If you thought Connie Britton only knew how to channel strong women when she’s on hit shows like Nashville, think again. We’re used to seeing the actress tackle characters trying to find their paths in an unkind world, but she recently took on a new role with the United Nations Development Programme to help women across the world find their voices.
Even though fans may have not been aware, Connie’s actually been steeped in global issues for years. She traveled to Ethiopia in 2004 for a documentary project. The experience gave her insight into quality-of-life disparities, with many women bearing the brunt of systemic destitution. “I came home from that trip almost paralyzed,” she says, “with an inability to fully be able to address the complexities of the situation that I’d found there.” With both cultural and economic influences contributing to the poverty, Connie admits that helping to reverse such trends seemed daunting at first. “It was really hard to know where to begin.”
But if there’s anything we’ve learned about Connie over the years, it’s that she doesn’t give up. She’s gone to different underdeveloped nations with various organizations, resulting in her being introduced to UNDP contacts and beginning a partnership. “I hope my work with UNDP will help get to the root of the actual problems [surrounding poverty],” she says.
So what does Connie want you to do to help eliminate poverty around the world? “I know there are so many people … who feel the way I felt. Who want to help but don’t know where to begin.” First of all, the actress wants people to educate themselves about why poverty still exists, particularly among the world’s women. Connie also hopes that fans will begin searching for ways to contribute on the most basic of levels. “We can ll do things in small ways,” she says, which can include battling poverty in your own community.
So as you watch her tonight during Nashville’s season finale, remember that Connie Britton is fighting the good fight all around the world!