This December, Global Citizen Prize is returning, ready to celebrate the world’s most inspiring activists and leaders — those remarkable individuals among us who are standing up and taking action to shape a world that is fair, just, and equal for all.
The year 2020 will be remembered as a year of unprecedented global challenges. But, as the world battles a deadly global pandemic, a reckoning on racial justice, and more, it will also be remembered as a year of reimagining the role that every one of us has to play in creating a world we want to live in.
With the Global Citizen Prize, hosted for a second year by John Legend himself, we celebrate those who have led with compassion, care, innovation, and dedication to uplift the world’s most vulnerable people. We honor those who are leaders for their families, friends, and colleagues; leaders for their communities and their countries; and leaders for the world at large.
“I’m so excited to be returning as host of Global Citizen Prize for the second year,” said John Legend. “2020 has challenged all of us in many ways, and I’m proud to be celebrating leaders who are supporting vulnerable communities, working to end extreme poverty, and inspiring others to take action for change.”
Through the awards presented in December — in an award ceremony that will be broadcast and streamed around the world from Dec. 19 — we will honor the young people, the world leaders, the business leaders, the artists, the philanthropists, and the Global Citizens who exemplify the leadership we need, and inspire each of us to raise our voices for a better world. Proud partners of Global Citizen Prize include Cisco, Citi, and P&G.
The show and pre-show — Countdown to the Prize — will also feature inspirational stories of human strength and unforgettable performances that will bring together artists, activists, and global leaders to remind each of us that, together, we will come out of this year stronger.
What’s more, we’ve also launched our #My2020Hero social media campaign, inviting Global Citizens everywhere to honor the people in your lives who have helped make a tough year a little bit brighter for you, your loved ones, and your community — as we take a moment together to focus on gratitude and hope for the future.
Here’s what you need to know about Global Citizen Prize, and how you can get involved right now!
Who are the hosts, presenters, and performers at this year's Global Citizen Prize?
John Legend will be returning to host the Global Citizen Prize ceremony for the second year, having first hosted the 2019 ceremony at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.
The Global Citizen Prize award ceremony will also see performances from Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo, and Tori Kelly.
There will also be appearances by John Oliver, Katie Couric, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Scott Evans, and Usher.
How can I get involved?
There are lots of ways for you to get involved with Global Citizen Prize right now.
- Join our #My2020Hero campaign — We want to hear from Global Citizens all around the world about who’s been your “2020 Hero”, who’s that person who has stepped up during a difficult year to support you, your community, or the whole world. We’ve faced some unprecedented global challenges this year, and we want to shine a light on those unsung heroes who are helping make a difficult year just a little bit brighter (think your best friend who texts you a joke every day, or your neighbor who helped pick up groceries for you, or your cousin who is a frontline worker). All you have to do is share a photo of (and tag) your “2020 Hero” and tell us why they’re so incredible, including the hashtag #My2020Hero. Head to @GlblCtzn on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to get involved.
- Spread the word — Social media is such a powerful tool for shaping public discourse, and what better use for your social channels than raising awareness about the incredible leaders and activists honored through Global Citizen Prize. Follow @GlblCtzn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and start sharing!
- Tune in! — And of course, don’t forget to join us wherever you are in the world, as Global Citizen Prize broadcasts and streams from Dec. 19. With inspirational stories of human strength, unforgettable performances, and more, Global Citizen Prize will bring together artists, activists, and global leaders to remind each of us that, together, we’ll come out of this year stronger. You can find a full listing of global broadcast times here.
A general view of Royal Albert Hall during the Global Citizen Prize on Dec. 13, 2019 in London, England.
When and where can I watch the Global Citizen Prize show?
The Global Citizen Prize broadcast special will air on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in the United States and CTV in Canada. It will also air on MSNBC on Dec. 19, at 10 p.m. ET, with a second airing on New Year's Eve at midnight; Albavision in Central and Latin America; Digicel in the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Central America; Insight TV in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; Mediacorp in Singapore; SABC in South Africa; Sky Media in the UK; TRACE Anglophone West Africa in Nigeria, Ghana, and East Africa; MTV International on select channels in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America; and Vodafone in Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Asia.
What are the Prize categories?
The Global Citizen Prize 2020 will see the presentation of:
Global Citizen of the Year — an award that recognizes an individual who has proven exceptional and sustained impact toward the end of extreme poverty and its systemic causes. Last year, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, producer, and director, Richard Curtis, received the award for his tireless work to combat extreme poverty through his organizations and campaigns, including Comic Relief, Sport Relief, Red Nose Day, and Project Everyone.
Global Citizen Artist of the Year — for a creative individual or group who use their perform to create change, not just through conversation but through meaningful impact. In 2019, 17-time Grammy-award winner Sting was presented with the award, for his efforts to protect rainforests in co-founding the Rainforest Foundation.
Global Citizen Prize for World Leader — this honors a political figure who advocates for and has implemented policy changes that have improved the lives of people living in poverty. Previously this award has been presented to Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed, and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader — this award recognizes an individual in the business community who has combined business goals with positive human impact. Last year’s winner was Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, in honor of his work for the rights of Chobani’s employees and refugees globally.
Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award — this celebrates an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully towards the goal of ending poverty and its systemic causes in their community. Previous winners include Wawira Njiru, for her work providing schoolchildren with nutritious meals in Kenya through Food for Education; and Priya Prakash, who’s keeping children in India healthy through HealthSetGo. You can read here all about this year’s three remarkable finalists — and cast your vote for who you think should win the award, along with $250,000 in funding to support their organization.
In 2020, Global Citizen Prize will add three further awards, selected by Global Citizen and a team of advisors. These are:
Global Citizen Prize for Philanthropy — which honors 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.
Global Citizen Prize for Culture & Education — this honors an individual or organization who has excelled in creating positive change through an artistic or educational endeavour.
Global Citizen Prize for Activism — an award that honors an individual or organization whose activism has driven significant and exemplary impact for society at a local or global level.
Jorja and John Legend perform together at Global Citizen Prize at the Royal Albert Hall on Dec. 13, 2019 in London, England.
How can I find out who the winners are?
We've now announced the incredible 2020 Global Citizen Prize winners, each of whom has been a guiding light throughout 2020, demonstrating remarkable leadership, compassion, and strength in the face of unprecedented global challenges, in the mission to shape a world that's fair, just, and equal.
The 2020 Global Citizen Prize winners are:
- Global Citizen of the Year — Bryan Stevenson
- Global Citizen Artist of the Year — Sir Elton John
- Global Citizen Prize for World Leader — President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen
- Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader — Founder of LifeBank, Temie Giwa-Tuboson
- Global Citizen Prize for Philanthropy — Warren Buffett
- Gloal Citizen Prize for Culture & Education — Sesame Workshop
- Global Citizen Prize for Activism — Black Lives Matter, represented by Co-Founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi
We've also announced the winners of the Global Citizen Prize: Country Hero Award, which recognizes activists and organizations that have made incredible contributions this year to the fight against extreme poverty across Mexico, the UK, Canada, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, and Australia. You can find out all about these extraordinary individuals and organizations here.
The winner of the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award will be announced during broadcasts and livestreams globally — so tune in to find out who will win this year’s prestigious award, and receive $250,000 in funding to support their organization’s work. You can find a full listing of global broadcast times here.
Is Global Citizen Prize a new thing?
Global Citizen Prize builds on a legacy established in 2016 when we presented the first George Harrison Global Citizen Award for an artist who has demonstrated excellence in music and activism throughout the course of their career.
The award was presented by Paul Simon to the late Beatle George Harrison at an event in New York City, with the award accepted by his wife and son on his behalf. In 2017, the award was presented to Annie Lennox, for her dedication to global humanitarian work.
At the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa, we presented the first-ever Global Citizen Prize for a World Leader to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The inaugural Cisco Youth Leadership Award was presented to Wawira Njiru, the now 29-year-old Founder and Executive Director of Food for Education, who’s improving nutrition for thousands of schoolchildren in Kenya.
Lastly, in December 2019, we hosted the first-ever annual Global Citizen Prize ceremony, at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.
How does the Global Citizen Prize continue Global Citizen’s mission?
Global Citizen campaigns on the UN’s Global Goals, a 17-step roadmap to ending extreme poverty by 2030. Despite remarkable progress in recent decades, the year 2020, a year of unprecedented global challenges, threatens to set us all back in our efforts to achieve a world that is fair, just, and equal.
With the Global Citizen Prize, we celebrate those leaders who are taking action to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, who are leading with compassion, care, innovation, and a dedication to uplift the world’s most vulnerable people — and who inspire each of us to do the same.
(L-R) Stormzy and Chris Martin perform at the Global Citizen Prize at the Royal Albert Hall on Dec. 13, 2019 in London, England.
How are you doing an awards show during COVID-19? Isn’t that unsafe?
We'll be following all COVID-19 protocols in the filming of the 2020 Global Citizen Prize show. Unlike last year's event that took place in Royal Albert Hall, award-winners and musical performers will be filmed at various outdoor locations or on location, following strict COVID-19 filming guidelines.
Our host will be filmed in a studio, and all crew will follow COVID-19 filming protocols (including being tested, wearing masks, and being socially-distant). There also won’t be a physical event this year, as there was last year, with the event instead to be globally broadcast and digitally streamed.
Join Global Citizen in December 2020 to celebrate the leaders among us who have stepped up against a backdrop of unprecedented global challenges to take action for the world we want — a world that is fair, just, and equal.
The broadcast and digitally streamed award ceremony will also feature inspirational stories of human strength and unforgettable performances that will bring together artists, activists, and global leaders to remind each of us that, together, we will come out of this year stronger. Find out more about the Global Citizen Prize here.