represented by Co-Founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, will receive the Global Citizen Prize for Activism which honors an organization or individuals whose activism has driven significant and exemplary impact for society, at a local or global level. The Black Lives Matter movement has been awarded with the Prize for Activism, due to the powerful impact that it has had on combating anti-Black racism. The Black Lives Matter movement has also confronted socio-economic challenges that disproportionately impact disenfranchised communities and communities of color. The movement has promoted equity, enlightenment and inclusion, elevated the collective conscience of people, and BLM Co-Founders have excelled in their ability to unite people across the country and around the world.

Finally, Global Citizen has also launched the #My2020Hero social media campaign, inviting everyone to honor the people in their lives who have done something special during this difficult year to support them, their community, or the world, as we take a moment together to focus on gratitude and hope.

The 2019 Global Citizen Prize winners included Sting, Founder & CEO of HealthSetGo Priya Prakash, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, and filmmaker Richard Curtis. The Global Citizen Prize was launched in 2018 for the categories of World Leader and Youth Leadership and presented live on stage at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa to Prime Minister of Norway, Her Excellency Erna Solberg, and food and nutrition activist Wawira Njiru of Kenya.

The Global Citizen Prize is produced by Audrey Morrissey, Ivan Dudnysky, and Jayson Belt for Live Animals and Hugh Evans, Liza Henshaw, Lee Rolontz, Katie Hill, and Molly McGuiness for Global Citizen. The Prize has also received support from in-kind supporters, including: Bandsintown, BellaNaija, BOO! Surprising Media Solutions, Central Ontario Broadcasting, Curb Taxi Media, Der Stern, The Economist, Forbes, Grassroots Advertising, Inc., iHeartMedia, Jack Agency, JCDecaux Nigeria, Marketing and Media Ltd., Mass-Media, The Beat 9.99FM, The New York Times, Seen Media Group, Spotify, Superiate, TIDAL, Twitter, UK-Billboards, Vanguard Media and XP Digital.

Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizens have mobilized $48.5 billion in commitments and policy announcements from leaders that have impacted the lives of 880 million people living in extreme poverty.

For more information about the Global Citizen Prize, please visit and follow @GlblCtzn Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen.

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