Actor, screenwriter, director Ben Affleck won a People’s Choice Award on Jan. 7 for Favorite Humanitarian for his work on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a foundation he started to focus on working with and for the people of Eastern Congo.
In an interview with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio, Affleck said he chose to advocate for the people in Congo because “this is the most devastated place in the world.”
He has no doubt that what he is doing is urgently needed, citing the statistics of 5 million people dying in the Congo of conflict and conflict-related causes like starvation and disease.
Singer, songwriter, and record producer Pharrell Williams has joined forces with politician and climate change advocate Al Gore in the global initiative for climate change sponsored by Live Earth. The goal is to “create a global series of events over 24 hours, on seven continents, anchored from Paris and New York,” according to the Live Earth website.
The series of events are designed to bring together a billion voices with a single message for the nations convening for the World Economic Forum in Paris this December—”Take Climate Action Now.”
Since being named creative director of his first Live Earth event in 2007, when Williams joined singer/songwriter Lenny Kravitz in performing for over 1 million people, Williams is once again contributing his talents to help Live Earth in the yearlong campaign and global events for climate action. During a video announcement of the initiative, Williams said, “We wanted to do something very different this time … we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once.”
A conglomerate of celebrities joined Nobel peace prizewinner Malala Yousafzai in signing an open letter to world leaders to make the right decisions on poverty and climate change this year.
The letter was written in conjunction with the launch of an international campaign—”action 2015″—which is “one of the largest and most diverse campaign coalitions ever founded. We are a growing global movement of more than 1200 organizations in over 125 countries,” according to the action/2015 website.
The signees of the letter see the year 2015 as the moment to turn history around. “It is the most important year for global decision-making since the start of the new millennium,” states the letter.
The movement comes ahead of two United Nations summits to take place in September and December. The participating organizations are hoping to make a huge breakthrough by sponsoring a series of events around the world and on social media touting how they are going to change things in 2015.
Celebrity signees included Matt Damon, Shakira, Bono, Hugh Jackman, Ben Affleck, Mia Farrow, and Sting.