Maria Bello, an award winning actor (The Cooler, Coyote Ugly, History of Violence, Sisters), and having just won the Best Ensemble Award for 2013 for Prisoners, is an internationally renowned activist for social justice and women’s rights around the world, with a special focus on Haiti, where she is US Global Ambassador for Women of Haiti and served on the Haiti Economic Development Advisory Panel alongside Haitian President Michel Martelly, Ambassador Danielle St. Lot, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus.
She is currently writing a book and just completed writing a television series under her film production company, groundfloorentertainment which focuses on social impact entertainment.
Bello started her career at the Women’s Law Project in Philedelphia in 1987 and in 1997 she co-founded her first NGO in Harlem called TheDreamYardDrama Project. In 2009 she was voted one of Vareity Magazines most powerful women in Hollywood for her activism in Darfur. Since 2008, she has worked in Haiti with Artists for Peace and Justice and Femmes en Democratie. She raised funds and produced a women’s media campaign for the elections in 2010. She spearheaded the opening of the women’s clinic in the Petionville Camp immediately following the earthquake. She co-founded, WeAdvance in Haiti to bring medical and educational services to the poorest of Haiti. She is a member of CGI and works on gender policy within the Haiti Network. She was named a Vital Voices Global Ambassador for women and participated in the first ever Vital Voices / Bank of America International Women’s Conference in Haiti. She speaks around the world on social impact investing, Haiti, and women’s rights. In 2012, she was a keynote speaker at the State Department’s Forum on Impact Investing and also awarded with the Starkey Foundation’s “So the World May Hear Award’. She was named the Goodwill Ambassador for Women in Haiti in 2013. With Barbara Guilliaume and Clare Munn, she co-founded the new website We Advance University - weadvanceu.org to connect, educate and empower women in Haiti and throughout the world. In 2013, at the UN Global Leaders Summit, she soft launched GATEGlobalImpact’s plans on helping women entrepreneurs around the world
She is a partner in GATEGlobalImpact.com The vision and mission of GATE Global Impact LLC (GGI) is to fulfill the increasing worldwide demand for impact investing by providing information and electronic marketplace infrastructure. GATEwomen will be GATE’s division focused on connecting successful women’s organizations who are focused on empowering, investing and expanding women owned businesses around the world. For example, http://www.wbenc.org and www.weadvance.org and www.weadvanceu.org. GATEeducation working with tools like shoutomatic; SocMeAcademy.com and www.weadvanceu.org Gateeducation will be GATE's division focused on providing education, solutions and tools to empower people.