A Few Of Our Favorites From Time’s 100 Most Influential People List
As you know, every year Time Magazine releases a list of their 100 most influential people for the yearhttp://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/. And while Donald Trump made the list, likely out of custom– the fact is that sadly, he does have perhaps more influence than he’s ever had before. But we won’t dwell too long on him, instead we’ll focus on the amazing people who we were thrilled to see on the list. But more than the fact that they were chosen, it’s the beautiful things that their notable peers had to say abotu them as well. Check it all out on the following pages.
— Jean D. Breaux (@jeandbro) April 8, 2017
The Women’s March was the most inspiring and transformational moment I’ve ever witnessed in politics. It was a joyful day of clarity and a lightning bolt of awakening for so many women and men who demanded to be heard.
And it happened because four extraordinary women—Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour—had the courage to take on something big, important and urgent, and never gave up. – Kirsten Gillibrand
“Last year, Alicia sparked a #NoMakeup movement. She expressed her desire to go makeup-free, released her single “In Common” with bare, gorgeous cover art and began making public appearances with the same beautiful commitment. Why? Because Alicia doesn’t hide her truth, her flaws, her dreams or her journey.
It is that authenticity and vulnerability that endear her to us. We are drawn to her honesty, we respect and adore her, and in doing so, we move closer to embracing our own true selves.
In the entertainment industry, there is intense pressure to conform in order to create an easily marketable product. But if you listen to Alicia’s music, learn about her Keep a Child Alive foundation or witness her life, you know that she is not a product of anyone but God, her family and her truth.” – Kerry Washington
It wasn’t just the comedy that drew me close to Leslie Jones…It wasn’t just the beauty, though it radiates from her unchecked.
It was, in fact, the kindness, the thoughtfulness and the way she owns all of who she is.
She stalks the audience from the stage and in front of the cameras. Like the comedy greats throughout history, she’s there to give, and what she is prepared to give is all of who she is.
All the absurdity and pathos of being human. All the joy of having a heart that big. She’s going to be the person who says out loud what you were thinking, when you didn’t even realize you thought like that…Yes, it was Leslie Jones who drew me to Leslie Jones.” – Russell Crowe
Chance the Rapper
“Years ago, my grandmother asked me to call her friend’s grandson. “I want you to give him some words of encouragement,” she said. “He wants to be a rapper.” She gave me his number, and I left him a message. I told him to keep following his dreams. Then I forgot all about it.
Years later, my teenage daughter played me a new mixtape she loved from an artist named Chance the Rapper. There was something unique and soulful about it—I could tell he really knew hip-hop. And when I first met him, I realized that he knew me too. “You won’t remember this,” he said, “but you called me when I was a kid.”
Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label.
I’m glad Chance followed his dreams. I hope he always does.” – Common
“Barry Jenkins is one of the rare artists who are willing to look into the deeper places of themselves and society in order to provide a lens through which we may discover the humanity at our core. And he has come to the attention of the world at precisely the right moment, just when we most need someone to give voice to those who have not been heard.” – Kathryn Bigelow
Ava’s point of view is fresh, it’s inspiring, it’s original, it makes people’s heads turn. But she also embraces other people’s perspectives. When we worked together, Ava was able to integrate herself into my life and see things through my eyes. It takes a very special person to do something like that.” – Venus Williams
“Of The Exorcist, James Baldwin once wrote, “I was most concerned with the audience. I wondered what they were seeing, and what it meant to them.” Sitting in a crowded theater, I wonder the same as I take in Jordan Peele’s astonishing Get Out. In the shifting laughter lacing the room, at once rancorous, nervous, defensive and, yes, knowing, a cinema maxim is turned on its head—rather than presenting us a mirror, this multi-hyphenate auteurist shows us more of ourselves than we ever wanted to see, a window through which America is left no choice but to recognize the purgatory of her own sunken place…” – Barry Jenkins
“And she is the best at it. Not the best black gymnast, not the best black-girl gymnast. The best gymnast. It really is inspiring. It’s like she’s sending a message to everyone who’s watching: No matter what you’re going through in life or what your circumstances are, you still can be No. 1. You’ve just got to work hard.” – Leslie Jones
“Ru was different. Not just because he had perfect, precise clothes and makeup, or because he was the only man I knew who could look that good in a wig and heels. There were no rough edges to be found. But as I got to know him better, I got to experience firsthand his wit and his intelligence—he’s like an encyclopedia. And his beauty is far beyond skin-deep… I am blessed to know Ru. We all are.” – Naomi Campbell
Former Gambian Justice Minister Fatou Bensouda now presides over investigations and prosecutions at the International Criminal Court at one of the most fraught moments in its 19-year existence. Earlier this year, leaders of the African Union called for a collective withdrawal from the court, claiming that the arbiter of the world’s most morally repugnant crimes is racist, colonial and anti-African because it has almost exclusively investigated and prosecuted Africans. Russia has already left, and the Philippines has hinted that it might follow suit, signaling a dissolution of the only independent international body truly capable of investigating and prosecuting genocide and crimes against humanity wherever they happen.
Bensouda isn’t going to let that happen without a fight. When countries started announcing their intent to leave, she blasted them for giving African leaders a free hand “to commit genocide.” She has also directed the court to consider new cases from Ukraine, Iraq, Colombia and Afghanistan, which should put some of the criticism to rest.
Justice may be blind. But when it comes to the politics of where it can be applied, Bensouda knows she has to go in with her eyes wide open. – Aryn Baker
“Her gifts as an artist are unassailable, undeniable, deep and rich and true. But her importance in the culture—her ability to identify it, her willingness to speak about it and take on responsibility for it—is what marks her for greatness.” – Meryl Streep