003 : 5 Voices We're Listening To

We spent the week last week listening, learning, signing petitions and marching. There’s so much more to learn, know, and do. We look forward to the ongoing work and the partnerships and new relationships we will make being active!

This week, we are featuring filmmakers, writers, policy makers and activists that we are paying attention to who are making a difference. There are millions of brilliant voices out there but we hope you can learn from the below.

As you know, this is an ongoing series where each week, we share five voices to help educate ourselves on systemic racism. Again, we encourage you to share additional resources with us or your thoughts on the selection below!

Ava Duvernay photo with work: A Wrinkle in Time, 13th, When They See Us

Ava DuVernay

You might already know Ava DuVernay from watching Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, an inspirational and heartwarming family film that encourages young girls to seek the power within and Selma which shows us the behind the scenes events of MLK’s march in Selma, but have you watched 13th?!?! OR When They See Us? If you’ve ever wondered how the U.S. prison system came to be and why the justice system should be on trial, please take some time to watch these works. Ava presents information clearly with evidence from multiple sources to educate us on the realities of our system that we may have a hard time seeing on our own. Writer, producer, director and most recently elected to the Film Academy Board, she is a leader and FORCE to watch in this new world we are creating. Here are a few links related to her and her incredible, award winning work!

Learn more:

Why Ava DuVernay is Exactly What We Need Right Now

Watch 13th on Youtube

See All Her Latest Projects

Follow her on Insta

Ta-Nehisi Coates photo with work: Between the World and Me, The Ezra Klein Show

Ta-Nehisi Coates

On a recommendation, I recently listened to Ezra Klein’s interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates. His positive reaction to the protests and marches surprised me, but I found his point of view encouraging and optimistic. I don’t want to give away too much, but he breaks down the real change and effectiveness he’s seeing in today’s protests vs. some others made in the recent past. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, writing about culture, politics and social issues. He’s also the author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me. His writing style is refreshing, direct and warm.

Learn more:

Listen to his appearance on the Ezra Klein Podcast

Read his writing for The Atlantic

Camille J. Moore photo with work: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Camille J. Moore

We learned about Camille Moore through our partnership with Vital Voices. She is a policy advisor with the U.S. Helsinki Commission and an Energy Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Camille doesn’t have a huge presence on social media, but we want to share that she’s one to watch and hopefully will have her as a guest on one of our upcoming IG lives. We are looking to her to help guide future policy to make environmental issues a true priority for our nation and the world. She’s also been an active participant in making sure that the black community is involved with STEM research that moves the needle in our policies.

Learn more:

Read about her role as a policy advisor

Read the policies she's behind

Read more about the Helsinki Commission

Kendrick Sampson photo with work: BLM, BLD PWR, actor

Kendrick Sampson

If you watch HBO’s Insecure, then you know that Kendrick plays hottie Nate, a love interest of Issa’s. Kendrick is a beautiful and charming actor who gives us insight on how mental health can be subtly crippling to an individual and the people close by. Not only is he a talented actor, but he’s also a big time activist for the Black Lives Matter Movement specifically in LA as well as his own non-profit: BLD PWR (pronounced build power). We’ve been seeing his active passion and eloquence in action in many of the LA marches and protests and we can’t help but have a huge crush on this effective man. Get a load of his lives and posts that have been helping us learn and digest what’s going on in this world and the actions that we can be taking to make a difference to be anti-racist.

Learn more:

Follow him on Insta

Watch his interview with Elle

Check out HBO's Insecure

Check out his Non-profit: BLD PWR

Melina Abdullah photo with work: BLM, Cal State LA, Beautiful Struggle, Twitter feed

Melina Abdullah

Former chair of the department of Pan-African Studies at Cal State LA, Dr. Abdullah is a co-founder of the LA chapter of Black Lives Matter. The daughter of a union organizer and serving on the board of several black activism organizations, she inspires us with her actions, organization and words. Dr. Abdullah reminds us that our collective work to be anti-racist "is a movement, not a moment." She does what she says and leads us out of the darkness of ignorance with her weekly podcasts, writings and work. There’s too much to say about all of the work that she does so please take a look at the below links to help guide you!

Learn more:

Follow her on Insta

Learn about her work as a professor and researcher at Cal State LA

Listen to her podcast, Beautiful Struggle

Follow her on Twitter

Have a recommendation for our readers? Pop it below in the comments!