There are currently 263 million children who do not have access to education worldwide. Next month, the Group of Twenty also known as G20 will gather to discuss global policy issues. This is a group of 20 major heads of state (one EU representative) which was founded to maintain global financial stability. This year the city of Hamburg, Germany is hosting the meeting July 7-8 and there have already been protests as well of plans for protests in Germany, mostly from anti-capitalist groups. It is unclear what will be the main focus of the agenda this year, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly pushing the focus toward globalization and international cooperation on trade, something that is sure to be at odds with President Donald Trump’s isolationist rhetoric.
“We’ll do all we can to get as broad an agreement on [open markets and free…trade] as possible in Hamburg,” Merkel has said. “Given the new American administration that’s not easy but nonetheless we need to make the effort.”
International groups are pushing their own agendas, as well, hoping to garner enough attention to get mentioned at the major meeting of the minds. The Human Rights Campaign, for example, is pushing for a focus on human rights in both infrastructure and supply chains.
One group achieving some viral attention, however, is the Global Partnership for Education, thanks to their ambassador who you may have heard of, Rihanna.
Rihanna invaded trends across social media Saturday by taking her ambassador duties to Twitter and tweeting directly at the heads of state who are members of G20 to #FundEducation. She tweeted at Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. To Trudeau she wrote (starting with a Canadian flag; she included national flato other countries as well): “@JustinTrudeau I know you had our backs during the #GlobalCitizen Festival, will you recommit Canada to #FundEducation?”
The Global Citizens Festival is a charity music festival initiated in 2012 with the aim of ending extreme poverty and involves charitable activism online with the reward of festival tickets, where big names are sure to perform. This year’s festival will be held the night before the G20 summit and will likely be livestreamed to reach a broader audience worldwide.
Rihanna’s messages were personalized to each leader she messaged, including a “bonjour” to France’s new president Emmanuel Macron.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) June 23, 2017
Her fans as well as fans of education and general awesomeness were living for the tweets, especially when she started getting responses like the one from Mauricio Macri: “Hola @Rihanna! Education is in the central core of our political aims. Only education can change the world. @EstebanBullrich,” with the Argentinian flag at the end. Esteban Bullrich is Argentinas Education Minister.
Rihanna’s activism recalls some other Twitter activism by another hip-hop artist, Nicki Minaj. Last month, Minaj pledged to pay the student loans of several fans so that they could complete various degrees. It all started when Minaj tweeted that if her fans could prove they were straight A students she would be willing to help them out with their tuition. She followed through and is now working on a charity of her own to help out even more students with their financial burdens.
Find out more about Global Citizen and Rihanna’s efforts to bring education to all children worldwide at this link.