SEATTLE — Very few celebrity actors go beyond their stardom to dedicate their life to global causes. One such star is actor Richard Gere, who is not known only for his film roles but also for his humanitarian work. Richard Gere’s philanthropy demonstrates his commitment to advocacy and activism.
The Gere Foundation Supports Global Humanitarian Issues
In the early 1980s, Gere became a voice for human rights issues. He was a strong advocate for issues like HIV/AIDS and the Tibet crisis. In 1991, Gere started the Gere Foundation to support the many important causes around the world. For more than 27 years, he has worked to bring attention and effective solutions to humanitarian issues rooted in intolerance, injustice and inequality. Grants from his foundation go towards research and treatment for HIV/AIDS, educational and healthcare programs and to organizations addressing human rights violations throughout the world.
Numerous groups dedicated to HIV/AIDS research and care have received grant funding from the foundation. Examples include:
- AIDS Research Alliance
- AIDS Project of Los Angeles
- Children Affected by AIDS
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
- Harvard AIDS Institute
Richard Gere’s Philanthropy Includes Decades of Advocacy for Tibet
Gere has been a strong advocate for Tibet since the 1970s, long before he started his foundation. He has practiced Buddhism for many years and is a longtime student and friend of the Dalai Lama. Gere’s mission is to protect the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people. His foundation contributes to the Tibet Fund, which works with the many Tibetan refugees residing in Bhutan, India and Nepal, as well as providing assistance to those who are in Tibet itself.
Gere was the co-founder and chairman of Tibet House and joined the board of directors of the International Campaign for Tibet to more effectively engage both national and international forums of influence. To bring awareness to the Tibetan crisis, Gere addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the U.S. House of Representatives, the European Parliament and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
Gere’s Activism Benefits Numerous Organizations and Causes
Gere contributed to the book We Are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples, released in October 2009. Gere discussed the persecution and loss of land of indigenous peoples and how it reflects on humankind’s own relationship with nature and capacity to survive. The royalties from the sale of the book go to the indigenous rights organization Survival International.
Richard Gere’s philanthropy includes work with a variety of humanitarian organizations, such as:
- Amnesty International
- Doctors Without Borders
- Human Rights Watch
- J/P Haitian Relief Organization
- International Red Cross
- Oxfam America
- Red Crescent Movement
Internationally acclaimed actor Richard Gere has shown that he also has a humanitarian side. He has helped several causes and has supported people from underprivileged backgrounds. His efforts to help Tibetan people move back to Tibet have been tremendously impactful. Gere’s work has benefited causes like AIDS, poverty and other issues around the world.
– Preethi Ravi