celebrity humanitarianism

20 Stories

Humanitarian of the Year: Rihanna

At least according to Harvard

(Newser) - Rihanna is more than just a musician: She's Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year for 2017. In announcing the honor, the university noted Rihanna's charitable projects, including a breast cancer screening and treatment center she helped build in Barbados and a scholarship program she created for students... More »

10 Most Charitable Celebrities

DoSomething.org rounds up 2013's biggest do-gooders

(Newser) - For the second year running, Taylor Swift was the No. 1 most charitable celebrity last year, according to an annual list put together by DoSomething.org . Among her good deeds: She donated $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony and headlined an event benefiting an organization that helps homeless youth. Click... More »

Angelina Jolie Using Jewelry to Fund Schools

And plans to open more

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie's latest humanitarian project: an all-girls primary school in Afghanistan. The school is near Kabul, where the educational focus is typically trained on boys, and Jolie tells E! between 200 and 300 students are currently enrolled. Her plan is to open more of these kinds of schools, funded... More »

Jolie Charity Donates $50K in Malala's Honor

And Angelina writes about girl's plight

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie was moved by the story of Malala Yousufzai , the 14-year-old Pakistani education activist the Taliban shot last week—so she donated $50,000 to a charity that supports women and girls fighting for female education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, E! reports. "As a response to Malala's... More »

Celebs Who Are Surprisingly Charitable

Taylor Swift donates $4M to Country Music Hall of Fame

(Newser) - Taylor Swift is donating a sizable $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the largest gift ever donated to the museum by an artist. It will fund the Taylor Swift Education Center, a new classroom and exhibit space opening in 2014, the AP reports. Swift proves... More »

Sean Penn: I'll Be in Haiti 'the Rest of My Life'

Plus, actor grouses about costly divorce

(Newser) - How long will Sean Penn’s work in Haiti go on? Forever, he tells the Hollywood Reporter . “There’s no end point,” he says. “This is where I’ll be when I’m not working, for the rest of my life.” Penn was there on Christmas... More »

Penn: Robin Is 'a Ghost to Me'

Actor opens up about his work in Haiti

(Newser) - For the past five months—with only brief breaks for fundraising, testifying on Capitol Hill, and of course attending the Oscars—Sean Penn has lived in a tent camp in Haiti. Douglas Brinkley, who volunteered with Penn in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, talks to him about his experience for... More »

Madonna's $15M School Ousts 200 Malawi Villagers

Residents must relocate, but singer did compensate them

(Newser) - Madonna wants to help Malawi with her $15 million girls’ school so much that she’s ejecting villagers to make it happen. Residents didn’t want to leave the school site just outside the capital, but the government handed the land over to Madonna and told 200 Malawians they must... More »

Angelina Jolie Heads to Haiti

UN goodwill ambassador visited survivors yesterday

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie's latest humanitarian mission: Haiti's earthquake victims. The actress and UN goodwill ambassador visited with survivors hospitalized in the neighboring Dominican Republic yesterday, and a UN rep says she is traveling to Haiti today, the AP reports. During yesterday's hospital visit Jolie, accompanied by a UN rep, "spoke... More »

Travolta Lands Relief Jet in Haiti

Actor bringing plane back to US after unloading supplies, medics and ministers

(Newser) - John Travolta has landed his private jet in Haiti, loaded with relief supplies, medics, and Scientology ministers. The actor's Boeing 707 brought 4 tons of ready-to-eat military rations and medical supplies, the AP reports. Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, plan to return to Florida after unloading the cargo and... More »

Brad Pitt for Mayor? 'I Don't Have a Chance'

But no, he's not running for mayor

(Newser) - To mark the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt spoke to MSNBC about his effort to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward with his Make It Right foundation—and the grassroots campaign to push him to run for mayor of New Orleans. He says he'd run if chosen, but “... More »

Angelina Tours Iraqi Camps

UN Goodwill Ambassador sees some improvement for displaced Iraqis

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie visited a refugee camp near Baghdad today, part of her duties as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, People reports. While visiting one displaced family, she asked if they wished to return to their home. "No way," said one daughter, in a reminder of... More »

No House Resolution Praising Jacko: Pelosi

(Newser) - The House of Representatives will not consider a resolution praising Michael Jackson’s humanitarianism, the Boston Globe reports. “A resolution, I think, would open up to contrary views to—that are not necessary at this time to be expressed in association with a resolution whose purpose is quite different,... More »

I'm a Celebrity, Now Get Me a Cause!

Activist celebs are annoying, but effective and necessary: Firth

(Newser) - Actor Colin Firth doesn’t like it when his fellow actors get on the soapbox for humanitarian causes. He’s also tired of doing it himself, and sick of the endless tedium of fundraisers, speeches, and photo ops. But that’s too bad, because the only way anything is going... More »

Do-Gooder Celebs Can Aid —and Irritate

Emma Thompson on the conflicts of charitable stars

(Newser) - These days every celebrity is a do-gooder, but for Emma Thompson, using star power to fight disease or injustice can be not only "stunningly effective" but "also profoundly off-putting." In a column for the Times of London, the actor and screenwriter describes the tension between charity and... More »

'Western Aid, Celebs Are Hurting Africa'

'Anti-Bono' author rips help for sapping continent's strength

(Newser) - Dependence on celebrities as spokesmen and Western aid are bad for Africa, argues Deborah Solomon's latest interview subject, Dambisa Moyo. The Ivy-educated former investment banker argues in her new book that the culture of aid for Africa discourages entrepreneurship. "You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden... More »

Edwards' ER Check Funds African Hospital

Anthony Edwards asks for charity donation for cost of guest appearance

(Newser) - In lieu of a paycheck for his return to ER as the deceased Dr. Mark Greene, with scenes shot in flashbacks, Anthony Edwards asked Warner Bros. to donate $125,000 to help build a 250-bed hospital in Africa, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Steven Spielberg matched that money, and ER's executive... More »

Damon, Singer Jean Help in Haiti

Call on UN to raise $100M for storm recovery

(Newser) - Matt Damon and singer Wyclef Jean waded through knee-deep flood waters during a tour of decimated Gonaives, Haiti, yesterday to call attention to the widespread suffering that has followed tropical storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike. "I'm speechless, I can't believe it," Damon told the AP. The actor and... More »

Hot Ticket: Jolie's Presidential Endorsement

Undecided and independent, actress-activist wants refugee agenda

(Newser) - With her star power, humanitarian activism, and status as a UN ambassador, Angelina Jolie represents a celebrity endorsement both John McCain and Barack Obama are actively seeking, reports Wilshire & Washington, Variety's politics blog. "I am waiting to see the commitments they will make on issues like international justice,... More »

Best, Worst Celeb Do-Gooders

Jolie tops list of high-profile humanitarians

(Newser) - From Angelina Jolie (nominated as a UN Goodwill Ambassador) to Madonna (the Malawian adoption controversy), these stars topped a Reuters poll that asked: Who gave the best—and worst—name to “celebrity humanitarianism” in 2007? The best:
  1. Angelina Jolie
  2. Bono
  3. Desmond Tutu
  4. Bill Gates
  5. Bill Clinton
More »

20 Stories