SEATTLE, Washington — Katy Perry is an international celebrity for mainly one reason: her zany, playful pop music. However, Perry also has a similar passion for and dedication to various philanthropic efforts. Breast cancer awareness, weapons reduction and disaster relief are just a few of the global causes Perry has supported. This article details some of Katy Perry’s advocacy efforts throughout her time in the public eye.
Work With UNICEF
Much of Perry’s most publicized advocacy efforts associate with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Perry first worked with UNICEF in April 2013 when she joined the group on a visit to Madagascar. While she was there, Perry worked to raise awareness for the plight of Madagascan children. That October, she contributed her smash hit “Roar” to the soundtrack of UNICEF’s campaign for the empowerment of young girls. At the end of the year, she was officially named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. As an ambassador, her main focus is on engaging more young people with UNICEF’s work. This not only helps the children immediately, but it also ensures future dedication to the cause.
Since named an ambassador, Perry has stayed true to her promise of helping the world’s most vulnerable children. In May 2016, she visited Vietnam’s poor, rural Ninh Thuan province where she worked with UNICEF programs aimed at ending the exclusion of children with disabilities. She also oversaw UNICEF’s efforts to increase early childhood education, access to water, sanitation and hygiene in the province. The following month, UNICEF awarded Perry the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award for her work with the Vietnamese youth.
Perry has repeatedly mobilized her fanbase to join her in her support of UNICEF. In November 2013, she asked her millions of social media followers to join her in aiding UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts for children impacted by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She later dedicated a portion of the proceeds of her 2014-2015 Prismatic World Tour to the agency.
AIDS Awareness and Prevention
Katy Perry’s advocacy efforts also involve supporting HIV/AIDS prevention organizations. In June 2009, she designed an article of clothing featuring a safe-sex slogan for H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS annual charity clothing line. Perry’s message read, “It’s on the outside that counts.” She later served as a co-chair for the 25th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party, a celebrity fundraiser for HIV/AIDS healthcare. Perry is also a consistent attendee and performer at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research’s annual Los Angeles gala. In 2018, the nonprofit awarded Perry their Award of Courage for her consistent dedication to fighting the disease. That same night, she made a donation for a generous $5,000 to the cause.
Clean Water Distribution
Perry has helped the world’s poor to access clean water via her extensive work with Generosity Water. It is a nonprofit organization that works to implement clean water and sanitation efforts in developing nations. Perry allocated a portion of the proceeds of her 2011-2012 California Dreams Tour toward Generosity Water’s efforts, which amassed to a $40,000 donation. She also requested that her fans donate to Generosity Water in lieu of sending her birthday presents, the proceeds of which allowed the nonprofit to institute sustainable wells in Liberia.
Katy Perry’s advocacy proves that she not only speaks in support of the world’s poor but she also actively works to improve the world around her. In the pop star’s own words, “Investing in the most disadvantaged [people]is not only the right thing to do, it is the best way to break the cycle of poverty and drastically improve children’s health, education and well-being.” Perry asks her fans, fellow celebrities and anyone else who hears her message to join her in breaking this cycle.
– Abby Tarwater