The easy answer would be our recent Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai, so I won’t do that. After a few posts about her last month, I think you get the gist. Instead, I’ll spotlight another person who is taking action on her causes, which shouldn’t be confused with writing about causes. This is not to diminish the importance of creating awareness, as writing does, but to instead spotlight a more active participation in the world where we have to actually interact with people.
I chose Geena Davis.
She began the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. While this may not seem like a great cause to some, changing the face of media changes us. It’s evident in the way that people talk about how the original Star Trek series changed the world. Suddenly not all Asians were enemies and not all African-American women were maids. They were officers equal to their white male counterparts. Media changes us. It changes the way we look at the world and science fiction has been a great medium to show us how far we can still go. We also need drama and comedy to show us where we are. Media stimulates our minds and can allow us to feel compassion for people in vastly different environments and circumstances than our own. Showing us where we are can excite us to change our position and vector in on where we see we want to go. Media is incredibly important to social change.
For this, I appreciate where Geena Davis strives to take media. They created this great 2014 timeline of their events last year, including their groundbreaking research on media representation called Gender Bias Without Borders, and now Davis is set to launch the Bentonville Film Festival to push for diversity in film.
As you may know, narrowing things down to one person to highlight can be difficult, especially when so many do great work for gender equality and feminism. There are a few more people I wanted to give attention to for this:
Laverne Cox has also begun her own advocacy and is on tour speaking about transgender issues.
Noble Laureate Malala Yousafzai continues her campaign for girl’s education in addition to an education and childhood for all children.
Andrew Marin (our November spotlight) continues advocating to raise the conversation between the church and the transgender community, among others.
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