14 Global Citizens on What Issues Matter Most to Them

Autores: Madeleine Keck, Daniele Selby, Leah Rodriguez y Joe McCarthy

Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals, including gender equality, good health for all, education, and an end to hunger. Global Citizens like you joined us in calling on world leaders, individuals, and big corporations to support these goals and earned tickets to the 2019 Global Citizen Festivals. In this piece, you told us why you took action and will continue to take action.

Tens of thousands of people came together in New York City's Central Park on Sept. 28 to attend the Global Citizen Festival, and united their voices to call for change and an end to extreme poverty. The night was filled with powerful performances from headliners, including Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., and Carole King; as well as special guest performances by French Montana, Ben Platt, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, David Gray, and NCT 127. And by the end of the night world leaders and corporations had made 18 commitments worth $932.1 million, and set to affect the lives of 7.6 million people.

But in order to get to the festival, Global Citizens took hundreds of thousands of actions — below you told us why you took action and will keep fighting for a world free from poverty and inequality.


Stephanie, 28, Bergen County, NJ

0310_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit2.jpgStephanie, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

You said this is your third time at the festival, why do you keep coming back? 

Stephanie: I love everything Global Citizen stands for.

Which issue related to ending extreme poverty is the most important to you? 

Mainly education in Third World countries, especially for girls. Where we are in the world, it's going to be really important to have their views and if they're not properly educated, it's going to be a little harder.

What do you think you'll continue doing after the festival to be a Global Citizen?

I'm committing to making sure that all my friends are on the app. 

Diana, 24, Paterson, NJ

0313_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgDiana, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Why do you want to help end poverty by 2030?

We're all humans and we deserve the same chance to grow and flourish. If we have the opportunity to share our wealth with people who don't have as much as we have, why not? 

It's an amazing thing to see other people grow.

Daniella Bassima, Mexico City

0318_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgDaniella Bassima (L), photographed with her friend, at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

What Global Citizen issues are important to you?

Women and children and, at the moment, climate change. I’m from Mexico, which is a very male-oriented country so there’s still a lot of misconceptions about women. And climate change is not being taken seriously by our president.

Ki Jean-Noel, 22, Brooklyn

0305_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgKi Jean-Noel, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

What kinds of actions did you take to attend the festival?

I sent emails to senators, congressmen, and people of power.

Why do you want to help end poverty by 2030?

I believe that women shouldn't have to live impoverished, especially when there's such a large disparity between the rich and poor, even in developed countries like ours. It's kind of a shame, and there should be something done to fix it. 

What do you want world leaders to do to stand up for these issues?

To just speak up and be different, you do not have to follow your peers. You do not have to exactly coexist with your parties. You're allowed to have your own opinions and be a free thinker. I don't believe that change is possible with the amount of ignorance that some of the people in power have.

Elsie, 25, The Bronx

0324_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgElsie, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Which issue related to ending extreme poverty is the most important to you? 

Food and hunger, because everyone deserves a chance to have that opportunity to feel like they have what they need. We're here to help people, no matter what their race, gender.

Do you think you’ll continue to be a Global Citizen after the festival?

I will definitely continue to be a Global Citizen. It's a good way to unite people. You're not the only one on this earth, so you have to look around, be aware of other people's lives. Helping matters a lot.

Chelsea and Kallana, New York

0323_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgChelsea (L) and Kallana (R), photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

What Global Citizen issues are important to you?

Chelsea: Women’s issues are really important to me, but, beyond that, humans rights. It’s cool that we get to give people the basic things they need to thrive.

Lucky Coomaralingam, New York

0322_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgLucky Coomaralingam, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

What Global Citizen issues are important to you?

Health is an issue that affects us all and we have to make sure those who aren’t fortunate enough to have adequate health care get the means to take care of themselves.

Debbie Couchman and Diane Swank

0320_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpg(L) Debbie Couchman and (R) Diane Swank, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Why is it vital for the world’s biggest artists to be vocal on issues like eradicating extreme poverty? 

Debbie: They have an open stage. They can get messages out there. 

Diane: Yeah, they have a platform to do so. More so than just us tweeting about it. I think that’s so important.

What kinds of actions did you take to earn tickets to the festival?

Debbie: Anything on women’s rights, schooling, and education. 

Diane: Issues around the girl child. We signed petitions, we tweeted, we called our congressmen. You know, it’s whatever we can do.  

Kaytlin McDermott and Amanda Grieco, New York

0319_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpgKaytlin McDermott (L) and Amanda Grieco (R), photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

What Global Citizen issues are important to you?

Kaytlin: Criminal justice reform is definitely important, especially in New York City, with Riker’s Island.

What Global Citizen issues are important to you?

Amanda: I’m here because of environmental issues, especially because of the global climate conference. I’m a huge supporter of Greta [Thunberg], her work is awesome. She’s someone who really advocates for change. She’s much more a doer than a sayer.

Gloria Carbajal and Sulma Cabrera, New Jersey 

0316_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpg(L) Gloria Carbajal and (R) Sulma Cabrera, photographed at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Why is it vital for the world’s biggest artists to be vocal on issues like eradicating extreme poverty? 

Gloria: Celebrities and musicians influence us to want to do better. That’s what I think. And when they do, they start a trend that other people then follow. So, why wouldn’t they want to start a trend to stop world hunger? 

What kinds of actions did you take to earn tickets to the festival? 

Sulma: I won the tickets on the Global Citizen app. I sent emails and made calls. I was really passionate to take the ones around world hunger and also the actions working to end HIV and AIDS.

Christy Rosario, Vermont

0308_GlobalCitizen19_MaryKang-edit.jpg(R) Christy Rosario, photographed with her friends at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 28, 2019 in New York City.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

Why is it vital for the world’s biggest artists to be vocal on issues like eradicating extreme poverty? 

They have an influence over pop culture, but they also have a platform to make a change.

What kinds of actions did you take to attend the festival? 

I’ve mostly been signing petitions and leaving emails on climate change and issues on women’s rights. They're definitely the topics that are most important to me. It’s great to be here, plus, I’m really interested to see NCT 127.