Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Goalkeepers 2023

September 2023. New York City, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Co-founded in 2017 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Project Everyone, the Goalkeepers event takes place during the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City and brings together Heads of State and international Sustainable Development Goals “Goalkeepers” (those spearheading various missions in their local communities) alike. Among other themes, this year’s Goalkeepers focused on the challenge of fighting global inequality.

Kicking off the two-day event, the 2023 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards were presented at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 19, 2023. The Awards program commenced with a performance by the renowned Tamil dancer and choreographer, Usha Jey. Swedish singer Zara Larsson, and Tiwa Savage, accompanied by the Harlem Gospel Choir, performed throughout the ceremony.

Award winners included Human Rights Activist Eden Tadesse, maternal and newborn child health advocate Ashu Martha Agbornyenty, and Farmlink Project, recognized for their impactful efforts in combating food insufficiency and hunger.

Host Elaine Welteroth guided the program as global changemakers were honored for their work. Award presenters included Melinda French Gates, Zimbabwean-American actress Danai Gurira, model and activist, Sabrina Elba, and Olympic swimmer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Yusra Mardini.

After the Goalkeepers Awards program guests entered the Atrium space featuring the signature custom build of the Goalkeeper wheel and a ceiling gallery installation overlooking Central Park to enjoy a networking reception with cocktails and custom food bars. Guests interacted with a ribbon photo backdrop and bespoke GK lettering as a backdrop to their festive photos, while enjoying the vibe set by Hot 8 Brass Band and DJ Belinda Becker.

The next morning, over 500 guests were welcomed back to the main Goalkeepers event, hosted by Canadian media personality, Lilly Singh, with an uplifting opening performance by Jon Batiste and Hot 8 Brass Band.

After the opening, programming began with keynote remarks by Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates presenting The 2023 Global Goalkeeper Award to Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, followed by a seated conversation with Andrea Mitchell, President Ruto, Melinda French Gates, Prime Minister De Croo and Bill Gates.

Throughout the day other speakers delivered impactful messages, including a conversation between Phoebe Gates, Karlie Kloss, and Kathryn Finney.

Session moderators included Journalist Andrea Mitchell, Anchor and Political Correspondent, Abby Phillip, Newborn and Child Health expert Dr. Rasa Izadnegahdar , and Pulitzer Prize winner and Journalist, Nicholas Kristof.

This year, there were performances by various artistic groups, including the Femme Fatale, and Grammy award-winning artist Cynthia Erivo.

Between and after content sessions and as breakfast, coffee breaks, and lunch were enjoyed, guests were invited to experience activations in the Atrium including the “Goalkeeper’s Library” where the titles from the Goalkeepers community were available for the guests to take. After lunch, the guests networked and socialized along to the music of DJ Belinda Becker.

Empire was proud to again work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Project Everyone, and many other partners to present Goalkeepers 2023.

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