Celebrities, whether they earn their status through talent, wealth or other characteristics, have many opportunities to use their power for the greater good. The following five celebrities frequently impress with both their commitment to and passion for serving the world’s poor in the fight against poverty.
- Bono: No list of superstar advocates, activists and charity workers is complete without his name. The U2 frontman has worked diligently for years to reduce global poverty as well as educate the public on the subject. In a 2013 TedTalk, Bono identified himself as an “evidence-based activist” or “factivist.” His advocacy work is well known and has earned him three Nobel Peace Prize nominations as well as a spot on Forbes’ Most Generous list. In addition, his wide-reaching impact has helped in the creation of charity endeavors such as the ONE Campaign and the RED Global Fund Campaign.
- Brad Pitt: He is a big name in both Hollywood as well as the world of celebrity advocates. Pitt joined Bono in 2004 when he teamed up with the ONE Campaign. He acted as a spokesperson, pushing for an additional one percent of the U.S. budget to go toward poverty alleviation in Africa. In a 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Pitt spoke with passion about the poverty and disease he saw while traveling: “I feel it is our responsibility to make those [life-saving medicines] available.”
- Angelina Jolie: Known primarily for her outstanding performances in films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Tourist, her generosity may outweigh even her acting talent. Jolie has donated millions of dollars, through the Jolie-Pitt foundation, to organizations such as Doctors Without Borders that help the world’s poorest people. She was recognized and named as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and was the recipient of the U.N. Citizen of the World award in 2003. Together, she and Pitt have been incredibly influential voices in the fight against global poverty.
- Annie Lennox: This talented singer-songwriter has long been using her talents to contribute to her causes. She released her single, Sing, in 2007, raising funds for the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). She has been appointed a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for her incredible commitment to the cause and is a firm supporter of numerous charities including the TAC and Mothers2Mothers.
- George Clooney: He is well known among celebrity advocates for famously founding Not On Our Watch, an organization that deals with human rights violations in the global community. In addition, the star is a supporter of the ONE Campaign and has done much work in the area of poverty alleviation and advocacy.
While celebrity news often seems irrelevant to serious matters such as the fight against poverty, many celebrities use their position as a public figure to raise awareness and funds for vulnerable populations.
These five celebrities have set an example for the ways in which other influential members of society can use their talents, fame or funds to contribute to their global community.
– Jordan Little