US President Barack Obama, Beyonce team up at festival to fight poverty and inequality

September 27, 2015 6:53 am

 Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and performing at the Global Citizen Festival. Photo / AP

First lady Michelle Obama introduced a new campaign focusing on
education for girls, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai earned
loud applause for her striking speech and Beyonce was energetic during
her live performance at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival.
The
multihour event held on the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park also
featured Vice President Joe Biden, Hugh Jackman, Bono, Leonardo DiCaprio
and Pearl Jam, who closed the event with a rocking performance.

First lady Michelle Obama at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. Photo / AP
First lady Michelle Obama at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. Photo / AP
Obama first appeared in a video promoting the 62 Million
Girls campaign, but she later walked onstage after Beyonce introduced
her following her performance.
“Let’s give it up for the amazing
Beyonce,” Obama said. “I am thrilled to be here tonight … and honored
to follow a woman who I admire and adore.”

Obama said she has traveled the world and met with young women
who have not had a chance to receive an education. She asked the
audience to tweet photos of themselves with the hashtag #62MillionGirls
and say what you learned in school. Obama said she learned how to “speak
up” in school.
“Right now 62 million girls are not in school …
they deserve the same chances to get an education as my daughters and
your daughters,” she told the feverish audience, who cheered her on.
President
Barack Obama also appeared in a video at the event, in its fourth year
and aimed at ending poverty around the world. The festival is timed to
coincide with the U.N. General Assembly meeting, and fans earned free
tickets by taking actions to end poverty on globalcitizen.org.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, center, speaks at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. Photo / AP
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, center, speaks at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. Photo / AP
Yousafzai, the 18-year-old Pakistani activist, was
passionate as she spoke about fighting for the right for all children to
receive an education.
“I want education to be the top priority
because how can we end poverty … when we deny the right to education,”
she said. “It’s not that there is lack of money in this world … we
have billions and trillions of dollars, but where the money goes is
military, it’s things that are useless and that are not useful to
society.”
“It is a book and a pen that can change the life of a
child ” it’s not a gun,” Yousafzai added. “It was a gun that hit me on
the left side of my forehead, it was a gun that hit my two friends, but
it wasn’t a pen. But it was a pen (that) really helped go forward in
our lives.”
The event, which aired on MSNBC, was hosted by
Stephen Colbert, Kerry Washington, Salma Hayek Pinault, Olivia Wilde and
other top celebrities. Usher, Jason Sudeikis, Laverne Cox, Katie
Holmes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Bill and Melinda Gates also
attended the event, along with multiple world leaders, including U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

US Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill at the event. Photo / AP
US Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill at the event. Photo / AP
Backstage was just as star-studded: Everyone from Daniel Craig to Jay Z ” holding daughter Blue Ivy ” was there.
The
event featured a number of unique musical collaborations: Beyonce
joined Eddie Vedder onstage; Sting performed with rapper Common; and
Ariana Grande sang with Coldplay.
Sheeran even joined Beyonce for
a guitar-based version of her thumping R&B hit “Drunk In Love,”
which earned roaring applause.
Beyonce, who changed three times during her set, performed hits from “Crazy In Love” to “Halo” to “Single Ladies.”
“I want y’all to feel the connection right now … I want y’all to get lost and dance like children,” she told the crowd.
– AP

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