Earth Day 2015: Global Citizens Unite

By Bianca Alexander

Thousands will gather on the national mall this weekend, and it’s not to see the cherry blossoms. It’s to protect Mother Earth.

Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day will attract over 250,000 conscious citizens to the National Mall for a free rally and star-studded concert aimed to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22nd) and put an end to climate change. Produced by the Global Poverty Project and Earth Day Network, along with support from the World Bank’s Connect4Climate initiative, the event takes a different approach from many traditional Earth Day events by uniting the issues of climate change and global poverty, and by engaging citizens and business and world leaders to act now to address both.

Timed to coincide with the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, Global Citizen Earth Day will bring together global policymakers, finance ministers, environment and development NGOs, industry executives and high-profile artists. The event is part of a widespread effort to mobilize global citizens in both the climate and environmental movement, and the poverty and development movement to drive bold commitments from governments, businesses, and individuals.

The Global Poverty Project has a goal of empowering everyday citizens and world leaders to take action to end extreme poverty by the year 2030. According to CEO Huge Evans, the organization decided to partner with Earth Day because: “We’re interested in building a sustainable movement,” Evans says. “And that’s all focused on long-term engagement of people who want to create change but often don’t know how they can best direct their actions.”

The main event is the free concert, which is scheduled to feature sets from stars like Mary J. Blige, Usher and No Doubt. Will.i.am and Soledad O’Brien will serve as hosts for the program, which runs rain or shine. Speakers throughout the day include Don Cheadle, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

In addition to ending poverty and climate change, Evans has many goals for Saturday’s Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day rally, one of which is simple: “We want the sun to shine,” he says.

For more details on the event, click here. To participate virtually, watch a live stream of the event on You Tube, or join the conversation to share your plans for addressing climate change on social media at #globalcitizenearthday and #takeon.

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