On May 22, the Global Citizen Prize 2022 award ceremony took over New York City’s majestic Gotham Hall for a truly inspirational night of celebrating and honoring the work of activists from around the world.
The Global Citizen Prize was created to shine a light on the remarkable activists and advocates working in countries and communities all across the globe, with ending extreme poverty and championing the world’s most vulnerable at the heart of their life’s work.
The extraordinary Global Citizen Prize winners from South Africa, Nigeria, India, the UK, the US, Mexico, Samoa, and Germany — who you can learn more about in our article — were joined at the ceremony by esteemed leaders in international development.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Global Citizen event without some stunning musical performances, thanks to Jamala and Aloe Blacc. Watch their performances below!
In 2016, Ukraine took home the Eurovision Song Contest trophy thanks to a performance from singer-songwriter Jamala. The song she performed, “1944”, reflected on a conflict from over 70 years earlier, the Second World War.
Now, six years later, the lyrics are again scarily relevant amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country. The conflict has resulted in a humanitarian crisis that has forced millions, including Jamala, to leave their homes.
Before her performance of “1944” at the Global Citizen Prize ceremony, Jamala said: “I’m grateful to every volunteer, to those who come out to rallies and raise funds. I’m thankful to everyone who does not remain silent.
“I will fight for our victory, for the right of Ukrainians to return to a free country,” she continued. “I ask you please don’t give up, only together we can defeat this evil, only together we can change the world for the better.”
Grammy-nominated artist Aloe Blacc helped us close out the night with a performance of "My Way", that is, in his words, “about fighting through adversity, to transform your world and the world of others in a positive way, to make the world a better place.”
“We all have that opportunity, we all have that chance,” he continued. “What do we do with it? There are so many changemakers in this room, and for those of you who are here, put your heart in the right place, put your mind in the right place, I hope this song inspires you.”
He then treated us to one last song, "Wake Me Up", adding that “it’s a pleasure to be able to have this opportunity to use my voice to uplift, to offer celebration of life, to offer comfort in moments of despair."