I hope to use my "celebrity" to motivate people and contribute to moving our global society back from the brink. I am surprised environment is not at the top of the agenda. What is more important than food and clean air? We need a big push.”
Don Cheadle, an award-winning American actor, rose to prominence in the late 1990s and the early 2000s for his supporting roles in the Steven Soderbergh-directed films Out of Sight, Traffic, and global blockbuster Ocean's Eleven. In 2004, his lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in, and was one of the producers of Crash, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture. In addition, he played the lead in the movie Traitor, which was directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff who also directed the public service announcement (featuring Cheadle and five others) for the UN's global campaign to raise awareness on climate change. The campaign was titled 'Seal the Deal!'.
Cheadle actively campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored a book concerning the issue titled Not On Our Watch: The Mission To End Genocide In Darfur And Beyond. Cheadle founded the Not On Our Watch Project with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub. The organization aims to draw upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced. In 2007, Cheadle and fellow actor George Clooney were presented with the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome for their work to stop the genocide and relieve the suffering of the people of Darfur. The award was presented by the World Summit of Nobel Laureates, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Also in 2007, he was awarded the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Humanitarian of the Year award for the numerous humanitarian services he rendered for the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda.
To take individual action where he can, Cheadle owns a solar home, uses filtered versus bottled water and drives a hybrid automobile.