With this year's theme being Embrace Equity, meet the women and non gender conforming people from all over the world who are doing their part to make the world a better place.
Marin Alsop is an Orchestra Conductor known for her work with some of the world's leading orchestras and ensembles, and for being the first woman to conduct a major North American orchestra. A fierce believer in equity, Alsop has spent over 40 years in the industry, advocating for the inclusion and visibility of women in the director's podium and the classical music scene. One of her greatest contributions in this matter is the Taki Alsop fellowship, a two-year program offering mentoring and incredible opportunities for women building a career in the world of conducting and classical music. - Cande Gomez
Deja Foxx is a 22-year-old activist who became “The New Face of Planned Parenthood” (on The Washington Post) when she was just 16 years old. Since then, she’s used her platform to co-found the “El Rio Reproductive Health Access Project”, which has helped over 17,000 young people with birth control services and STI testing, and founded the “GenZ Girl Gang”, a community dedicated to empowering women. She proves that young people from all backgrounds are able to not only uplift each other, but also fight for their political rights.
- Kashmini Shah
BBC journalist and presenter Naga Munchetty entered the editorial scene in the early 2000s — a tough time for women entering journalism. Through the John Schofield Fellowship, she told her story of imposter syndrome and how, even at her level, people within the industry often remark: “You only got this position because you’re a woman and a minority.” These remarks have also tragically come from viewers at home, showing that there is much to still achieve in striking a balance of equality and equity. Nevertheless, Naga continues to do inspiring work, while supporting early career journalists by giving them the connections they need to thrive in what’s otherwise seen as an ‘old boys club’ of the newsrooms. - Elle Farrell Kingsley
Nadya Tolokonnikova is a Russian activist, musician and conceptual artist who has dedicated themself to challenging hierarchies. A member of feminist punk band/network Pussy Riot, she and two other members spent two years as prisoners of conscience after staging “A Punk Prayer”: a protest against Putin’s re-election and anti-feminist church traditions. She's co-founder of Mediazona, a news network reporting on Russia’s violations of human rights. Nadya is also co-founder of digital art collective UnicornDAO, who support women and gender-expansive artists by commissioning and buying NFTs of their work; using the money raised to fund LGBTQ+ and women's rights organisations. - Mystaya Bremaud
Malala is a women's education activist, fighting for equal education rights worldwide. I admire her consistent, unyielding dedication to equal education rights for women. Despite being shot in the head by the Taliban at just 15 for speaking about the right to female's education, she continues to defy this injustice forced upon over 130 million girls worldwide. She provides a powerful, inspiring voice and encourages others to share their stories and speak up for equality. - Gabs Bennington
Najwa Zebian is a Lebanese-Canadian activist known and beloved for her poetry books, such as 'Mind Platter'. Zebian is more than merely a true talent when it comes to words, though – she is also an educator who strives to break barriers when it comes to speaking our truth. She believes that it's important to begin wholly accepting and learning to love every damaged piece of our imperfect being, regardless of race, orientation or anything we may see as a flaw or difference within ourselves. We are all constantly learning and breaking and healing – a process in itself to be deemed as beautiful. - Ciera Cree