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The Clinton Global Initiative will mark its 10th anniversary with a star-studded Manhattan gala and internationalized awards ceremony Sept. 21 honoring, among others, Leonardo DiCaprio for his environmental activism and the president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, for peacemaking.
While the initiative’s annual meetings always have attracted an A-list of the world’s activists, along with movers and shakers from commerce and government, this year’s celebratory anniversary includes an expanded entertainment component. Seth Meyers will host the gathering’s kickoff event, the eighth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, featuring performances by Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz and Raining Jane and The Roots. The awards themselves will be presented by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria and Randy Jackson, the event’s music producer.
“Collaboration and turning ideas into action are core to the ethos of the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation, where partnerships in global health, education and fighting climate change are improving the lives of millions of people around the world,” Chelsea Clinton tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Hollywood likewise relies on collaboration to bring creative visions to life and has been an excellent partner to the Foundation across a number of our efforts. My family is grateful that some of the most talented, caring and engaged artists in entertainment will help us shine a light on this year’s Clinton Global Citizen Award honorees and their extraordinary commitments and work to strengthen communities around the world.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who will attend along with former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, launched the awards to honor outstanding individuals in civil society (including the entertainment industry, philanthropy, public service and the private sector), who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership and impact in addressing global challenges.
Apart from DiCaprio, who recently donated $7 million to protect the world’s oceans, and Jahjaga, who not only promoted reconciliation with Serbia but also EU membership for her nation, this year’s honorees include Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, for their work on behalf of farm workers throughout the United States, and Hayat Sindi, for her efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East.
Jackson, who is in his second year as the event’s music producer, said it’s important that the performances at the awards ceremony reflect “collaborative effort, so that speaks to the core of what the Clinton Global Initiative is all about.”
“There will be all types of music from all walks of life,” he said. “The impact of the Clintons’ work around the world is just astounding. I’ve met Bill and Hillary over the years. What they’ve done is just amazing to me. It’s about trying to change the world, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Just as the annual Davos meeting in Switzerland has become the premier international form for those hoping to profit from the globalized economy, the Clinton Initiative has become the year’s top international forum for those interested in social and environmental change. This year’s gathering will bring more than 1,000 global leaders from business, government and civil society to create and implement “commitments” — programs designed to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.
Along with the Clintons, this year’s attendees will include President Barack Obama; Jordanian King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein; Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Company; Matt Damon, co-founder or Water.org; Melinda French Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Jim Yong Kim, president of World Bank Group; Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group; former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., chairman of the Paulson Institute; Ginni Rometty, chairman, president & CEO of IBM; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; and Muhammad Yunus, chairman of Yunus Social Business — Global Initiatives.
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