May 31
2012

“One More Voice” captures people all over the world asking viewers to add their voice to Amnesty International’s fight against torture, the death penalty, unjust imprisonment, violence against women and other human rights abuses. This short compelling video — featuring an activist in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and the late Martina Correia, sister of Troy Davis, who was executed by the state of Georgia in 2011, despite serious doubts about his guilt — is narrated by three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep with an anthem specially written for Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary by Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer and composer Lorne Balfe. The International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers and photographers at Magnum Photos contributed their talents to encourage people to unite around the cause of freedom, human rights and dignity around the world. The trailer for One More Voice can be watched at Youtube and AmnestyUSA.org.

Then, there have been news about a possible second new narration job – “A Fierce Green Fire” explores how the issues of conservation, saving whales and stopping dams built into an international movement, from grassroots to global activism. It chronicles the growth of the environmentalism over five decades, including the Love Canal pollution scandals, the proposed dams in the Grand Canyon, Chico Mendes fighting the deforestation in the Amazon, the Greenpeace movement and other signature moments and movements in environmental activism. In a recent interview with the Petaluma Patch, director Mark Kitchell points out that the film is not quite ready for general release. “There are three main tasks to do,” he said. “We have to finish licensing the archival footage and music, which can be quite expensive. We plan on having five narrators, from Robert Redford to Meryl Streep. And we’re working on an ending that’s a call to action for today’s activists.”

May 21
2012

Artists Meryl Streep, Sting, Joan Baez, Cynthia Nixon, Yoko Ono and Patrick Stewart signed an Amnesty International Letter to Presidents Obama and Karzai on Afghan Women’s Rights. The open letter was released Sunday to President Obama and President Karzai, calling on them to give women a voice in the conversation about Afghanistan’s future. The letter was released by Amnesty International as it staged a “Shadow Summit for Afghan Women” hours before the NATO Summit got underway in Chicago. Signatories included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, feminist Gloria Steinem, Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Shirin Ebadi, along with a roster of leading Afghan women’s rights advocates.

Read the open letter: http://amnestyusa.org/obamaandkarzailetter
Read the list of signatories: http://amnestyusa.org/afghanwomensignatories

“The women of Afghanistan have come too far to see their rights vanish,” said Frank Januzzi, head of Amnesty International USA’s Washington office. “They must be part of the conversation about the future of Afghanistan or that future will look very bleak indeed. No one wants a return to the days when the Taliban banned women and girls from schools and work, and held them as virtual prisoners in their own country. This would be the ultimate catastrophe after a decade of gains for women. We hope the voices of these notable signatories will add to the pressure on Presidents Obama and Karzai to follow through on the promise of human rights for all women in Afghanistan.” Amnesty International urged Presidents Obama and Karzai to adopt eight key steps to make sure Afghan woman can continue the progress they have made on rights and freedoms after the troops leave in 2014. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up

May 03
2012

This month, Meryl Streep, Bill Clinton, Jason Wu, Alec Baldwin, and Yo-Yo Ma are linking arms to take part in the RFK Center’s fifth annual online auction to support human rights worldwide. The RFK Center launched its 5th Annual Spring Auction today and will be open to bidders through May 17. The auction features nearly 100 incredible adventures donated by A-list supporters of the organization, with more celebs joining every day. Meryl has donated two premiere tickets for the New York premiere of “Hope Springs” this August (likely August 6 but not guaranteed). You can find all auctions here and Meryl’s auction in particular here. Thanks to everybody for the heads-up!

May 02
2012

The Charlie Foundation will honor Meryl Streep this September at the Third International Symposium: Dietary Therapy for Epilepsy & Other Neurological Disorders at the Chicago Hilton Indian Lakes Resort. The Charlie Foundation was founded in 1994 after twenty month old Charlie Abrahams, having endured multiple daily seizures, and failed every available anti-convulsant drug and one brain surgery, was cured of his epilepsy by the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The diet was undertaken despite resistance from the five pediatric neurologists he had seen. When Charlie’s parents realized that Charlie was but one of hundreds of thousands of children whose families were either not being informed, or being misinformed about dietary therapy, they started The Charlie Foundation. Meryl Streep, a friend of the Abrahams family, hosted a public serive announcement for the foundation in 1994, which can be watched in the video archive. In 1997, Abrahams and Meryl Streep produced the ABC television movie “First do no Harm”, fictionalising a particular case of a young boy with the disease. The film draws many parallels to the Abrahams family’s experiences. Several minor characters in the film are played by people who have been on the ketogenic diet and had their epilepsy “cured” as a result. The gala celebration honoring Meryl will take place on September 21, 2012.

Mar 03
2012

On April 19, 2012, Equality Now will celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Meryl Streep has been a supporter for years, speaking at various of their events and raising public interest in the organization. So far it hasn’t been announced if Meryl will be part of the anniversary, although their website lists her as a Honorary co-chair, alongside Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and Joss Whedon.

Founded in 1992, 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 our 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. With offices in New York, Nairobi and London, our areas of focus include Discrimination in Law, Sexual Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Trafficking. Combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy, they envision a world in which women and men have equal rights under the law and full enjoyment of those rights.

Mar 03
2012

According to the Chicago Tribune, Meryl Streep paid tribute to Viola Davis this week, contributing $20,000 to two Rhode Island charities connected to “The Help” star. The donations came after Streep bested Davis in the race for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “The Iron Lady.” The Oscar winner wrote a check for $10,000 to Upward Bound to honor Davis, the program’s director Mariam Z. Boyajian confirmed to TheWrap. Boyajian said it was the largest donation in the organization’s history. “I was writing to her when you called,” Boyajian told TheWrap. “I wanted to give her a chance to settle down from the hectic weekend before I gave her the good news.” Streep followed up that donation with a separate $10,000 check to Segue Institute for Learning, according to the Providence Journal. Segue is a charter school based in Central Falls, R.I. – the economically depressed community where Davis grew up. Davis acknowledged the school while accepting a Best Actress award from the Screen Actors Guild earlier this year, telling the students “to dream big and dream fierce.” Boyajian said it is the second time Streep has donated to the program as a tribute to Davis. The previous gift came in 2009. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that provides college preparatory classes and educational grants to high school students from low-income communities. Davis and her sister Dolores Davis Grant both attended the program, which is based at Rhode Island College, Boyajian said. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up!

Feb 14
2012

Press release courtesy The Daily Beast. From March 8 though 10, remarkable leaders from every field will gather in New York City for Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s third-annual Women in the World Summit. Hosted by Tina Brown, Diane von Furstenberg, Jane Harman, Leymah Gbowee, Sheryl Sandberg, Meryl Streep, Lauren Bush, Nizan Guanaes, Maya Harris, Mellody Hobson, and Judith Rodin, the event will feature three days of storytelling by trailblazing women, and encourage creative solutions to the challenges facing women and girls across the globe. From brave women dissidents who toppled Middle East regimes to former secretary of state Madeleine Albright on war’s harrowing impact on women; from an inspiring look at how girls are harnessing social media to transform adolescence to IMF chief Christine Lagarde on the global economy’s next act; from a hard look at domestic slavery to frank discussions with firebrands including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, broadcast legends Barbara Walters and Christiane Amanpour, and activists from around the world, the 2012 summit promises to reveal the vital stories that are often ignored—and to provoke action. According to their lineup, there will be a special tribute by Meryl Streep on March 10.

Dec 01
2011

Last night, Meryl Streep has attended the 2011 Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s A Magical Evening Benefit in New York. To learn more about the origanization, which Meryl supports for years, visit the charity section. Pictures from the event have been added to the gallery.

Nov 19
2011

According to The Belfast Telegraph, Meryl Streep is set to make a high-profile return to Belfast shortly after her portrayal of Maggie Thatcher is screened at the movies in January. She’s hoping to visit the city to celebrate the opening of the £18m Metropolitan Arts Centre in the vibrant Cathedral Quarter. Four years ago, Meryl came to Belfast to raise funds for the MAC and to endorse the project, which was still in the planning stages then. She went to its forerunner, the Old Museum Arts Centre, to take part in a question and answer session with leading figures in the arts world here, and she even made a passable attempt at a Belfast accent. Streep also revealed that her family roots in Co Donegal had helped her “find” an Irish accent in a film version of Brian Friel’s play Dancing At Lughnasa. Anne McReynolds, the chief executive at the MAC, said yesterday that officials were keeping their fingers crossed that Streep could fit a return to Belfast into her busy schedule. “I stay in touch with her all the time and keep her up to speed on how the new building is progressing. She is very excited about it all. And she is totally passionate and committed to the MAC and its plans for the future. She completely gets the idea,” she said. “Meryl has been a great friend to the MAC and to Belfast.” The six-storey MAC building will include two theatres, three major visual art galleries, a dance studio, education, workshop and rehearsal spaces plus offices for resident arts groups. he new MAC is expected to attract upwards of 200,000 people every year.

Nov 19
2011

A video transcript of Meryl’s appearance at the US-China Forum on the Arts and Culture Panel has been added to the video archive. Also, while being in Washington this week, Meryl talked with PBS’ To the Contrary about “The Iron Lady” and her support of the National Women’s History Museum. Edit: You can now watch the complete panel discussion, as two more parts have been added – here and here. Enjoy the clips!