SEATTLE, Washington — Connie Britton is mostly famed for her Emmy nominated role as Rayna James in the ABC show Nashville and her role as Vivien Harmon in the FX show American Horror Story. The 52-year-old actress/singer has also been involved in several U.S. charities, such as the Michael J.Fox Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association. Connie Britton’s global advocacy is inspiring. Here are a few of the charities and events she has participated in as a global humanitarian.
The African Children’s Choir
The African Children’s Choir is a program that makes education and music a priority for children in Africa. It is a branch of the Music for Life organization, which opened in 1984. The organization works in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa. The ACC focuses on empowering orphaned children through music and performance, educating more than 50,000 children since it began. The success and talent of the children involved over the years have earned the organization television performances on The Tonight Show and American Idol.
According to the ACC’s International Operations Director Julia Barnett Tracy, Connie Britton began donating to the organization in 2008. In 2012, Connie Britton was also an MC in the fourth Annual African Children’s Choir Gala in NYC. The evening earned more than $50,000 for the organization. This support led to the ACC’s decision to honor Britton with a ChangeMaker award in 2013 during their fifth annual NYC ChangeMakers Gala. In March 2015, Britton was a host for the Choir’s 30th-anniversary concert in Nashville, Tennessee.
In an interview to promote this event, the singer/actress talked about the children in the choir with the Tennessean. She remarked, “(Singing) is part of their lives even when they’ve been through terrible experiences.” She went on to highlight the inspiration that she finds from watching the performances. Britton has also shown support for the African Children’s Choir in her television show Friday Night Lights when her character Tami wore an African Children’s Choir t-shirt to promote the organization. With a focus on performance, education and leadership skills, it is no wonder Connie Britton’s global advocacy extended to an organization within the same field as her.
Global Poverty/Global Citizen Project
The Global Citizen is a grassroots movement to eradicate poverty worldwide. The organization focuses on advocating for female empowerment, fighting health crises such as Ebola, Malaria and AIDS and finding ways to use agriculture and food storage to combat world hunger. The Global Citizen brings attention to its causes by having events through its Global Poverty Project, such as the 2017 Global Citizen music festival in Hamburg, Germany. That particular festival raised $706 million in total for poverty relief.
In 2015, Britton brought special attention to the concert events of Global Citizen during an interview on the Global Citizen’s official Youtube page. She said that the first thing that everyday people can do to make an impact is to make themselves familiar with the organization’s global goals. This highlights that an important part of Connie Britton’s global advocacy is to make charities feel accessible. Connie Britton was also a co-host of the organization’s 2019 Global Citizens Foundation Festival in September. The concert’s focus this year was to raise money in support of global issues such as ending child marriage, enacting workplace safety in the countries of Namibia, Peru and Costa Rica as well as promoting female entrepreneurship.
United Nations Development Programme
The UNDP operates in 170 countries. It focuses on areas of poverty reduction, building democratic societies, preventing crisis and enabling recovery, fighting AIDS/HIV, empowering women and growing national capacity. The UNDP also put in place the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), intending to significantly lessen global poverty by 2030.
Connie Britton’s global advocacy for the UNDP goes beyond general support. She was named a Goodwill Ambassador of the organization in April 2014. The UNDP’s official website cites Connie Britton as tasked with focusing on advocating for poverty reduction and female empowerment. As part of her duties as a Goodwill Ambassador, Britton visited Rwanda and Kenya in 2015 on behalf of the UNDP. While in Africa she observed development projects within those countries.
The ONE Campaign
The ONE Campaign advocates for combatting extreme poverty worldwide. The ONE campaign composed a letter urging world leaders to focus on providing women access to education and banning child marriage. Connie Britton was one of the celebrities to openly sign the letter addressing these issues in May 2018. She also wore the ONE Campaign’s “Poverty Is Sexist” sweater to the 75 Annual Golden Globes to show her support of the movement. Once again, Britton used her public platform to spread awareness of important issues.
Connie Britton’s global advocacy is notable through her dedication to improving the lives of women and children. She uses her skills and passion as a performer to advocate for causes she believes in. Britton also uses her platform as a celebrity to bring attention to global charities, encouraging her fans to become involved.
– Natalie Casaburi