Ashley Judd – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this powerhouse woman leader, rising above personal issues, including depression, insomnia, and codependency. She has now taken on the challenge to lead the way in bettering the lives of others, with a focus on children. This activist, artist, with her focus on CHILDREN affected by HIV and HUMAN TRAFFICKING.





Ashley Judd


Ashley was born as Ashley Tyler Ciminella in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horse racing industry. Ashley’s elder sister, Wynonna, is also a country music singer. Her paternal grandfather was of Sicilian descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster. At the time of her birth, her mother was unemployed; she did not become well known as a singer until the early 1980s. DIVORCE not handles properly hurts children forver...

Judd’s parents divorced in 1972.

The following year, her mother took her back to her native Kentucky, where Judd spent the majority of her childhood. She also lived in Marin County, California, for two years during grade school.

Judd attended 13 schools before college, including the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky), Paul G. Blazer High School (Ashland, Kentucky) and Franklin High School in Tennessee. She briefly tried modeling in Japan during a school break. An alumna of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky, she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater and women’s studies. She spent a semester studying in France as part of her major. She graduated from the UK Honors Program and was nominated to Phi Beta Kappa, but did not graduate with her class. Forgoing her commitment to join the Peace Corps, after college she drove to Hollywood, where she studied with well-respected acting teacher Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West.

During this time, she worked as a hostess at The Ivy restaurant and lived in a Malibu rental house, which burned down in 1993.

horses1Around that time, her half-sister Wynonna Judd leased her a historic farmhouse and 10 acres of land in Williamson County, Tennessee, so she moved to Tennessee and lives near her mother Naomi and Wynonna.

In December 1999, Judd became engaged to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti, who was driving in the Champ Car World Series. Since the demise of the Champ Car World Series, Franchitti has raced in IndyCar and NASCAR. The couple married in December 2001 at Skibo Castle, near Dornoch, Scotland. They have no children, with Judd telling the Sunday Mail, “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries.”

Judd is known to attend University of Kentucky basketball games regularly (frequently sitting in the student section); she has also attended several Kentucky football games. Judd has been a guest columnist for a local Kentucky newspaper, writing about the NCAA championships.

Judd posed for a poster wearing only an ice hockey jersey for fund raising purposes for the University of Kentucky’s hockey team.

ashleyjudd3-xlgIn February 2006, Judd entered a program at Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas and stayed for 47 days. She was there because of personal issues, including depression, insomnia, and codependency.

A disagreement between Judd and Indy race car driver Milka Duno took place during the 2007 Indy Racing League season. After the final race of the 2007 season, the actress stated to the assembled news media, “I know this is not very sportsmanlike, but they’ve got to get the 23 car (Duno) off the track. It’s very dangerous. I’m tired of holding my tongue. She shouldn’t be out there. When a car is 10 miles (an hour) off the pace, it’s not appropriate to be racing. People’s lives are at stake.”

On May 9, 2007, it was announced that Judd had completed her bachelor’s degree, in French, from the University of Kentucky. In a May 2007 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Judd explained that she had completed her degree requirements in 1990 with 27 more credit hours taken than the required 120 hours, but had mistakenly thought she was one class short of the necessary requirements. At this time, she realized that she only needed to “sign a piece of paper” in order to graduate, and receive her diploma. DeGeneres then surprised Judd by presenting her with her diploma, which Ellen had acquired from the university.

Judd was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky on May 9, 2009. Judd subsequently earned a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree (MC/MPA) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010 through the Mid-Career Master of Public administration program (MC/MPA) (an eight credit program with a summer mentorship which typically takes a year to complete in contrast with the traditional MPA program which typically takes at least two years of study).


all-that-is-bitter-and-sweet-judd-book-cover2On April 5, 2011, Judd released her memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet where she talks about her trials and tribulations from adolescence to adulthood.

The course of true love never did run smooth. Ashley Judd is the first to admit that her relationship with estranged husband Dario Franchitti is a complicated one — but complicated isn’t necessarily bad.

judd-dario-franchitti-lgDivergent actress Ashley Judd opens up about her relationship with estranged husband Dario Franchitti, saying, “He’ll always be my loved one” Credit: Gregg DeGuire/

Speaking about the state of their marriage in the April issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, Judd says they’re still very much each other’s family.

“He’ll always be my loved one,” the Divergent actress, 45, tells the magazine. “Even before our wedding, we agreed not to tell people about our relationship, but to show them instead. What we’re showing them now is we’re human, we’re family, and this is what family looks like.”

On January 29, 2013, Judd and Franchitti announced that they had mutually decided to end their marriage.


Judd is active in humanitarian and political causes.

In 2008, Judd supported Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. In 2009, she appeared in a one-minute video advertisement for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, in which Judd condemned Alaska governor Sarah Palin for supporting aerial wolf hunting. In response, Palin stated the reason these wolves are killed is to protect the caribou population in Alaska, and she called the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund an “extreme fringe group“. In 2010, Judd signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s petition to urge Governor Steve Beshear to protect Kentucky’s homeless animals through tough enforcement of the state’s Humane Shelter Law.

Judd meeting with Senator Richard Lugar
She was appointed Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, an education and prevention program of the international NGO Population Services International (PSI), promoting AIDS prevention and treatment. Judd was honored November 10, 2009, as the recipient of the fourth annual USA Today Hollywood Hero, awarded for her work with PSI. On October 29, 2006, Judd appeared at a “Women for Ford” event for Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. She has also campaigned extensively locally and nationally for a variety of Democratic candidates, including President Barack Obama in critical swing states.

JUDD CONGOOn September 8, 2010, CNN interviewed Judd about her second humanitarian mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Judd traveled with the Enough Project, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. In the interview, Judd discussed her efforts to raise awareness about how conflict minerals fuel sexual violence in Congo. During her trip, Judd visited hospitals for victims of sexual violence, camps for displaced persons, mines, and civil society organizations. On September 30, 2010, published an op-ed titled “Ashley Judd: Electronics fuel unspeakable violence” by Ashley Judd and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast regarding the continued violence in Congo. Her op-ed discussed the recent provision in the Dodd-Frank Reform bill that requires companies to prove where their minerals originated.

On November 26, 2010, The Huffington Post published an op-ed by Judd, “Costs of Convenience”. The op-ed is excerpted from Ashley Judd’s trip diary from her trip to eastern Congo. Judd describes the link between her cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and e-reader and the continued rape and sexual violence in Congo. Judd also explains the immediate need for electronics companies to commit to tracing, auditing, and certifying the minerals in their products to guarantee a clean supply chain.

Judd again supported Democrats in the 2012 elections, endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election although she did not contribute financially to his campaign. She represented Tennessee as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She also considered returning to Kentucky and challenging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. In response, the Conservative Super PAC “American Crossroads” released an attack ad against Judd in Kentucky.

In February 2013, she invited her Twitter followers to join a mailing list, hinting that she might ultimately announce a run for the Senate to those on the list. However, she announced on her Twitter feed on March 27, 2013, that she would not run, citing her “need to be focused on my family.”

Judd endorsed Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State of Kentucky after she announced her candidacy.

However in an interview published in a Kentucky Newspaper in October 2013, her mother Naomi Judd hinted that her decision was based in a distrust of Washington insiders, whom Naomi called “sociopaths.” Naomi went on to say that during her trips to DC to explore a potential Senate bid, Ashley sobbed every night and traveled with a personal psychologist.

judd_605Yet more proof that Ashley Judd is seriously considering entering the race and making politics a whole lot more interesting, not to mention, at long last, enticing to young people:

Actress Ashley Judd privately met with officials at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington earlier this week, as she continues to weigh whether to mount a Senate run against Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, according to two sources familiar with the session.

The meeting indicates that the Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is still seriously weighing a political foray after spending the past several years as an outspoken environmental and liberal activist. But sources said it remains uncertain whether Judd wants to leave acting to take on the Senate minority leader, who is the Democrats’ top target in 2014 when he runs for a sixth term.


Ashley Judd Ambassador of Youth AidsAshley Judd’s humanitarian work has revolved around becoming a global ambassador for YouthAIDS, a prevention program under Population Services International. She has been a member of their Board of Directors since 2004, also.

Judd has traveled with YouthAIDS to places affected by illness and poverty such as Cambodia, Kenya, Rwanda, and many others.

Inspired by her travels, which allowed her to witness the life of the poor and uneducated, she has since become an advocate for preventing poverty and promoting awareness internationally. She has met with political and religious leaders, heads of states, diplomats, and leaders on behalf of the deprived to convey the message to those who have the power to bring about political and social change. Judd has also narrated three documentaries for YouthAIDS which aired internationally on the Discovery Channel, in National Geographic, and on VH1.

In 2011, she joined the Leadership Council of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).

Other organizations Judd has been involved with include Women for Women International and Equality Now, along with other non-governmental organizations that center around bringing attention to social, educational, health, economic, cultural and financial funding of the unfortunate.

Judd is active on the speakers’ circuit, regularly receiving $50,000 or more for attending a charity event and giving a speech – usually less than an hour long – about humanitarian topics.

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 join Ashley Judd as she talks about her own passion to end human trafficking of women and girls at the Canadian Women’s Foundation 2014 Toronto Breakfast. Ashley is a celebrated actor, activist and advocate for human rights and social justice, and the author of the best selling memoir All that is Bitter and Sweet.

cwf ashley juddAshley has been nominated for Golden Globes and Emmys, and has won a variety of critical awards. In recent years, she has largely chosen to opt-out of acting in order to focus on humanitarian work, and has been an advocate and activist for poverty alleviation, public health, human rights and social justice.

She has visited grassroots programs around the world, speaking truth to power and carrying the message of empowerment and equality to heads of state, donors, the private sector, and the media. As Ashley says, “The line that runs through all of my work is gender inequality. In all the pressing issues in which I am deeply involved, the lack of equal status of girls and women is central.”

Tickets are available for purchase today. Tables of eight are available for $2,500 and single tickets can be purchased for $325. TICKET PURCHASE HERE

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
7:30 a.m. Coffee Reception
8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast and Presentation
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Constitution Hall, North Building
255 Front Street West, Toronto

The 2014 Toronto Breakfast will support our ground breaking work to end human trafficking in Canada. Funds raised will provide funding for grassroots organizations across Canada that prevent trafficking and help girls and women escape sex trafficking and rebuild their lives. Our work also includes the development of a national anti-trafficking strategy and recommendations for ending this extreme form of violence against women.

For more information please contact Gurpreet Chahal [email protected] or 416-365-1444 x 239

She is an avid practitioner of yoga, cooking, and gardening.


A Celebration of Women



Brava Ashley!


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