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Mira  Sorvino

Mira Sorvino

Academy Award-winning Actress, #MeToo & Human Rights Advocate

Mira Sorvino

Academy Award-winning Actress, #MeToo & Human Rights Advocate


Academy award winning Actress and United Nations Goodwill ambassador Mira Sorvino first began expressing her passion for social justice at Harvard University, where she received two Ford Foundation grants to research her summa thesis on Racial Conflict between Chinese and African students in the PRC, which was awarded the coveted Hoopes Prize. Upon graduation, she researched and interviewed Russophilic neo-Nazi leaders for a documentary on the rise of anti-Semitism in Russia, Freedom to Hate, which she associate produced. 

She was the official ambassador for Amnesty International's "Stop Violence Against Women" campaign from 2004-8. Her work with Amnesty was recognized at the Artivist Film Festival. In March 2006, she was honored with Amnesty International's Artist of Conscience Award. She lobbied Capitol Hill on the topic of Human Trafficking and officially testified before Congress on the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. 

Having supported the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime anti-trafficking initiatives since 2007, in 2009 Sorvino was appointed to her current position, just reratified, as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Goodwill Ambassador in the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking. She has traveled to Mexico and Spain to launch the U.N.’s Blue Heart Campaign to fight Human Trafficking, and to London and Bangkok, Thailand to promote the U.N. Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, for which she has just been elected to serve on the board of trustees. She has participated in public forums in Luxor, Egypt, at the Niemeyer Center in Aviles, Spain, Baku Azerbaijan, and in Washington D.C.. In each locale, Sorvino works together with NGOs on the ground and members of government and law enforcement to better synthesize efforts to discover and protect victims, and punish perpetrators of, Human Trafficking. In Fall 2010 she was honored for her work by Save The Children, and in December 2010, the U.N. awarded her “Global Advocate of the Year.” She has participated in sessions to create the UN General Assembly’s Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking. She represented UNODC at the Vatican at the 2nd Annual Conference on Modern Day Slavery and the collaboration between the church and law enforcement. She regularly addresses the UN General Assembly.

She has testified before the US Senate on Human Trafficking, helped engender legislative change at the National Conference of State Legislators, spoken at the National Association of Attorneys General, the American Bar Association, the Mashable Social Good Summit, and the Deloitte Center to reform state laws on human trafficking and domestic minor victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as speaking at Harvard, Delta Airlines, and in conferences in Sweden and Aruba. She wrote the foreword to Walking Prey on the vulnerability of US youth to sex trafficking, and for an upcoming book by Don and Bridget Brewster, founders of AIM, anti-trafficking NGO in Cambodia.

Collaborating with the CNN Freedom project, she led Jim Clancy on a discovery of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline, narrated the documentary Mozambique or Bust, and was the on-the-ground anchor in the award-winning documentary Everyday in Cambodia on the crisis of child virgin sales in Phnom Penh, focusing on the NGO work of AIM. She participated in the ECPAT documentary What I’ve Been Through is Not Who I Am, and acted in the dramatic films on modern slavery, Human Trafficking, Trade of Innocents and the current box office phenomenon Sound of Freedom which highlights the global horror of child sex trafficking.

In the fall of 2017 Sorvino was one of the first women to come forward about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker exposé. She has emerged as a prominent voice of #MeToo and #TimesUp and has received several honors for her advocacy including from UCLA for both Human Trafficking and #MeToo. She has spoken at the Tribeca TimesUp summit and the Museum for Civil and Human Rights, and for the New York Times New Rules summit and the Wrap Women conference. Legislatively she helpedpass the strongest slate of anti-sexual harassment bills in the country in CA with Equal Rights Advocates and several Human Trafficking laws. Her advocacy in NY State alongside TimesUp helped pass extensions to the statute of limitations for rape and strengthened protections against sexual harassment. She was recently awarded Humanitarian of the Year by the United Nations Association of New York for her work on Human Trafficking, and led three video conferences for UNODC on the effects of the pandemic on Trafficking victims, to raise funds for the UN Trust Fund for victims of Human Trafficking and to introduce the 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking In Persons. She has written several Op-Eds, including for the LA Times and the Sacramento Bee. In June 2021, her advocacy partnering with CAST was instrumental in adding 30 million to the California budget for emergency pandemic relief funds for human trafficking victims.she has recently helped AIM and MQHM raise significant funds to expand their lifesaving work.

Sorvino considers herself a victims’ and survivors’ advocate and has interviewed and been inspired by many of them around the world. She is happily married to actor/writer/director Christopher Backus, and they have four lovely children.

Speaker Videos

Sexism in Hollywood

On Harvey Weinstein Sexual Allegations

New Illicit Incarnation of Slavery

Speech Topics

#MeToo: From Silence to Worldwide Advocacy

“At the time I don’t think I even knew that what happened — him using business-related situations to try and press himself sexually on a young woman in his employ — qualified as sexual harassment. But as a woman who routinely advocates for women and girls who have been victimized in my role as Goodwill Ambassador with the United Nations, and as a mother of two daughters, I could no longer remain silent.” With these words, Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino recounted her personal experiences in TIME magazine. As one of the earliest and most prominent women in Hollywood to confront years of predation, Sorvino helped empower a cascade of 90 silence breakers to come forward. Now one of the most passionate and articulate voices in the #MeToo movement alongside Tarana Burke, Sorvino fights to balance the playing field so that women and girls may pursue their goals without fear of sexual harassment in a true meritocracy, not a quid pro quo antiquated system. Her highly positive and solutions-based talk does not dwell long on the horrors of victimization. Linking #MeToo to the larger struggle of women worldwide and her longtime work fighting human trafficking, Sorvino shares what all men and women can do to end sexual harassment and patriarchal predation. Her inspiring point of view empowers all of us to stand up, speak out and forever end this ages-old injustice against women and girls.

Inspiring Women: The Individuals Who Have Shaped My Life

In this moving presentation, Mira Sorvino shares personal and professional stories of the incredible female mentors that empowered her to become an Oscar-winning actress, a wife and mother of four, an activist against prejudice and genocide, a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking, a breast cancer advocate, and prominent member of the #MeToo movement.

Beginning with a moving tribute to her own mother and grandmother, Sorvino’s profiles include:

  • Fellow victims of sexual harassment and abuse, including Anabella Sciorra, Tarana Burke, and Anita Hill.
  • Karla Jacinto, a human trafficking survivor who had been raped an estimate 43,000 times between the ages of 12-16, and went on to campaign for other victims.
  • Susie Cox, an African-American centenarian and daughter of slaves.
  • Champagne Joy, who turned her own fight against metastatic breast cancer into a campaign to increase resources to the latest-stage of the disease.
  • Lisa Kudrow, her co-star in the cult film Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.

From Harvard to Hollywood: Life Lessons Learned from a Woman on a Mission

As a successful Hollywood actress, Mira Sorvino has navigated Hollywood and found her passion in human rights advocacy—all while raising four children. Her life story and the lessons learned are both touching and inspiring. In this talk, Sorvino shares personal experiences and the challenges she faced from being bullied as a young child to losing her grandmother and close friends to cancer.

She is a firm believer that early influence can have a huge impact on your life. For her, helping other people was instilled at a young age by her parents. Through an engaging narrative with the right mixture of heart and reality, Mira will inspire you to get involved, give back to the community and find personal empowerment.

The Global Fight Against Human Trafficking: A Voice for Victims of Modern Day Slavery

According to the latest information, the trafficking of human beings currently claims 30 million victims and annual profits are upwards of $32 billion, tying for second place as the most lucrative criminal enterprise alongside arms trafficking (first place being illicit drugs). This form of transnational organized crime is a sophisticated, lucrative business where women and children are being bought and sold like commodities to the highest bidder.

The equivalent of modern day slavery, each of these faces of human trafficking violate the most basic human rights, freedom and dignity. Sorvino’s appointment as U.N. Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking has given her rare insight. In this thought-provoking talk, Sorvino pulls back the curtain on the abduction and coercion of women, men and children for the purpose of sex exploitation, bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, debt bondage, forced child labor and child soldiering. She will captivate you with her passion and leave you inspired with her personal belief that it is our sacred human responsibility to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. She is an inspired speaker who is able to move an audience to stand up for others, get involved and create change.

From the College Campus to the Streets of Cambodia: Anyone Can Be a Target of Human Trafficking

Since childhood, Sorvino has consistently made activism and advocacy a part of her life. She is passionate about human rights and sees the issues that might be hiding in plain sight. In this speech, Sorvino shares the unbelievable truth: human trafficking is not confined to the developing world as most might believe.

Human trafficking is taking place in American cities, towns and even on our college campuses. That’s right. Human trafficking has found its way onto America’s college campuses, big cities and small towns, and ANYONE can be a target. The belief that human trafficking is confined to low socio-economic status is a dangerous misconception. Sorvino shares the hard facts and offers important insights, serving as a wake-up call for parents and their young teens going off to college and living alone for the first time. She also shares inspiring stories of ordinary people who, with the proper awareness, have been able to bring down trafficking rings with a tip to the proper authorities, and heroic trafficking survivors who have not only turned their lives around but now live lives of heroic service leading the fight against modern day slavery.

Living with and Overcoming Illness: Why Family Support Matters to Recovery and Quality of Life

When Mira Sorvino lost her grandmother to cancer, she saw first-hand the difficulties a loved one faces when battling the disease. Out of that loss, Sorvino became an impassioned speaker on the need to find a cure. Her advocacy included marching in Washington DC alongside one of her dearest childhood friends and famed #Cancerland activist, Champagne Joy, who later lost her battle with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer.

Together, they made an impassioned plea to lawmakers to devote more focus and resources to this deadly killer of women. In this talk, Mira shares her personal loss and how family support can make a difference to a loved one with cancer. All cancers are devastating stealers of life, but the emotional support given to a family member dealing with complex feelings after a diagnosis can provide an important level of support that can help to improve all around quality of life.

Diabetes: A Family Matter

When Mira Sorvino’s father, beloved actor Paul Sorvino, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, rather than being afraid of what may come, the entire family looked for solutions to tackle this disease together. In this talk, Mira shares her tips for family involvement and engagement, including creative strategies to support lifestyle changes.

A spokesperson for “Diabetes Co-Stars,” a campaign to educate patients about the importance of family support, Mira goes in-depth about why success is about more than just exercise and healthier eating habits.