BEVERLEY HILLS, California – Variety magazine is one of the most recognized and respected news outlets covering celebrity news and the world of show business. It recently held its fifth annual Power of Women luncheon to acknowledge the global impact Hollywood actresses have made through their charitable efforts. Seven A-list actresses were chosen to be Lifetime Impact Honorees for their significant contributions to philanthropic causes.
Among the honorees was Charlize Theron, Academy Award winning actress and UN Messenger of Peace, for her work to support African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Theron established the Africa Outreach Project in 2007, which uses a holistic approach to address community needs in ways that will enhance their work on HIV prevention.
The Project’s most recent initiative is the Home Field Advantage, which brings “clean water, sports fields, food gardens, community laundry basins, and non-contaminating toilet blocks to four secondary schools.” According to UN statistics, sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily affected region in the global HIV epidemic.
Academy Award winning actress and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman was honored for her work as an ambassador for UN Women, the United Nations organization for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The organization aims to eliminate gender discrimination and violence against women and girls through its various programs, which focus on leadership and political participation, economic empowerment, and governance and national planning.
Kidman was the spokesperson for one of the organization’s initiatives to end violence against women, and has traveled worldwide to meet with survivors of sexual violence and to raise awareness about the issue.
Actress and comedienne Amy Poehler, best known for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” was honored for her work with the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. In an emotional speech, Poehler said, “There are so many children in this world would have nothing. Who are we to be in this room and be living this life without helping them?”
The Foundation’s mission is to improve the conditions of orphans around the world, focusing on “children’s physical and mental health, their education and their ability to plan for and to achieve that which is productive and fulfilling in their own countries.”
Kerry Washington, Amy Pascal, Jennifer Hudson, and Elizabeth Banks were also honored at the event.
– Rifk Ebeid