Ava DuVernay, Dakota Johnson, Amber Heard Added to Global Citizen Festival Host Lineup

Ava DuVernay_dakota_johnson_and_amber_heard_split - Getty - H 2018
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The festival — with Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monae set to perform — will take place in New York on Sept. 29.

Ava DuVernay, Dakota Johnson and Amber Heard are among the stars set to join the host committee for this year’s Global Citizen Festival taking place in New York on Sept. 29. 

The festival — curated by Coldplay's Chris Martin — will feature Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monae as the headliners set to perform. John Legend will appear as a special guest performer.

Camren Bicondova, Cynthia Erivo, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Gus Kenworthy, Kal Penn, La La Anthony, Naomi Campbell and Rachel Brosnahan will also join DuVernay, Johnson and Heard as co-hosts.

Daymond John (founder of The Shark Group) and Isha Sesay (founder of W.E. Can Lead) will also co-host. 

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness are confirmed to emcee the event, dedicated to ending extreme poverty. 

The annual festival — which was founded and created in 2012 — aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and push world leaders to fulfill their obligation for sustainable development. Though a spectacle, the event does not require attendees to buy tickets, but encourages them and the public to "take action" in tackling important issues instead. 

In lieu of the event, Global Citizen also works with performers and hosts on tackling issues personally meaningful to them. Heard will be advocating for environmental issues whereas Johnson will be on hand to support Global Citizen's Gender Equality campaigning. 

"When artists, together with their fans, all reach out to a world leader at once, it’s tremendously powerful," Global Citizen CEO and founder Hugh Evans told The Hollywood Reporter. "When you get this special moment — an artist together with their fans either tweeting or making a phone call or writing emails or signing a petition all in unison — the wave of global impact means that the private sector and business leaders have to respond.” 

Global Citizen will also ensure that the overall festival proves to be a sustainable event. The festival will feature recycling and compost centers throughout the festival location, selling reusable straws and offering incentives for attendees who collect a certain number of bottles onsite in return for free merchandise.

Global Citizen will partner with Grow NYC to create an eco-staff team to work at the Festival, which will encourage attendees to minimize waste. The Festival will also work with Sure We Can, a local nonprofit of homeless friendly canners. At the end of the night, Sure We Can's staff collect the bottles — and the revenue goes back to the center and programs for the homeless. Global Citizen will also partner with Vita Coco to offset the festival's entire carbon footprint.

Though the festival will take place in September, the celebratory efforts will continue for Global Citizen. The organization is slated to expand to a Johannesburg event Dec. 2 as a continuation of Global Citizen’s "Mandela 100" campaign, which honors the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela in his centenary year. Among this year's headliners are Beyonce and Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Pharrell Williams, Usher and Martin.