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Joelle’s Top Five: Celebrity Activists

Posted on May 29, 2009 by

oprah5. George Clooney

This actor, was dubbed the sexiest man alive, is slowly shedding that reputation in place for one as one of Hollywood´s leading activists. Clooney is known for his passionate beliefs about ending the violence in Darfur and has said he will build support for the work the UN carry out,”critically important work in some of the most difficult, dangerous and dire places in the world”.

4. Sir Bob Gedolf

Best known for organising the 2005 Live 8 and 1985 Live Aids benefit concerts, this scruffy singer/journalist is tremendously well-informed on a broad range of global and national issues. Currently, he is heavily involved in the Make Poverty History Campaign, a campaign against third world poverty.  Bob was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 2005 European Hero’s and made the front cover of their European Edition in 2005. With such an impressive portfolio, it´s a wonder this philanthropist has any time for making music.

3. Angelina Jolie

If Princess Diana created the template for a new breed of celebrity activism, it’s actress Angelina Jolie who is the current exemplar of the model. Like Diana, Jolie is a beautiful, privileged, formerly silly and wild girl with a messy romantic history who remade herself into a doting mom and world-class do-gooder. Also like Diana, she has devoted herself to her causes with a new convert’s rigour. As a goodwill ambassador for the UN high commissioner for refugees, she has put her safety and health at risk to visit some of the planet’s most troubled and forgotten places, donating millions of her own dollars and spending her spare time boning up on international law.

2. Oprah Winfrey

Would this list be worth its salt if Oprah Winfrey wasn´t present? Founded in 1998, Oprah´s Angel Network, makes “grants to organizations… in underserved communities that provide educational initiatives” and “assist people in fulfilling basic human needs and regaining dignity.”  OAN has raised over $50 million which is all given out, since Oprah pays for all administrative costs. Oprah personally donated $10 million to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina. Inspired by her 2004 South Africa trip when she distributed Christmas gifts to 50,000 children, and encouraged by Nelson Mandela, Oprah established a Leadership Academy for Girls “to nurture, educate and turn gifted South African girls from impoverished backgrounds into the country’s future leaders.” The academy’s doors opened in January 2007 with 152 students. You go girl!

1. Bono

 Bono has been instrumental in raising awareness of global poverty and the AIDS epidemic with his ONE campaign, which has gotten stars such as George Clooney (there he is again!), Matt Damon and Brad Pitt on board. His charity work earned him a spot as one of Time‘s 2005 people of the year. According to World Vision Canada, an accurate description of Bono would be ¨a tireless crusader for issues affecting Africa. He is the type who prefers taking an activist role by making his views known to politicians, policymakers, and others who are in positions of influence.¨ This outspoken rock star has made a massive impact with his activist work, and demonstrated that helping others is the best way to celebrate your success.

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2 Responses to “Joelle’s Top Five: Celebrity Activists”

  1. blackhearts08 says:

    all these men are quite inspirational!! keep up the good work!!

  2. Activism and celebrities really doesn't go long that well, but these five definitely stands out. And how about Hayden Panetierre? She is one hardcore animal activist chick…

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