Story and Illustrations by Kaleigh Grace
Greta Thunberg: An 18-year-old climate activist began to garner international attention when she started skipping her Friday classes to campaign outside the Swedish parliament for climate change. Her work for the reformation of environmental policies is paving the way for a greener future, and inspiring hundreds of thousands of others to join the fight. Thunberg has already been nominated for 3 Nobel prizes and began a nonprofit organization for her #fridaysforfuture campaign.
Malala Yousafzai: Founder of the Malala Fund, this Pakistani-born woman is fighting to give girls access to the education they deserve. She had attended an all-girls school in her village until 2012 when she and other girls were banned from receiving an education by the Taliban. Despite the ban, she continued to pursue an education and was shot. She has continued to be an avid campaigner for women’s rights and expanding schooling for girls.
Megan Rapinoe: Rapinoe is a professional athlete who led the US women’s soccer team to victory for the World Cup in 2019. She is also a strong advocate for women’s rights and helped file a lawsuit on gender discrimination within the United States soccer federation. The US men’s team earns far more than the women’s team despite the men being placed 21st in the world and the women’s team being number 1. Rapinoe is the fourth woman to ever be named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year.
Shani Dhanda: An award-winning disability specialist and social entrepreneur, Shani Dhanda founded the Diversability Card initiative, the Asian Woman Festival and the Asian Disability Network, which she continues to lead. She uses her platform to unite people and for the common purpose of empowering underrepresented communities. Dhanda is recognized as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people.
Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim: This Nigerian filmmaker, producer and screenwriter creates work that tells the story of Nigeria’s marginalized LGBTQ people. Herfilm, “Love”, in Yoruba, tells the story of two Nigerian lesbians navigating the harsh, homophobic realities of the country they live in. The film has faced state censorship in Nigeria, where homosexuality remains an extremely controversial issue.