The strides women are making in the world are not lost on business magazine Fast Company. That’s why they’ve dedicated their July/August issue to 60 female influencers who are changing the game in their feature, “The League of Extraordinary Women.” And though we’re always happy to revel in the accomplishments of women worldwide, what’s especially nice about this list is that it celebrates the successes of a number of black women from Alicia Keys, who landed the cover, Oprah, Laila Ali, and Liya Kebede, to Tiffany Dufu (The White House Project), Leymah Gbowee (Women and Peace Security Network), and Michele Ozumba (Women’s Funding Network).
The magazine talked to Alicia Keys about her work in South Africa with the Keep a Child Alive organization and how a chance offer from AIDS activist Leigh Blake to tour the country and witness its AIDS epidemic firsthand back in 2002, led Alicia to become one of the most prominent celebrity AIDS activists.
“I started meeting these kids who had been so isolated and alone, and not much younger than me,” said Alicia who is now 31 but was only 21 when she began her work. “It was so deep to me. Leigh had a very clear vision, that if we could get these kids the right antiretroviral medication, we could allow them to lead a full life. I dedicated myself to that vision right then.”
The two ended up founding Keep a Child Alive later as an organization dedicated to raising funds for medication and HIV-related programs.
“When I think of these crazy stories of women in certain countries who are forbidden birth control or protection of any sort,” she said, sighing, “these married women concerned that their husbands have the virus . . . it works out in the worst way for them.”
Thankfully, the millions of dollars she’s raised over the past 10 years has helped to make sure things start to work out the best for these women. Check out the full list of Fast Company‘s extraordinary women here. What do you think?
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