Everything You Need to Know About 'ACTIVATE: The Global Citizen Movement'

Authors:
Joe McCarthy and Olivia Kestin

Why Global Citizens Should Care
In order to drive meaningful and lasting change, Global Citizens must mobilize around extreme poverty, inequality, and sustainability. You can learn more about ACTIVATE: The Global Citizen Movement here, and join us in taking action on these issues here

Common and Usher are working to end cash bail and the criminalization of poverty. Priyanka Chopra Jonas wants to dismantle the barriers to girls’ education. Pharrell Williams and Darren Criss are advocating to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. Uzo Aduba wants to improve access to clean water for the most marginalized communities. 

You can watch these Global Citizen advocates and celebrity activists on their quests to improve the world in the new six-part documentary series ACTIVATE: The Global Citizen Movement

The series, developed by National Geographic and Procter & Gamble and co-produced by Global Citizen and RadicalMedia, showcases the behind-the-scenes stories that make the Global Citizen movement possible. Premiering Sept. 5, viewers will be able to learn about people living in extreme poverty and how to support campaigns trying to transform their lives.

The series will take viewers to countries around the world, from the Philippines to South Africa, to follow the stories of activists and citizens on the frontlines of fighting the causes and consequences of poverty.

Here’s what to expect from the six episodes. 


Episode 1: Eradicating Extreme Poverty

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Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 per day. Although the number of people living in extreme poverty has more than halved to 736 million since 1990, the United Nations fears that this number could begin to climb once again.

In this episode, Hugh Jackman, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Becky G join Global Citizen to urge world leaders to enact policies to finally end extreme poverty. Becky G travels to Mexico to highlight the economic benefits of corporations investing in women-owned businesses, and Hugh Jackman gets ready to host the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. 


Episode 2: Ending Cash Bail 

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An estimated 465,000 people in US jails haven’t been convicted of any crime — they just can’t afford the bail that’s been set for them. People stuck in jail because they can’t afford bail — disproportionately people living in poverty and people of color — often lose their homes, jobs, and fall deep into debt. 

Artists and activists Common and Usher team up with Global Citizen and grassroots organizers in episode 2 to advocate for the end of cash bail in New York State. They explore the roots of cash bail, its consequences, and the alternatives to this unjust system. 


Episode 3: Education Cannot Wait 

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Conflicts and natural disasters together displace millions of children from their homes each year, indefinitely disrupting their education. The economic collapse of Venezuela, for example, has caused more than 3 million people to flee the country to seek food, water, health care, opportunity, and safety. Many of these refugees end up across the border in Peru. 

Emmy Award-winning actor Rachel Brosnahan teams up with Global Citizen in this episode and travels to Peru to see how humanitarian organizations are working to help Venezuelan refugee children continue their educations. 

Brosnahan then goes to the US to call on world leaders to commit millions to Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for education during crises.

Education Cannot Wait

Education Cannot Wait
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Education Cannot Wait

Education Cannot Wait
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Education Cannot Wait

Education Cannot Wait
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen


Episode 4: Keeping Girls in School

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Girls throughout South Africa often have to stop going to school once their period begins. It’s an injustice that worsens gender inequalities, and activists are determined to bring it to an end. In this episode, Gayle King and Bonang Matheba rally tens of thousands of people to call on the South African government to commit $58 million toward ending “period poverty” and providing girls with the menstrual education and resources they need to stay in school.

Lack of menstrual products is just one barrier keeping girls from the classroom. Sexual violence, poverty, lack of clean water, natural disasters, and conflict prevent millions of girls from completing their education. 

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is doing her part to ensure that all girls can attend school. She joins Global Citizen and activists around the globe as they campaign to break down barriers to girls’ education.

Keeping Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School
RadicalMedia

Keeping Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School
RadicalMedia

Keeping Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Keeping Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen


Episode 5: Ending Plastic Pollution 

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More than 8 million tons of plastic waste flow into the world’s oceans each year, causing extensive harm to marine life, disrupting ecosystems, and contaminating food supplies.

Reversing the effects of this pollution requires both a top-down and grassroots approach — companies to find plastic alternatives, governments to invest in state-of-the-art waste management systems, and massive plastic clean-up efforts have to be organized. 

Artist Pharrell Williams joins Global Citizen in episode 5 to call on governments, corporations, and individuals to find solutions to the ocean plastic pollution crisis. Meanwhile, Darren Criss travels to the Philippines to witness plastic’s impact on people living in extreme poverty and calls on Global Citizens to urge their mayors to commit their cities to zero-waste futures.

Ending Plastic Pollution

Ending Plastic Pollution
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Ending Plastic Pollution

Ending Plastic Pollution
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Ending Plastic Pollution

Ending Plastic Pollution
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Ending Plastic Pollution

Ending Plastic Pollution


Episode 6: Clean Water

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Clean drinking water is essential to a dignified life. Yet 2.1 million people are unable to access clean water on a regular basis, which worsens their poverty and exposes them to dangerous diseases and health conditions. 

In this episode, Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba joins Global Citizen to travel to Nigeria, where 59,500 children under the age of 5 die each year because of illnesses contracted from contaminated water supplies. 

More than 7 in 10 Nigerians, meanwhile, lack access to a decent toilet. Adubo seeks to rally millions of people to call on the country’s mayors to end the problems of contaminated water and open defecation. 

Clean Water

Clean Water
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen

Clean Water

Clean Water
RadicalMedia

Clean Water

Clean Water
Ryan Gall/Global Citizen


How to Tune In

ACTIVATE: The Global Citizen Movement will air weekly in select markets beginning Sept. 5 on the National Geographic channel or globalcitizen.org/activate.


ACTIVATE: THE GLOBAL CITIZEN MOVEMENT is a six-part documentary series from National Geographic and Procter & Gamble, co-produced by Global Citizen and RadicalMedia. ACTIVATE raises awareness around extreme poverty, inequality, and sustainability issues to mobilize global citizens to take action and drive meaningful and lasting change. The series will premiere globally in fall 2019 on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages. You can learn more here.


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