Connie Britton is giving back on Mother’s Day. The Nashville alum has partnered with Care2 and the nonprofit United Nations Development Programme to raise awareness about women who are suffering from famine and drought in Africa and the Middle East.
“In this day and age nobody should ever starve to death,” Britton, 50, tells Us Weekly. “I’m just hugely passionate about reaching out and making sure that people aren’t going hungry, because it’s not right.”
Getting involved is simple. “Just start with signing this petition. What we really want to do is create worldwide outcry to the leaders around the world to let them know that we citizens really support getting help to these people who are in such dire need,” the actress explains. “And then beyond that, I love to encourage people to look at Care2 and also UNDP and really find out more about the work that they’re doing on the ground trying to help these people. What you realize is — all of this — these are all people who are incredibly vulnerable because they are living in conflict regions… When crops are destroyed and livestock die, there is no backup because they have no access.”
Britton, a goodwill ambassador since 2014, has traveled to Africa several times over the years, even visiting her son Eyob’s native country. (The star adopted 6-year-old “Yoby” in 2011.)
View this post on Instagram
It’s almost #MothersDay y’all! Please stand with me to change the world for millions of mothers, children and families on the brink of famine in four countries in Africa and the Middle East. This is a preventable humanitarian crisis. But only if we join together and help. Please sign the petition. And then go grab your momma some flowers. care2.com/mothersday @undp @care2
“I am a very fortunate person in that I can give my child what he needs,” Britton tells Us. “The first time I ever visited Ethiopia, there was a famine going on there and I went to visit some of the famine sights where people were suffering the worst and I’ve never forgotten what it looked like to see children and mothers who were on the verge of starvation. It’s really shattering. In my mind, when something like that is preventable, I want to do whatever I can to alleviate that.”
Britton is also an advocate for women’s rights, and recently took part in the Women’s March at Sundance in January. For her, playing strong female characters — such as Friday Night Lights‘ Tami Taylor and Nashville’s Rayna Jaymes — is really important.
“I have a wonderful opportunity and wonderful platform to just demonstrate how awesome women can be and how complicated women can be,” she says. “I always want to humanize the characters that I play, let both women and men out there see someone who they recognize… Maybe it gives them a vision into who they can be potentially.”
For more on Britton’s initiative, go here.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!