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Global Citizen Launch

This year marks the 3rd annual Global Citizen Festival, which was launched at Milk Studios last night. Guests and advocates of the organization – which aims to end extreme poverty by 2030 – included Global Citizen ambassadors Gayle King, Katie Holmes, Bridget Moynahan and hip hop magnate Russell Simmons.

Hugh Evans, the co-founder of Global Citizen, opened the festival and outlined the successes the organization has already had, including 18,000 new members in the 24 hours before the launch. Evans invited everyone to Mandela Day on July 18 in Times Square. Hugh Jackman videoed in from Australia, Hannah Bronfman DJ’d and hip hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari played.

Cocktails using African Starr rum were specially created by some of New York’s top bartenders, including the Ubunto Cooler by Decoy/Red Farm, which featured peach green tea and coconut water. Lemon crab tart and caprese and cherry tomato canapés were provided by LDV Hospitality’s Lugo Caffe.

The three aims of Global Citizen are to put every girl in school, to increase childhood survival by focusing on vaccines and immunization and to improve water and sanitation. A new campaign, Reveal Your Selfie, was introduced, guests were photographed holding records with facts about global poverty printed on them.

This year’s concert boasts and all-star line-up including Jay Z, No Doubt and The Roots amongst others, and will be held in Central Park on September 27. Those interested can follow the hashtag #GlobalCitizenFestival or @GlblCtzn.

The idea is that anyone can be involved in the movement and no action is considered too small. Simmons, who is preparing for the Rush Foundation Art for Life Gala in two weeks, was glad he could attend. He told us: “You’re lucky as a celebrity you can make some difference just by showing up in support.”

Ruby Brunton is a New York-based writer and poet. You can find her on twitter here: @RubyBrunton

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