100 years of Nelson Mandela

From Actress to Activist: Connie Nielsen Brings “Justice” to the Real World

Justice League star Connie Nielsen believes we need to reframe the way we view the world’s poor. While working on a film in Africa in the 90’s, Connie lived in a community of people with no access to infrastructure, opportunity or education. This experience gave her first-hand knowledge of the cliche narratives surrounding the poor and inadvertently lead to a series of events that caused her to co-found The Human Needs Project.

When you are very poor, there is no network, there is no access point.

While well-intentioned fundraising and media campaigns use pity to spur people into action, she has dedicated her life to changing the perception and status of the poor. “[Why do we] think that other people are able to do something without access to the same tools that you and I use?”

Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta in 2017’s Wonder Woman. Photo courtesy of DC Comics Movie.

In our exclusive interview with Connie she discusses the motivations, obstacles and rewards of the Human Needs Project.


In 2010, Connie Nielsen co-founded Human Needs Project to create a one-stop-shop sustainable services for slum residents. She is a WORLDZ Master and a 2016 Nelson Mandela Changemaker.