SEATTLE WASHINGTON — American actor and producer Joaquin Phoenix has starred in films including “Her,” “Gladiator,” and more recently, in the box office hit “Joker.” Not only is Phoenix a talented actor and producer but he is also an outspoken activist when it comes to issues including the humane treatment of animals, access to education and poverty and hunger-reduction. The following is a list of some of Joaquin Phoenix’s advocacy efforts.
Advocating for Human Rights
Phoenix has participated in various videos for the human rights organization Amnesty International. He has advocated for preventing violence against women and urged viewers to take action to end the genocide occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan. Amnesty International is an organization that looks to ensure human rights for everyone around the globe through investigating and exposing facts, lobbying governments and educating the public. In a video with Amnesty about an investigation into violence against women in Mexico, Phoenix called for action. “Making a difference is easier than you think. The first step is making your voice heard. Make some noise to stop violence against women.”
Another way that Phoenix advocates for human rights is by promoting peace. In 2005, Phoenix joined the Peace Alliance, an organization devoted to promoting peace through education and legislative advocacy. On June 22, 2006, Joaquin hosted a benefit reception for this organization along with other artists. He also lobbied for re-introduction of the U.S. Department of Peace legislation in the House of Representatives and Senate in February 2007. Further, Joaquin hosted a benefit reception called “A Night of Peace” at the Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles in August 2007.
The Peace Alliance helped secure more than $110,000,000 in funding for International Peace-building priorities. It is continually working toward promoting a Culture of Peace. The Peace Alliance also led the successful national effort to secure the U.S. Institute of Peace funding when it was at risk for being completely eliminated due to budget cuts.
Alleviating Hunger and Disease
Phoenix is on the Board of Directors for the Lunchbox Fund, an organization that provides meals for food-insecure children in South Africa. Phoenix designed lunch boxes to auction off for the organization. Not only does the Lunchbox Fund provide hungry children with meals and ensure they are receiving quality educations but they also partner with local organizations and create jobs for local unemployed women through hiring them to prepare and serve meals for students. The first five years of a child’s life are key when it comes to ensuring proper development. The Lunchbox Fund is making sure children have the food they need to grow mentally, physically and socially.
Joaquin Phoenix’s advocacy efforts led him to attend a benefit reception organized by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, during the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. amfAR is an organization that aims to eradicate AIDS through HIV prevention, treatment, care and advocacy in public policy and education. To name some notable achievements, amfAR began “the research that ultimately led to the use of antiretroviral drugs to block mother-to-infant HIV transmission.” The organization has also invested more than $517 million in its programs that have saved lives around the world.
These are only some of the many charities that are a part of Joaquin Phoenix’s advocacy efforts. The actor joins a growing number of celebrity activists who are using their powerful platforms for good.
– Hannah White