By KC Baker
April 05, 2018 03:07 PM

Ashley Judd will be honored by the Greenwich International Film Festival for helping women and children around the world, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s honoree Renee Zellweger, who was lauded for her work supporting ALS research, Judd is slated to receive the Changemaker Award at the festival’s 4th annual gala on May 31, in Greenwich, Connecticut.

“It is an honor to have been chosen as a Changemaker Award recipient at the 2018 Greenwich International Film Festival,” the actress and activist said in a statement. “The festival serves as a great example of how film can be elevated to affect social change, and I’m grateful to be a part of such an extraordinary community.”

Mideast Jordan, Mafraq, Jordan
Credit: Raad Adayleh/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Lauryn Hill is scheduled to perform at the festival’s opening night on June 1.

Since 2014, the Changemaker Award has honored artists who have used “their public platform and the power of film to further positive social change,” says GIFF’s Chairman of the Board, Wendy Stapleton Reyes.

Since 2016, Judd — who has become one of the most powerful voices behind the Time’s Up Movement — has worked tirelessly as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), traveling to countries including Jordan, Ukraine, Turkey, India and most recently Bangladesh, to help improve the lives of women and children.

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Named as one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2017 for being one of the “silence breakers” against sexual harassment, Judd is the also the global ambassador for Population Services International and Polaris, which is working to eradicate human trafficking.

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
Credit: Venturelli/WireImage

Ashley Judd

In 2017, Christy Turlington Burns shared the spotlight with Zellweger when she received a Changemaker award for her work with Every Mother Counts, a non-profit dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe.

Other Changemaker honorees include Mia Farrow, Freida Pinto, Trudie Styler and Abigail Breslin.

“We are incredibly honored to have Ashley Judd as our 2018 Changemaker,” says Reyes. “She is an unapologetic voice for equality and women’s rights throughout the world. Ashley serves as an incredible example of an individual who, despite the consequences, has refused to be silenced when she has been confronted by injustice and has therefore eased the path for the next generation.”

For information about the festival and tickets to Hill’s performance, visit