During last night’s 2015 Global Citizen Festival, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced a new campaign focused on girls’ education, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafazi gave a rousing speech, and Beyoncé dueted with Ed Sheeran and Eddie Vedder.
The event, held in Central Park and streamed on YouTube and MSNBC, was dedicated to raising awareness of the effects of poverty and inequality on a global scale. It was the perfect event for FLOTUS to introduce her new campaign, 62 Million Girls.
“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 audience. The new campaign focuses on giving girls the economic and social opportunities to stay in school and encourages “community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.” FLOTUS asked everyone to tweet photos of themselves with the hashtag #62million and share the benefits of their education.
Continuing the theme of girls’ education, Malala Yousafzai, the 18-year-old Pakistani activist, gave a truly wonderful speech about the interrelationship between poverty and education. “It’s not that there is a 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,” Yousafzai said. “It is a book and a pen that can change the life of a child, it’s not a gun.”
Beyoncé capped off the evening by performing two duets. In two unlikely pairings, she performed Drunk in Love Ed Sheeran (still awaiting Judge Kara Brown’s opinion on this) and covered Bob Marley’s Redemption Song with Eddie Vedder. The Marley cover is really quite sweet.