Take the saying “with great power change.comes great responsibility.” Scores of celebrities are making a difference—before and during quarantine. A number of A-listers are using their star power for serious good. This runs from celebrity activists raising awareness about sexual harassment at work, to helping fight bullying. And even encouraging teens to become leaders in their own communities. Here’s a look at famous folks impacting more than just the box office.
Canon is a lot more than the former Mr. Mariah Carey. He is the celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual national food drive, which is held throughout the United States. He has also filmed a public service announcement for DoSomething. This encourages teens to find a cause about which they are passionate. Then take action in their communities to help pave the way for change.
Even before having a platform as a star of One Tree Hill and Chicago P.D., Bush was a committed activist. She is involved with a slew of causes, including human rights and animal rights. And she is a supporter of gun control. Especially after her nine-year-old cousin was killed during the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona in 2011. Bush loves being an actress. But she says if it ever got in the way of her activism, she would have to find another job.
The Brown-educated actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador has consistently worked to advocate for young, underprivileged women. Watson has also promoted gender equality through the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. She launched this via a speech at UN Headquarters. It was this speech that is said to have inspired Malala Yousafzai to call herself a feminist. Moreover, Watson started a feminist book club on the social cataloging site, Goodreads, called “Our Shared Shelf.” She is working to help launch a legal advice line for people who have suffered sexual harassment at work.
When the biggest name in basketball went public about being the victim of a hate crime—his home was vandalized with a racial slur written in spray paint—he took the opportunity to openly discuss race and inequality, causes that he has been championing for years. He often speaks on the topics and donates money to the causes. He has also let his clothing and accessories speak for him. Like when he wore sneakers with the word “equality” written in bold gold letters during an NBA game. His nonprofit organization, the LeBron James Family Foundation, raises awareness and donates money to several charities. These include Boys and Girls Clubs of America and After-School All-Stars.
Lady Gaga has touched and empowered millions of people with her lyrics. But she’s been equally impactful with her philanthropy and social activism. She has a particularly ardent interest in LGBT rights. She has her own nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on building confidence in young boys and girls and preventing bullying. Moreover, she has donated the proceeds of many of her performances to help in various global relief efforts. Gaga has also partaken in a number of campaigns including “‘Artists Against Fracking” and the “It’s On Us” campaign. This resulted in 250,000 students from more than 530 colleges signing pledges of activism to end sexual assault on college campuses.
The award-winning actress might not be the first person you think of when it comes to athleticism. But she’s a major activist in the space. She is a supporter of the Women’s Sports Foundation. And she has been a long-time advocate for Title IX, an Act of Congress focusing on equality in sports opportunities. This enforces the prohibition of gender discrimination in United States’ educational institutions. She has also worked with the organization Dads and Daughters. This organization advocates for more balance in the number of male and female characters in children’s television and movie programming. More than a decade ago, she launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. This to continue to make progress for this cause. Her work garnered her the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar.