WILL SMITH, GLOBAL CITIZEN AND EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT CELEBRATE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ‘THE JUMP’

Will Smith, Global Citizen and Education Cannot Wait are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Will Smith’s historic jump from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. ‘The Jump’ backed a worldwide movement to mobilize resources for Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the global fund for education in emergencies.

Global Advocacy, Partnerships and Donor Engagement Have Mobilized US$560 Million to Date for the Global Fund for Education in Emergencies

LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 15, 2019 – Will and Jada Smith’s Family Foundation (WJSFF), Global Citizen (GC) and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Will Smith’s historic bungee jump over the Grand Canyon. ‘The Jump’ backed a worldwide movement to mobilize resources for Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies.

With the support of high-profile advocates like Will Smith and partnerships with leading advocacy organizations such as Global Citizen, Education Cannot Wait has surpassed over half-a-billion US dollars in resources mobilized (US$560 million) from donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations since its inception.

Will Smith is an outspoken advocate for youth and lifelong education. His continued efforts to amplify Education Cannot Wait through the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation in collaboration with Global Citizen encouraged governments and other funders to pledge an additional US$216 Million to ECW during this year’s United Nations General Assembly in September 2019.

“We were overjoyed by the outpouring of support we received from global leaders and organizations, following Will’s initial call to action with The Jump,” says Jana Babatunde-Bey, President of the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation. “Through Will’s commitment to use his artistic platform to transform and improve lives around the globe, WJSFF’s partnerships will continue to focus on providing access and opportunity to quality education for communities and children around the world.  Educating the next generation is essential to our future, and we are proud to be at the forefront of mobilizing the resources and providing the global visibility necessary to empower our youth, and to bring hope and safety to every child.”

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On September 25, ECW hosted an event that brought together global leaders who recognize the urgent need to address the education crisis faced by millions of children and youth left furthest behind. Smith (vía video) issued a call to action to world leaders to continue to act to support ECW’s mission of serving every child. Leaders from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the private sector – The LEGO Foundation and ProFuturo – announced significant contributions to Education Cannot Wait at the event, which was produced in partnership with Global Citizen.

Smith’s call to action also aired at the annual Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on September 28. The live airing of the festival, simulcast on MSNBC, MSNBC.com and NBC News NOW, was the highest rated Global Citizen Festival broadcast ever on MSNBC among total viewers. Total viewers in 2019 increased by +29% compared to 2018 and it was the third straight year in which the festival increased ratings on MSNBC. Viewing hit a record in the prime time portion (7p-1010p), +22% over the prior year. More than 6 million viewed a portion of the Festival on MSNBC, and those who did watched for an average of 42 minutes, also a record.

Speaking on stage at the Global Citizen Festival, Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif thanked Smith and Global Citizen for calling on world leaders to fund education in emergencies. “I’m so inspired and proud of all the Global Citizens who joined the fight for increased funding towards quality education for every child, everywhere. Your actions have helped raise US$216 million in the last month alone… keep the vision!” Sherif said.

The additional funding will help support ECW and its partners in reaching millions of children and youth worldwide caught in armed conflicts, forced displacements, natural disasters and protracted crises who have been deprived of the safety, hope and opportunity that a quality education can provide. Through its global advocacy and partnerships with world-renowned actors and activists like Will Smith, ECW seeks to mobilize US$1.8 billion by 2021 to reach 9 million children and youth.

Remembering ‘The Jump’

Last year, Smith chose to celebrate his 50th birthday by bungee jumping over the Grand Canyon to raise funds for education. Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation partnered with Omaze, a platform that democratizes traditional auction-giving by offering people the chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience for as little as $10. The proceeds benefited ECW’s critical work. The event was captured for Will Smith: The Jump, a YouTube Original special, produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios. The video has attracted over 19 million views to date.

Initial funds raised under Smith’s campaign came in from individuals in 166 countries. The unique partnership brought together Global Citizen, Omaze and WJSFF to help empower vulnerable children across the globe through Education Cannot Wait’s collaborative partnerships and multi-year programs.

ECW was launched in 2016. Now just entering its third year of operation, the fund has already reached 1.5 million children and youth, 50 percent of whom are girls. By 2021, Education Cannot Wait will launch multi-year resilience education programs in 25 crisis-affected countries in collaborative partnerships with donors, national governments, NGOs, civil society and other key stakeholders.

The campaign amplified Global Citizen’s existing advocacy efforts and provided global visibility to a crisis that affects millions of children and youth worldwide. Global Citizen and its celebrity ambassadors, partners and frontlines activists will continue to campaign for Education Cannot Wait over the coming year through the Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream campaign and other unique initiatives. The 2020 ‘Global Goal Live’ campaign seeks to secure an additional US$350 billion in global commitments annually to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Will Smith ‘The Jump’ Playlist

Notes to Editors

You can learn more about Smith and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation online at wjsff.org or by following us on Instagram @officialwjsff, using our hashtag #WJSFF and on Facebook at @theofficialwjsff.

About Global Citizen

Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030. Global Citizens have mobilized $48.5 billion in commitments and policy announcements from leaders that have impacted the lives of 880 million people living in extreme poverty.

For more information about how to join the movement, please visit www.globalcitizen.org and follow @GlblCtzn Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen.

For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact: Sunshine Sachs – gc@sunshinesachs.com, +1 212 691 2800

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):

ECW is the first global, multi-lateral fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure. 

Additional information is available at www.educationcannotwait.org and www.act4educationincrisis.org

Please follow us on Twitter: @EduCannotWait and #Act4Ed

For press enquiries, contact:

Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@educationcannotwait.org , +1-917-640-6820

Kent Page, kpage@unicef.org, +1-917-302-1735

For any other enquiries, contact:
info@educationcannotwait.org

About the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation:

The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) is a non-profit organization that sits at the convergence of philanthropy, media and social impact. WJSFF is an incubator and accelerator that ignites the next generation of big ideas, cutting-edge artists, thought leaders, change-makers and social innovators. Together with grantees and partners, WJSFF invests in organizations and initiatives that empower traditionally overlooked communities and affect real change. For more information, please visit www.wjsff.org

For press enquiries, contact:

Renee Felton, felton@sunshinesachs.com, 323-822-9300

WILL SMITH & GLOBAL CITIZEN PARTNERED TO RAISE FUNDS FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT CAUSE AT WORLD BANK SPRING MEETINGS

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Madge Thomas, Senior Director of Global Policy of Global Citizen, Yasmine Sherif, Director Education Cannot Wait, and Jana Babatunde-Bey, President and CEO of the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.FUNDS RAISED THROUGH SMITH’S OMAZE CAMPAIGN WHERE HE BUNGEE JUMPED OVER GRAND CANYON

11 April 2019, Washington – Today during the World Bank Spring Meetings, Jana Babatunde-Bey, President and CEO of the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and Madge Thomas, Senior Director of Global Policy, of international advocacy organization Global Citizen presented Education Cannot Wait with a check to support children whose education has been disrupted by conflict and crisis. The Fund aims to mobilize resources to deliver urgent educational support to 75 million children and young people affected by the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Will Smith, globally renowned actor and a high-profile advocate for education, is among those supporting Education Cannot Wait in its efforts to raise US $1.8 billion by 2021 to support education programmes for close to 9 million children and youth living in crisis settings. Last year, in partnership with Omaze, a platform which democratizes traditional auction-giving by offering people the chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience for as little as $10, Smith bungee jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on his fiftieth birthday to raise funds for Education Cannot Wait.

Will’s historic jump raised $746,000 from donors from 166 countries, and helped mobilize millions more through a unique partnership that brought together Global Citizen, Omaze and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation to help empower vulnerable children across the globe.

The resources mobilized through Global Citizen and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation will support Education Cannot Wait’s ongoing actions to provide education to children living through some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. This includes relief efforts to ensure children affected by Cyclone Itai – which destroyed parts of Mozambique and Southern Africa in late March – do not suffer from interruptions in their schooling. In addition, the relief efforts will include ongoing efforts to provide urgent access to education services to the hundreds of thousands of children fleeing the crisis in Venezuela and seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

Over the next three years, Education Cannot Wait will launch multi-year educational response programmes in 25 crisis countries that are struggling with long-lasting complex crisis to help reduce needs and build resilience. These priority countries include Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

Global Citizen recently led a field mission to Peru, which has taken in over 650,000 Venezuelan refugees – the second highest intake in the region, and met with Peruvian families who benefited from a previous Education Cannot Wait grant, as well as families arriving from Venezuela in search of hope, normalcy and a better future and regular schooling for their children.

“We need more people like Will Smith to take up the cause of education in crisis and fill the US$8.5 billion funding gap. He is truly driven by a sense of humanity. Providing education for the 75 million children and youth that lack access to reliable education worldwide is the way to go to serve our shared humanity. For boys and girls subjected to utmost inhumanity, such as sexual violence, kidnapping, forced recruitment to become child soldiers, and children living with the scars of violence and conflict, education is the only hope they have left,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait. “Education is one of the best investments we can make to empower the next generation to raise out of poverty and protect themselves from exploitation and extremism. Investing in them today means investing in peace, justice and prosperity tomorrow.”

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Notes to editors

Will Smith has long been a champion for education. Will Smith: The Jump, a YouTube Original special, produced by Smith’s Westbrook Studios, provided global visibility to a crisis that affects millions of children worldwide, and profiled global efforts to provide universal, equitable and accessible education for all by 2030 as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park,, Yasmine Sherif, Education Cannot Wait Director, underscored that global advocacy efforts – and the visibility created through the Global Citizen partnership and millions of fans who tuned in to see Smith’s “The Jump” and called on their governments to support the organisation.

Their calls encouraged $70 million in new commitments to Education Cannot Wait during the 2018 UN General Assembly from several donors, including Norway, the Netherlands and Dubai Cares. The Government of Denmark announced its new funding to Education Cannot Wait at the Global Citizen Festival, with a new US$46 million contribution – making Denmark the single largest government donor to Education Cannot Wait’s history. Minister for International Development for Denmark, Ulla Tørnæs, saluted both Will Smith’s bravery and deceased former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s belief in the power of education when committing the new funding.

“Thank you Will Smith! I admire your bravery and share your passion for this cause…Kofi Annan was right. Education is the foundation on which free, liberal, democratic societies are built….We need to act. And Denmark does act. Next year Denmark will… reserve US$46 million for our good friends at Education Cannot Wait,” Tornaes said.

At the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 in South Africa, additional funds were pledged by the leaders of Germany and Canada taking the total raised in 2018 to $124M.  Minister of Education for South Sudan, Deng Deng Hoc Yai said: “Someone who understands the importance of education is Will Smith, a true champion for children’s rights, who bravely bungee-jumped over the Grand Canyon in September raising over US$750,000 for the Education Cannot Wait initiative, to help countries like mine provide education in emergencies. I appreciate Will Smith for his support! Absolutely, education cannot wait.”

About Global Citizen

Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for young people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million people by 2030.

With less than 2% of all humanitarian aid allocated to education, Global Citizen will continue to support Education Cannot Wait and other education finance initiatives to raise millions of dollars in funds from governments, businesses and individuals to fill the gap and leave no child behind.

For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact: Mr Andrew Kirk andrew.kirk@globalcitizen.org  +1 347 712 1877

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is a global fund launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to deliver education in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes.

 

ECW’s Secretariat is hosted by UNICEF in its Headquarters in New York.

Additional information is available at www.educationcannotwait.org

For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact:

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers,

adesgroseilliers@unicef.org, +1 917 640-6820

About the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation:

The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) is a non-profit organization that sits at the convergence of philanthropy, media and social impact. WJSFF is an incubator and accelerator that ignites the next generation of big ideas, cutting-edge artists, thought leaders, change-makers and social innovators. Together with grantees and partners, WJSFF invests in organizations and initiatives that empower traditionally overlooked communities and affect real change. For more information, please visit www.wjsff.org

About Omaze:

Omaze is an online fundraising platform that makes giving fun and easy by offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences in support of critical causes. Our campaigns connect influencers, nonprofits and donors to create lasting impact, and have raised funds and awareness for over 350 charities with donations from over 180 countries. For more information, please visit www.omaze.com

 

 

NEXT STEPS FROM WILL SMITH GRAND CANYON HELICOPTER JUMP FOR EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT TO BE ANNOUNCED AT SATURDAY’S GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK’S CENTRAL PARK

1MEDIA ADVISORY

ECW DIRECTOR TAKES STAGE AT GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL TO HIGHLIGHT GROWING MOVEMENT TO PROVIDE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN CRISIS

Time: 29 September 2018, 5:40PM

Place: Central Park Great Lawn

Registration: The Global Citizen Festival is a free ticketed event. For interview requests to discuss the “Will Smith: The Jump” campaign and Education Cannot Wait, contact Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@unicef.org, +1 917 640-6820

Organizers: Education Cannot Wait and Global Citizen

Speakers: Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait (5:40PM anticipated speaking slot).

About Global Citizen Festival: The Global Citizen Festival will be hosted by Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman. Expected artists: Janet Jackson, The Weekend, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe.

Details
Will Smith, Hollywood’s favorite leading man and a high-profile advocate for child’s rights, bungee jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon this week, raising funds for Education Cannot Wait, a global fund that aims to generate additional resources to close the annual US$8.5 billion gap to meet the needs of the 75 million children and young people whose education is disrupted by conflict and crisis.

Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif will be at Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park to share the next steps from the “Will Smith: The Jump” campaign as part of new significant contributions to the global fund.

The donations from the campaign will be allocated to Education Cannot Wait through Global Citizen, who partnered with the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation on this initiative.

“I’ve had a whole lifetime of feeling squashed, and squelched and controlled by fear. Fear kills your ability to see beauty.” – Will Smith: The Jump

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Notes to Editors:

Details on ECW’s Resource Mobilization Challenge are available at: www.educationcannotwait.org/challenge

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

ECW is a global fund launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to deliver education in conflict and  crisis settings. The Fund aims to generate additional resources to close the annual $8.5 billion gap to meet the needs of 75 million children and young people whose education is disrupted by crisis. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes.

ECW’s Secretariat is hosted by UNICEF in its Headquarters in New York.

Additional information is available at www.educationcannotwait.org

For press enquiries and to schedule an interview, contact:

Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers,

adesgroseilliers@unicef.org, +1 917 640-6820

 

Will Smith is bungee-jumping for the cause of Education Cannot Wait!

WillSmithBungeeJump

World renowned American actor Will Smith will be bungee-jumping on his 50th birthday to raise funds for the education of girls, boys and youth who live in conflicts and crises!

Will Smith is inviting his fans to donate funds to support his jump from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon for his anniversary on 25 September. Returns of the campaign will be allocated to the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund through Global Citizen who is partnering with the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation on this initiative.

 

Will Smith believes “every child should have access to the transformative power of an education, which provides the chance to thrive, live and succeed”. His dedication to empowering disadvantaged children and youth spans over two decades through the foundation he and his wife set up.  ECW is excited and extremely grateful for this opportunity to help extend Will Smith’s long-lasting commitment to education to the children and youth caught in some of the world’s worst crises.

“Will Smith’s bungee-jumping to campaign for our most critical contemporary cause: education in conflict and crisis countries, is a sheer demonstration of courage which should be an inspiration to all” says ECW Director, Yasmine Sherif.  “We need courage and bold action to set the course straight and close the education gap that leaves behind 75 million children and youth whose education is disrupted by crisis.”

ECW extends it gratitude to Global Citizen who has been a strong advocate for the Fund since its inception and has helped facilitate this fantastic opportunity!

To learn more about the Will Smith bungee-jumping campaign and participate, visit: https://www.omaze.com/experiences/will-smith-birthday-bungee

More information on Global Citizen’s advocacy for education is available at: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/issue/education/

Will Smith – The Power of 100


 

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