NEW YORK CITY, New York — On April 2, 2014, the United Nations Development Programmer (UNDP) appointed actress Connie Britton as the newest Goodwill Ambassador.
Britton is an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated actress, best known for her roles of of Rayna Jaymes in ABC’s “Nashville,” Tami Taylor in “Friday Night Lights,” and Vivien Harmon in “American Horror Story.” Britton received two Emmy nominations for her role on “Friday Night Lights” and her role on “American Horror Story” led to her third Emmy nomination. Britton has also appeared in recurring roles on NBC’s “The West Wing,” Fox’s “24,” and ABC’s “Spin City.”
Britton’s role as Goodwill Ambassador will be centered on both poverty eradication and women’s empowerment and raising awareness about UNDP’s campaigns and efforts. Britton joins nine other Goodwill Ambassadors and will use her rising fame to best help the UNDP reach out to the public and make them aware of what the poor are facing every day.
The UNDP appoints prominent individuals as Goodwill Ambassadors to help bring attention to humanitarian causes and to promote collaboration and cooperation in solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Goodwill Ambassadors work to improve lives and are constantly traveling to developing countries to see how they can make a difference.
The other UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors include a group of world-renowned footballers, made up of Ronaldo de Lima, Zinédine Zidane, Didier Drogba, and the world’s number one female player, Marta Vieira da Silva. Other ambassadors are tennis star Maria Sharapova, performer Antonio Banderas, Japanese actress Misako Konno, and HRH Haakon, the Crown Prince of Norway. Zidane and Ronaldo helped to organize the annual Match Against Poverty, which they started in 2003. The proceeds from each event go to different causes, with this year’s match raising money to aid typhoon recovery efforts in the Philippines.
Britton said in the announcement, “In my own travels, I’ve seen many places where people are living in extreme poverty. It’s unacceptable that, in 2014, one billion people live in such conditions, and a full 60 percent of the chronically hungry in the world are women.”
Britton has supported a number of humanitarian causes and also studied Chinese while traveling to Beijing, traveled to Africa with the ONE campaign and adopted her son, Yoby, from Ethiopia. Britton has previously said that her experience in China changed her life. She has also been a longtime supporter of women’s empowerment and women’s health.
Britton calls her new appointment as Goodwill Ambassador “one of the greatest opportunities of my life.”
In the announcement, it was clear just how passionate Britton is about her new position, as she spoke about the fact that women are responsible for 66 percent of the entire world’s work, but are only earning 10 percent of the world’s income.
Michael O’Neill, the UNDP Director for External Relations said, “We are thrilled to have Connie Britton join UNDP’s efforts to fight poverty worldwide.” O’Neill also praised Britton’s commitment to humanitarian work and said that, “she will be a great partner for UNDP, helping us raise awareness of development issues amongst the American and global public.”
Sources: UN News Center, CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Development Programme
Photo: ABC News Center