When you think of Meryl Streep a few things might come to mind like incredibly talented actress, seventeen Academy Award nominations and three wins, and an excellent mentor for women. But you also need to add dedicated activist and nonprofit contributor to that description. Streep is the archetype for social responsibility that fellow celebrities should emulate. In fact, she’s involved with so many worthy causes that we decided to compile them into a list of just five reasons why we love the brilliant Academy Award winner.
1. As we’ve previously blogged about, she donated her “The Iron Lady” salary to the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM). Streep has been tireless in her efforts to help make the NWHM in Washington, D.C. a reality, and is their spokesperson. “NWHM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into [America’s] history.”
2. After winning the Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” Streep made two donations to charities supported by fellow best actress nominee Viola Davis of “The Help.” Streep donated $10,000 to Upward Bound, a “federally funded program dedicated to providing low-income students with the support and skills needed to attend and succeed in college.” She also donated $10,000 to the Segue Institute for Learning, which is a charter school based in Central Falls, R.I., the Segue Institute for Learning is located in the economically depressed community where Davis grew up.
3. The gold Lanvin gown Streep wore to the 84th annual Academy Awards was the designers first ever eco gown. The material was made from Eco Certified Fabric, which was sourced with the help of the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC). GCC was an initiative started by Colin Firth’s wife Livia.
4. She has supported Equality Now for years and as they approach their twentieth anniversary, she is listed as one of the event’s honorary co-chairs alongside Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and Joss Whedon. Equality Now is “an organization that advocates for the human rights of women and girls around the world by raising international visibility of individual cases of abuse, mobilizing public support through [their] global membership, and wielding strategic political pressure to ensure that governments enact or enforce laws and policies that uphold the rights of women and girls.”
5. Streep was one of the hosts of Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s third-annual Women in the World Summit which took place in New York from March 8-10. Other notable women helping to host this event include: Tina Brown, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Harman, Leymah Gbowee, Sheryl Sandberg, Lauren Bush, Nizan Guanaes, Maya Harris, Mellody Hobson, and Judith Rodin. “The event [featured] three days of storytelling by trailblazing women, and encourages creative solutions to the challenges facing women and girls across the globe.”
Often celebrities give of their time or money, but Streep does both, making her an ideal role model for social responsibility. She is an enigmatic figure that lends her star power to charities that help empower and further the role of women in the world. Education and the environment are also causes that Streep has championed; illustrating that she is committed to making the world a better place. It’s inspiring to have a star of her caliber contributing to and supporting so many important causes. That’s why we love Meryl Streep.
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