THE WORLD’S MOST INSPIRING LEADERS ‘THE CALL TO UNITE’

Exclusive feature : by JON TREVOR,  JAY JAY EPEGA and FYKAA CAAN 

Hollywood London

Thank you to our friends at Sunshine Sachs

FORMER U.S. PRESIDENTS BILL CLINTON, GEORGE W. BUSH, AND JIMMY CARTER

 JOIN 200+ OF THE WORLD’S MOST INSPIRING LEADERS FOR ‘THE CALL TO UNITE’

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24-HOUR GLOBAL STREAM-A-THON

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 8PM EDT – SATURDAY, MAY 2, 8PM EDT

ONE DAY TO BE TOGETHER AS ONE

IN A TIME OF GLOBAL CRISIS, PARTICIPANTS WORLDWIDE ARE INVITED TO

#ANSWERTHECALL FOR OTHERS DURING THE 24 HOURS: GIVING DIRECTLY TO 

FAMILIES IN NEED, SIGNING UP TO VOLUNTEER, OR SHARING A STORY OF HOPE

PLANET EARTH (May 1, 2020) – Today, Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, will join previously announced participants Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Deepak Chopra, Rick Warren, Yo-Yo Ma, T.D. Jakes, and over 200 cultural, spiritual, civic, youth, and community leaders for The Call to Unite – a 24-hour celebration of humanity and a call to service for people everywhere.

The Call To Unite is convened by long-time Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver and will stream on www.unite.us and multiple platforms from Friday, May 1 at 8PM EDT to Saturday, May 2 at 8PM EDT.

“We are grateful and inspired by the outpouring of uniting energy – every few minutes, we are getting a new call from someone asking to join us to celebrate ways in which the world is coming together like it never has before, offer their gift, and commit to being a uniter for the rest of their lives,” Tim Shriver said. “A pandemic of disease and its impact can only be cured if we end the pandemic of division that we have tolerated now for too long. We know it. We hunger for it. We all want to unite. And we are.”

During the 24-hour event, participants will each #answerthecall to serve others in their own way – providing a story, a prayer, a poem, song, meditation or reflection, sharing a memory, or otherwise presenting a gift to the world. Dozens of world leaders and every-day people across divides – from Deepak Chopra and Rick Warren to Krista Tippett and Questlove – will serve as guides throughout, reinforcing the truth that we need each other now more than ever and encouraging people to serve.

Viewers are invited to #answerthecall by doing at least one thing to help someone else during the 24 hours through one of the following channels:

  • Giving directly through impact partner GiveDirectly;
  • Volunteering through impact partner Points of Light; or
  • Sharing a story of hope and compassion amid the pandemic

“This is the most serious challenge of our generation and our opportunity to step up. How we respond will determine the future of our planet,” said Shriver. “More than ever, we need the energy, trust, and imagination of all people. These 24 hours are simply a way to share that human light with the world in a time of darkness.”

In just a small sampling of the show’s segments:

  • Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will share wisdom and wishes and stories as communities across the world navigate this crisis; Neil Bush, son of the late Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, will also share a special message
  • Oprah Winfrey will interview T.D. JakesEckhardt Tolle, and physicist Alan Lightman as they seek to provide wisdom relevant to this moment
  • The children and grandchildren of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Walter Sisulu will join together for a discussion of “Living Legends”
  • Spiritual leaders from across traditions, from Richard Rohr to Jay Shetty, from Mona Haydar to Deepak Chopra, from Rick Warren to DeVon Franklin, from Byron Katie to Krista Tippett will offer teachings and practices
  • Front line nurses, doctors, UPS drivers, cashiers, ventilator makers, and COVID-19 survivors will acknowledge the difficulty of these times
  • The Alvin Ailey Dance Company will debut an original piece, inspired by the era of social distancing and poet David Whyte will recite
  • The whole world will be invited to an hour-long interactive dance party – called the Purpose Party – featuring D-Nice and powered by Daybreaker from 12AM-1AM EDT
  • 21-year-old New Yorker Kamey Gomez will speak with African high school students about the power of youth voice in a moment of challenge
  • Peabody award winning journalist Maria Shriver will interview Jack Kornfield
  • Global superstars from Angelique Kidjo to Yo-Yo Ma and Josh Groban to Avril Lavigne will spread love through music
  • TikTok phenomenon Charli D’Amelio will send a message to youth on her 16th birthday
  • His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will each deliver blessings, from Ghana and Turkey, respectively
  • Sir Ken Robinson will issue a call for a radical rethink of how we teach our children – and Bryan Stevenson will call for this moment to be a turning point in how we treat all people
  • Julia Roberts and Jennifer Garner will read to children all over the world
  • Leaders from GiveDirectly’s COVID Africa Relief Fund and Project 100 will share their work providing direct cash relief to families across the world
  • Questlove and DJ Jazzy Jeff will unite with live performances
  • Mandy Moore & Taylor Goldsmith and Israel Houghton & Adrienne Bailon will sing duets

Beginning on Friday, May 1 at 8 p.m. EDT, and continuing for 24 consecutive hours, until Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. EDT, The Call to Unite will be livestreamed at unite.us and on supporting partners including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Roku and SiriusXM Stars channel 109. Spotify will provide segments from the event on demand within the 24 hour-period and afterward. Media satellite connection technical details can be found here to further share and amplify The Call to Unite.

The Call to Unite is made possible by the generous production support of VIVA Creative; and supporting partners and sponsors, including the Radical Relief Fund and Jockey International, Inc.

The Call to Unite is presented by UNITE – a new non-profit collaborative led by Tim Shriver and people from all walks of life who are dedicated to creating and supporting projects that address universal challenges we can only solve together.

Join the movement and follow The Call To Unite on social media:

Click HERE to download The Call to Unite video teaser.

For additional information and resources, please visit: unite.us and unite.us/FAQ.

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ABOUT VIVA CREATIVE

VIVA Creative is a global leader in the creative development, technical direction and production of live and online events. VIVA’s work is amplified by its innovative and award-winning content creation studio where industry leading talent design, produce, and share compelling stories that create profound moments of meaning – in any medium. VIVA’s creative and technical teams work with brands, celebrities, artists, and influencers across the globe to create extraordinary experiences. Learn more at www.VIVAcreative.com.

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An Open Letter to the World from Tim Shriver, Convener of “The Call to Unite”:

Something is happening in the world. We can all sense it, feel it, see it. It’s terrifying. It’s disrupting. It’s calling on us to change. A pandemic of disease is infecting a world already experiencing a pandemic of division. And we all know that until we end the division, we can’t end the disease. We need to unite.

The message of The Call to Unite is simple: We’re all one, and therefore we all need each other. Whatever your religion, wherever you are, whatever your struggles, you are invited to this one day to be together as one. The only requirement right now? Be human.

In that spirit, we are extending an invitation to humanity to join in a 24-hour celebration of our shared humanity. To offer us all hope, regardless of where we come from, regardless of who we are. To bring yourself, your roommates, your family, your friends. To give yourself permission to grieve, to relax, to help, to serve, to grow.

This is a call to each other. You are not alone. We are in it together. And we all want to help. If you’re struggling to put food on the table, to survive, we need you there. If you’re struggling with loneliness, we need you there. If you’re celebrating a new baby, we need you there. If you’re burying the love of your life, we need you there. If you can’t wait to play in the field, we need you there. If you’re fighting to hold on to your dreams, we need you there. If you’re more full of life than ever, we need you there.

This is a call to the heart. A celebratory call. A hopeful call. A moment to lift us up. Meet the spiritual leaders who will reach your heart. The dancers who will make you want to move. The parents who will care for you. The children who will make you smile. The broken hearts who will heal yours. The hungry who will feed you. The lost who will help you feel found. The leaders who will help you feel needed – because you are.

And this is a call to serve. When we realize we are one – our interdependence – we act on it without second thought. We give directly. We serve directly. We share directly. We answer the call for others.

Something is happening in the world – in every corner of the globe – because we are awakening to what we always knew deep down. There is no “us” vs. “them.” There is only “us.” And when we act like it, we can overcome anything. Join us – join each other – at unite.us. Our time has come.

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