Alert
Close

Last Chance: Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. today to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Open
AARP Real Possibilities

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

Inspire Awards 2007 Honorees

Valerie Harper, Anti-hunger Activist

When Valerie Harper was working for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in the late 1960s, she saw a poster of Golda Meir, then prime minister of Israel, on the wall at a chapter of the National Organization for Women. "The caption said, 'But Can She Type?' " recalls Harper, with a big laugh. Forty years later the 66-year-old actress still best known as Mary Tyler Moore's sassy sidekick, Rhoda, is following in Meir's footsteps in more ways than one, playing the feminist icon in a touring one-woman play, Golda's Balcony, and working tirelessly in her spare time to improve the welfare of women around the world.

Since 1977 she has channeled much of her prodigious energy into The Hunger Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger, in part by empowering women. "The real issue holding hunger in place is the subjugation, marginalization, and disempowerment of women," says Harper. "Wherever you have abject hunger, you will see low status of women. But when there are resources in the hands of women, the kids eat." The Hunger Project, which has aided some 2.5 million people in 13 developing countries in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, provides women with loans for small businesses and farms, promotes girls' education, and helps build food banks, health clinics, and schools.

In the past year Harper has worked to raise consciousness about poverty and hunger by traveling to Africa, lobbying Congress, and hosting fundraisers. Activism springs from optimism, she says. "I believe I make a difference. I think we all do. I'm no special person." She pauses, then laughs. "And you know what? When you take action, you meet fabulous people."

 

*The name of this award was originally the Impact Award. In 2008, the awards were renamed as the Inspire Awards.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members save 20% on digital hearing aids with AARP® Hearing Care Program from HearUSA.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.