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Emma Watson Makes Hefty Donation to Justice and Equality Fund

Emma Watson, one of the stars of Harry Potter and The Circle, has been an outspoken ambassador for the need to fortify women’s rights worldwide. It’s not only words she puts forth; Watson donated £1 million (nearly $1.4 million) to the Justice and Equality Fund, a recently set-up initiative to wage war on sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.

“The figures are staggering,” says the landing page of the Justice and Equality Fund’s GoFundMe, where Watson was the first donor. “Half of all women have experienced sexual harassment at work. Nearly one in five women has suffered sexual assault. We are not talking about a few bad apples. We are waking up to the full scale of systemic abuse based on gender and power – abuse that hurts us all.” It provides footnotes to support its statistics.

“Like all big problems, it needs big, bold solutions,” the page continues. “We have created the Justice and Equality Fund to create the far-reaching personal, social, legal, and policy changes that will ensure everyone can feel safe at work, at play, and at home. Together we can end the culture of harassment, abuse, and impunity.”

While Watson has not made her own statement about the donation, it came on the same day she co-signed an open letter alongside 200 other celebrities vowing to fight in solidarity with other women against abuse and harassment. She shared an image of the letter on her Instagram, with the hashtag #TIMESUP.

“All of us are responsible for creating change, whatever industry you work in,” Watson posted alongside the letter. “We’re asking everyone to help create a world we can be proud of—one that is safe, just, and equal.”

Watson’s donation accounts for the bulk of the nearly £1.6 million the Fund has raised in just seven days. Actors like Keira Knightly, Tom Hiddleston, and Catriona Balfe have donated as well, and three anonymous donors together contributed £525,000. The Justice and Equality Fund’s current goal is £2 million, to be used for outreach, legal aid, and political work.

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Profiles

J.K. Rowling Profile

J.K. Rowling
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J.K. Rowling’s story is one filled with strife and struggle and ending with stunning success. She’s someone we look to for inspiration when it comes to overcoming hardships and proving that hard work really does pay off. She is best known for authoring the renowned Harry Potter series, which propelled her from poverty into fame and fortune. But that’s not why we’re profiling her.

You see, J.K. Rowling gained billionaire status from the Harry Potter franchise’s success. As of 2011, she was estimated to be worth about $1 billion, enough to put her on the Forbes list of richest people in the world. But last year she lost that status—and not because of mismanagement.

J.K. Rowling is no longer a billionaire—because she donated so much money to charity. In 2011, she gave away about 16% of her net worth, or $160 million dollars. Perhaps it’s the fact that Rowling knows exactly what it’s like to be poverty stricken—she lived off of welfare at one point—that makes her more likely to give her wealth away.

When she spoke at Harvard’s commencement in 2008, she addressed poverty, saying that it “is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardship.”