Variety is celebrating the dynamic, powerful and generous women in Hollywood, with their Power of Women issue, due on stands on Oct. 4.
The industry mag put out five different covers that feature Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Amy Pascal for their outstanding contributions to not only the entertainment industry, but also philanthropic ventures.
See each woman’s cover below, and learn more about the passionate activism that each woman is in engaged with—in her own words.
The South African-born beauty pours her heart and soul into The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, with the goal of preventing HIV/AIDs in her native country.
Charlize, 38, first founded the organization in 2007, but she insists that she isn’t responsible for the amazing strides they’ve made.
“Even though we do a lot of ground work in finding the organizations to support, the real work is done by the organizations that are living and breathing in those communities where the numbers are so incredibly high,” she told the mag.
The Academy Award winner is passionate about feminist advocacy, which she says is the result of her socially conscious father and feminist mother; therefore, her work with the U.N. Women—which advocates for women on an international level—was a natural fit for the 46 year old.
One of the key parts of her social action is promoting legislation that’s pro-women.
“Once you have women in roles in lawmaking roles, that makes a huge difference for women’s rights,” she said.
Amy Poehler may be our favorite funny lady (sorry, Tina!), but when it comes to advocating for children, the mom of two is very serious about her work.
Amy first became involved with Worldwide Orphans Foundation—a non-profit that helps support orphans in giving back to their communities—when she met the organization’s founder in 2009. Since then, the 42-year-old mom says that her involvement offers a refreshing break from Hollywood.
“Our business is incredibly narcissistic and sometimes pretty horrible,” she told Variety. “So a lot of people forget that giving your time and energy and money to other people makes you feel really good. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling good through helping others. It’s like a little soul exercise. And if that alone keeps you coming back, then great.”
On her hit drama Scandal, Kerry Washington is, uh, close with the fictional president. In real life, the 36-year-old actress was invited by President Obama to be a member of President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which focuses on promoting American culture, improving arts education and enhancing the creative economy.
It’s in the education sphere that Kerry has truly found her niche.
“From a young age, the arts allow you a window into a world other than your own,” she explained
Unlike the other women, Amy, 55, has achieved success behind the camera, working as the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
And in case that hasn’t kept her busy enough, Amy is heavily involved with Teen Line, an organization that runs a telephone, text, and email helpline for adolescents in crisis. And although she may be involved with the organization, it’s only teens on the other end of the phone.
Amy said that she felt “compelled” to help the life-saving organization after her sister got involved, and helps that the recognition she’s receiving from Variety may spur interest in the organization that she’s so devoted to.
“When you are an organization like Teen Line, awareness and visibility is critical, and I am proud to do anything I can,” she said. “If through the Power of Women event even one person becomes aware of and involved in their important work, I will be grateful.”