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Black Lives Matter, Warren Buffett, Sesame Workshop, and More: The Extraordinary Winners of Global Citizen Prize 2020!


Why Global Citizens Should Care 
Global Citizen Prize is all about celebrating the remarkable leaders and individuals who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place for everyone. With the unprecedented global challenges we’ve faced this year, it’s rarely been more important to honor leadership and activism that values kindness, compassion, and strength, lifting up all of us, and particularly the most vulnerable. Join the movement by taking action here to help end extreme poverty. 

Global Citizen Prize is just days away, and we’re thrilled to announce the remarkable winning individuals and organizations that will be celebrated by the award ceremony as it airs and streams around the world from Dec. 19. 

The prestigious award ceremony celebrates leaders and activists around the world — those extraordinary individuals who have taken action this year to lift up the world’s most vulnerable, fight for the UN’s Global Goals, and achieve an end to extreme poverty.

You’ll be able to tune in wherever you are in the world, to celebrate these inspirational people and organizations; to hear extraordinary stories of human strength and compassion; to see performances from Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo, and Tori Kelly, and appearances from John Oliver, Katie Couric, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Usher; and more. 

The ceremony — hosted for the second year by John Legend — will premiere on Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in the US and CTV in Canada, before being broadcast and streamed all over the world. You can find details of how to watch the show wherever you are, here.

And now, the winners honored by 2020 Global Citizen Prize are… 

Global Citizen of the Year — Bryan Stevenson 

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This award 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. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 WATCH: Global Citizen of the Year 2020 Winner Bryan Stevenson, Oprah & Usher Talk Justice During Global Citizen Prize

Global Citizen Artist of the Year — Sir Elton John 

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The Artist of the Year award honors a creative individual or group using their platform and their work to create change, not only through conversation but through meaningful impact. 

A singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer, John also tirelessly works to eradicate HIV/AIDS through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and most recently was a leader in raising vital funds to the global COVID-19 response. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 WATCH: Miley Cyrus & Elton John, Global Citizen Artist of the Year, Discuss the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Global Citizen Prize for World Leader — President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

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This award 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 for World Leader also included: Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel; Chairwoman & Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva; and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima. 

The ultimate winner of the award was selected by an independent committee of more than 30 judges, including former heads of state and governments, other political leaders, and champions in the development community. 

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 vaccines against COVID-19. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 WATCH: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau & Ursula von der Leyen Discuss COVID-19, Climate Change, and More

Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader — LifeBank Founder, Temie Giwa-Tubosun

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The Prize for Business Leader 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. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 LifeBank Founder Temie Giwa-Tubosun Wins 2020 Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader

Global Citizen Prize 2020 is also introducing three awards, selected by Global Citizen and a team of advisors, to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional impact over the past year, creating positive change and inspiring others through compassion, innovation, and unwavering dedication in their respective fields. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 These Are the Winners of the Global Citizen Prizes for Activism, Culture & Education, and Philanthropy

Global Citizen Prize for Philanthropy — Warren Buffett 

warren-buffett-global-citizen-prize-2020-philanthropyImage: Timothy Archibald

This award recognizes 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 UN’s 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. 

Global Citizen Prize for Culture & Education — Sesame Workshop 

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This award honors an individual or organization who has excelled in creating positive change through an artistic or educational endeavour. 

Sesame Workshop has a storied history of activism and dedication to bringing early childhood education to children in over 150 countries, and has tackled a variety of issues including: HIV/AIDS, 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. 

Global Citizen Prize for Activism — Black Lives Matter

Black-Lives-Matter-CoFounders-GC-Prize.jpgAlicia Garza, from left, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, arrive at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Los Angeles.
Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

This award honors an individual or organization whose activism has driven significant and exemplary impact for society, at a local or global level. 

The Black Lives Matter movement, represented by Co-Founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, has been recognized by this award due to the powerful impact that it has had on combating anti-Black racism, and its advocacy confronting the social and economic challenges that disproportionately impact disenfranchised communities and communities of color, including the Black community, and their ability to unite people across racial, socio-economic, and ethnic lines. 

Black Lives Matter has promoted euity, enlightenment, and inclusion, elevated the collective conscience of people, and the co-founders Cullors, Garza, and Tometi, have excelled in their ability to unite people across the US and the world. 

Related Stories Dec. 20, 2020 These Are the Winners of the Global Citizen Prizes for Activism, Culture & Education, and Philanthropy

The winners of the Global Citizen Prize: Country Hero Award — an award recognizing extraordinary activists across the UK, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Germany — have also been announced and you can read more about each of these remarkable individuals and organizations, and their work uplifting their local and national communities, here

The winner of the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award will be announced during the Global Citizen Prize award ceremony, as it premieres globally on Dec. 19. 

The three finalists include: Suhani Jalota, Founder and CEO of Myna Mahila Foundation; Ryan Gersava, Founder and President of Virtualahan; and Christelle Kwizera, Founder and Managing Director of Water Access Rwanda. You can find out who the winner will be by tuning in to watch the show! You can find details on how to watch wherever in the world you are, here

The Global Citizen Prize award ceremony — which will premiere around the world from Dec. 19 — will also see performances from Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, JoJo, and Tori Kelly; and feature presenters including John Oliver, Katie Couric, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Usher. 

You can find details for how to watch, wherever you are in the world, here


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

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