A Year in Review – Cultured Focus Magazine presents ‘Top Changemakers of 2021’, an awe-inspiring collection of game changing individuals, organisations and events centred on creating positive change in the world.
As you read through this list you’ll notice a few common threads – empowerment, diversity, community, and relentless resilience.
Dr Bridget Leonard & Mia Edwards – Leading in the Field of Mental Health
With the challenges faced globally as a result of COVID-19, our mental health matters more than ever before. Committed to helping others find the courage and motivation to ‘do the work’, Dr. Bridget Leonard and Mia Edwards, MSW, LSW are providing tools to cope with grief and improve mental health within the African American community and beyond.
Jonathan Plutzik – Owner of The Betsy Hotel| South Beach, Miami
Sitting at the quiet end of Ocean Drive, The Betsy Ross Hotel is inspired by the iconic surrounds of South Beach, Miami. Family owned and operated, The Betsy provides luxury with soul and celebrates a diverse range of artists, both local and international. Jonathan Plutzik is committed to championing the arts and culture and creating carefully curated environments for us to contemplate our life and work.
Norsham Mohamad-Garcia – Founder of Miami Modest Fashion Week
Norsham considers the morality behind fashion as Miami Modest Fashion Week advocates for a lifestyle with diversity, inclusion, and individuality at its core. Bringing together a global collective of designers, Norsham emphasizes the importance of culture and story as a prompt to help us explore who we truly are.
Tayo Ishola – Creative Director of Eido Swimwear
Breaking new ground with standout fashion pieces that are true conversation starters, Tayo believes these conversations can prompt meaningful dialogue, foster relationships, and help people to birth new, innovative ideas. ‘Eido’, a Greek word meaning ‘to know’ or ‘to be aware’, Eido Swimwear is constructed for the woman who is undoubtedly aware of who she is, and is totally comfortable in her skin. The ideal Eido woman does not yearn for validation; she is an energetic woman who desires to swim in style and stand out. The collection features a variety of options from bikinis to one piece suits and resort wear available in both simple, structured pieces and complex patterns. Each chic swimsuit features prints conceived and created by Tayo, and is designed to tell its own story in a unique way while flattering the woman’s body.
Diversity in Cannes – Founded by Yolanda Brinkley
An independent global film movement promoting inclusion (founded by Yolanda Brinkley), ‘Diversity in Cannes’ is inspiring others to start on their own passion projects despite lagging systemic change. The message is clear, simple, and important, ‘empower yourself and get it done,’ in the film industry and beyond!
Nelly – Rapper-Singer
Education can change a life. Global music icon, Nelly, understands the power education can have on empowering someone to change their life for the better. For years, Nelly has quietly shared his wealth to support underprivileged youth through college, showing the capacity for change acts of kindness can have.
Lena Waithe – ‘Twenties’ TV Series Writer
‘Twenties’, written by Lena Waithe, offers a masculine-presenting queer Black woman as its lead, pioneering diversity in primetime television. With its second season premiering in 2021, the series explores important themes of inclusion, love, and community. Notably, the relationships between lead ‘Hattie’ and her friends Marie and Nia highlight the value of our ‘tribe’ as we navigate life. The show is ground-breaking and at the fore-front of industry change.
Carolina Ignarra – CEO and Founder of Talento Incluir| Brazil
Breaking down systemic workplace discrimination for those with disabilities is Ignarra’s mission. The documentary film ‘Talento Incluir’ follows Carolina’s journey through adversity, to become a woman on a mission to lead a purpose-driven business campaigning for workplace inclusivity. As the founder of Talento Incluir in Brazil, Ignarra has been a pioneer for making change countrywide in the workplace.
Women in Cinema Awards |Italy
The Women in Cinema Awards event acknowledges the contributions of incredible women in cinema, but it does much more than that. Events of this kind shine a light on trailblazing women and honour their successes, further advocating for women’s rights and the value their contributions make to the betterment of society.
With over 6.3 million visitors as of December 13th, 2021, ‘Expo 2020’ hosted in the Middle East/Africa South Asia region for the first time is a global exhibition to showcase ideas, innovations, culture, and opportunities. The theme being connecting minds and creating the future, Expo has delighted both the youth and young at heart. In light of the challenges facing humanity, the goal is to bring communities together to build a better future. The Expo 2020 organizing committee has indeed brought the world ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ and impacted lives for the better.
Dr Reem El Mutwalli – The Zay Initiative| United Arab Emirates
The Zay Initiative, founded in 2019 by Dr. Reem El Mutwalli, fuses the worlds-first Arab dress-history archive with female empowerment. Their exhibition at Expo 2020 (The Draped in Heritage Photographic Exhibition) showcases 20 trailblazing women from the UAE adorned in historic garments, a reverent ode to the past and nod to the future. Dr. El Mutwalli endeavours to empower the voices of the women that came before, paving the way for future generations. The non-profit organization, welcomes donations from individuals, institutions, brands, corporations to facilitate the important research and work that must continue.
Swizz Beatz – Co-founder of Verzuz, Virtual Music Battle Series
Swizz Beatz, record producer, rapper, and philanthropist in equal measure, was the winner of the Icon Award at the 5th Annual Culture Creators Awards Brunch in 2021. The award recognised his contributions to his creative community and Black culture at large.
A true industry force for good, he has impacted the lives of millions and been a source of inspiration for young and old globally.
We thank the 2021 Changemakers for their continued dedication to their respective crafts, championing change, and making tangible differences in the lives of those they touch.
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