Christy Turlington Burns
With more than twenty-five years at the forefront of the fashion industry, having graced every magazine cover from Vogue to Time, Christy Turlington Burns has established a diverse career as a model, writer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, advocate and now filmmaker.
Burns recently finished filming a very personal documentary film profiling the status of maternal health worldwide. In her gripping directorial debut, Burns shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States. NO WOMAN, NO CRY made its world premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Concurrent with the debut of her documentary, Burns launched an interactive, take action website – EVERYMOTHERCOUNTS.org – the keystone to a carefully constructed, strategic outreach campaign tied to raising awareness about maternal health and taking action to improve the lives of women worldwide.
Philanthropy and service have long been a part of Burns’ personal and professional mission to make a lasting impact on the world. As the daughter of a Central American mother, she felt compelled to support efforts to rebuild post-war El Salvador in the early 1990’s. After losing her father to lung cancer in 1997, Burns’ activism shifted to preventative healthcare, more specifically smoking prevention and cessation. Burns collaborated on several public health service campaigns and in 2002 launched an award-winning website, smokingisugly.com.
Burns also founded two successful lifestyle brands; sundãri, an Ayurvedic skincare line and nuala, a yoga inspired apparel and accessories line. She also merged her love of yoga and writing to author her first book, “Living Yoga: Creating A Life Practice“ (Hyperion).
In 2005, she began working with the international humanitarian organization CARE and has since become their Advocate for Maternal Health. She has also been an Ambassador for (RED) since their launch in 2006. Her work on behalf of CARE and (RED) inspired her to pursue a Masters in Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School where she is currently in her second year.