Global Citizen is one of the greatest methods and platforms I’ve ever seen for getting young people more civically engaged. Through activism and participation in civic action, Global Citizens can earn “points” toward a giant free music festival that attracts some of the biggest names on the planet. Past performers have included Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, Rihanna, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, and a host of other monumental acts. And actions that participants can take are simple and rewarding: Calling your Congress members, signing petitions, or even something as easy as sending a tweet.
But this year’s Global Citizen Festival comes at a unique time in global history: Most citizens around the world no longer view America as the “leader of the free world” due to our childish and irresponsible president. Not only that, but in America itself, we are facing an unprecedented domestic uprising and resurgence of white supremacy, hatred, and ignorance brought on by the election of Donald Trump.
This year, the Festival featured Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Killers, The Lumineers, and The Chainsmokers, with special performances by Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, Andra Day, and Alessia Cara.
And it was that first headliner that made the biggest headlines tonight. American treasure Stevie Wonder, whose songs have changed lives for more than 50 years, appeared on stage with his son, Kwame Morris. What he did when he took the mic was nothing short of miraculous:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 24, 2017
Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America. But not just one knee. I’m taking both knees — both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe… I wanted to say that prayer before I serve you my musical meal.”
Stevie’s son Kwame helped him to first one knee, then the other and knelt there with him as he prayed for the soul of the globe. Not a religious supplication, but a prayer that anyone could join: That things would turn out okay for us all.
Thank you, Stevie. And thanks for the timeless reminders of what makes the world go around:
Featured image via screenshot