Celebrities Who Make the World a Better Place
Not all celebrities spend their time partying, vacationing or hiding from paparazzi after work. Some devote time and significant resources to fight for what they believe in and make progress on serious issues.
Rapper Akon provided 15 countries in Africa with electricity, while Jon Stewart protected a life-saving fund for 9/11 first responders. Learn about these and other celebrities who make the world a better place.
Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie is known for her impressive roles in Girl, Interrupted and Changeling. She stays busy not only as an actor, but also as a mother of six and a true humanitarian. Her activist efforts have earned her various awards.
Most people recognize Akon for his platinum hit songs, but his dedication to philanthropy deserves to be known too. Growing up, Akon lived in a town without electricity in Senegal. This inspired him to make a difference in Africa.
George Clooney is more than just a talented actor, producer and film director. He's a man with a heart of gold. It's clear to see how charitable he is. Clooney is a famous founder of Not On Our Watch, a group dedicated to ending mass atrocities around the world.
Oprah Winfrey has famously used her star power to support a long list of charities and foundations. After the Hurricane Katrina disaster, she personally donated $10 million for relief efforts and helped raise $11 million for the cause. She also persistently advocated for a national database of child abusers under the National Child Protection Act, also known as the Oprah bill.
Leonardo DiCaprio stole hearts across America as Jack Dawson in Titanic. Aside from his incredible movie roles, DiCaprio is admired for his environmental work. He's recognized as one of the biggest advocates in the climate change movement.
You've probably heard one of Queen Bey's songs on the radio or seen one of her iconic performances. However, the gifted artist also uses her platform to educate people about feminism and inspire others to get involved in relief efforts.
In the Harry Potter films, Emma Watson portrayed the smart and courageous Hermione Granger. In real life, the star has the same strong characteristics and values. It's easy to see that Watson has diligently fought for women around the world. She's never afraid to speak about women's rights.
Matt Damon's busy schedule is packed with acting, producing and screenwriting. However, this bankable Hollywood star also finds the time to put in humanitarian work. He campaigns for basic human rights, especially the right to safe drinking water.
In the 1990s, Victoria Beckham was part of one of the most popular girl groups in the world, the Spice Girls. Now, she's slaying the fashion industry. Beckham is also working hard at resolving world problems, such as AIDS. When she was appointed as a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, she traveled to several countries to develop ways to defeat AIDS.
Shakira is more than just an award-winning singer; she's also an impressive philanthropist and human rights activist. She fearlessly speaks up against injustices. For instance, she publicly criticized the government of Colombia for education budget cuts in 2018.
As one of the most influential pop stars in the world, Christina Aguilera often mixes music with philanthropy. The singer, songwriter, actress and television personality dedicates much of her life to important causes. After a natural disaster, Aguilera can be found helping with relief efforts.
Mark Ruffalo plays a superhero in The Avengers movies, but he’s also a true hero in real life. The actor is a passionate environmental activist. In fact, New York magazine called him anti-fracking's first famous face.
One major advocate for animal rights is Natalie Portman. The actor was a long-time vegetarian before adopting a vegan lifestyle in 2009. She also says no to wearing fur, feathers and leather. Did you know she even launched her own brand of vegan footwear?
Morgan Freeman is famous for his extraordinary acting and his deep, soothing voice (which is really hard to miss). Besides narrating programs, series and television shows, Freeman also uses his voice to raise awareness for serious issues and relief efforts.
Chance the Rapper
According to the non-profit Do Something, Chance the Rapper is one of the top celebrities who have done good deeds for their communities. Chance has so much love for his hometown Chicago, and it shows through his activism.
The "Queen of Pop," Madonna, has dedicated a lot of time to support African children living in Malawi. Aside from funding an orphanage in the country, she also created her own non-profit. In 2006, she founded Raising Malawi, an organization that combats extreme poverty and hardships affecting orphans.
Musician John Legend continues to grow his resume of philanthropy work. He performs benefit concerts, helps rebuild destroyed communities and raises awareness about women's issues. He also sits on many boards. A few examples are Teach For America, Education Equality Project, Harlem Village Academies and Stand for Children.
Ashton Kutcher wants his haters to know that his day job is as the chairman and co-founder of Thorn. After being told to "stick to his day job," Kutcher testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and talked about his work to end human trafficking and child exploitation.
Born and raised in Barbados, Rihanna dreamed of fame and helping children around the world at a young age. Her visions became a reality when she made her world debut as an artist in 2005. At 18 years old, she became a superstar in music and philanthropy.
For years, Eva Longoria has devoted her life to philanthropy. She co-founded Eva’s Heroes, a charity to help children who have special needs. Her family inspired her to form Eva’s Heroes. One of her sisters had special needs, and their mother was a special education teacher.
It's clear to see that Ellen DeGeneres loves animals and humanitarian work. For her charitable efforts, she has earned many awards. The famous talk show host has contributed to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Global AIDS Awareness.
One major advocate for the transgender community is Laverne Cox. She rose to fame with her role in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black. Since then, she has won various awards for spreading awareness and opening the conversation about transgender culture.
World Central Kitchen was founded by Spanish-American chef José Ramón Andrés Puerta. He formed the non-profit to provide meals to families and first responders in the wake of natural disasters. For instance, the organization supplied food in response to the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Most people recognize Jon Stewart as the former host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. But he's also a strong supporter of 9/11 first responders. In fact, he invited a group of 9/11 responders onto the show.
Actor Terry Crews is fighting the culture of toxic masculinity. In the early days of the #MeToo Movement, he came forward as a victim of an assault by a powerful man in Hollywood. Online trolls attacked and questioned the actor's statement due to his gender.
Colin Kaepernick is a football player, but he's also known for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S. His activism inspired other NFL players and professional athletes to protest.
Charlize Theron is a South African and American actor. As one of the most influential people in showbusiness, she works to bring about real change. In an effort to help African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Theron founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP).
Known for starring in high-profile films, Ben Affleck is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter. It sounds like he must have a busy schedule, right? He does. However, the actor also prioritizes humanitarian work.
Paul David Hewson, professionally known as Bono, is a philanthropist who won't stop fighting poverty and hunger. Much of his work supports communities in Africa. He co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red.