50 of the most impactful creators, artists, and activists in 2017

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Who are the people whose ideas you are listening to? Whose leadership are you following or respecting? Are you making efforts to seek out and learn from the perspectives and insights of people who have been oppressed (for generations)? If not, PLEASE DO. Your life will be better and collectively we’ll be one step closer to a better life for all of us.

Not sure who to learn from? Here’s a list of 50 impactful creators, artists, and activists whose imaginations extend beyond normalizing and affirming the same mainstream messages, folks who have taken risks and are pushing us closer to democracy being a practice not a hope, and racial inclusion being a basic starting point instead of a goal. Google any of them and find some media to consume. Let it touch your heart and activate your spirit.

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Pray With Your Feet

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Honoring the Homeless Community Leaders

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Every single person has gifts to offer. So many people in so many different life circumstances, dedicate their days and nights to giving their gifts and serving a greater good. My heart purrs deeply reading about these folks being honored and recognized for their service and fierce compassion.

“The awards centered on who in the BeLoved group (people who are living on the streets) has really shown leadership qualities and has been working on behalf of the whole community to create change.”

So much love and gratitude for BeLoved Asheville and the gracious souls ofAmy CantrellAdrienne Sigmon, and Ponkho Bermejo.

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Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys

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Introverts Response to Party Invitations

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Thank you for inviting me to your holiday/birthday/going-away/celebration party. I want to come and celebrate how fabulous you and/or your work is. I want to get to know your people and expand my own circle of relations. I’m really grateful that you invited me. And… as an ever-increasing-introvert, I might not make it. The journey to get to your party, the anticipation of what it will be like when I arrive and have to navigate moving though humans, making small talk, and finding my place and way in a sea of human activity… well, there’s a high likelihood that the hermit in me will say, “Instead, let’s stay home. Put on some music and let’s find something fun to do here instead. You’ve had enough people in your life for today. Keep it simple. Send love and gratitude to all those good people at the party and have your own party here.” I’ll listen to her, and I’ll also notice the part of me that is disappointed to miss your party. So, thank you for your understanding if I don’t show up, if I leave early or if I play with your kids instead of hanging with the adults. I’m giving it what I’ve got! And next time there’s a small group getting together, those invitations are easier for me to say yes to. 

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Why are White Folks so Resistant?

“Yeah! I had those thoughts too and you know what? It didn’t kill me to let go of them. And it wont kill you either. You won’t suddenly lose all the comforts of your life when you acknowledge that, other people, through no fault of their own, do not have access to the same privileges. Your children can still have full and happy lives without the unearned advantages of Whiteness…Yeah it’s UNCOMFORTABLE to have to think about this all the time but guess what, POC {People of Color} don’t have a choice. The least you can do is sit in DISCOMFORT. That will not kill you. Racism DOES kill POC.” Racism is a problem created by White people for the benefit of White people and White people are stepping up to address it and need to keep on stepping up because seriously, POC, especially Black people, have enough on their hands just learning how to find peace and safety in daily living than to be responsible for waking White people up too.” ~A.R. Alonzo

White folks in leadership positions or those with enough financial security (not necessarily wealthy, but with enough to cover your bills, enjoy some pleasurable extras, and perhaps even save) — why are we so resistant to making changes in our own lives to make the world safer for others? Why do we get in the way of sharing the privileges we have? Why are we so afraid of being uncomfortable? Why are we so stiff in our imagination that we can’t imagine and act to influence both a peaceful, safe, joy-filled life for ourselves, our families, AND folks of color, children of color, and people who are living in poverty as well?

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Rich People Waging War on the Poor

“This war of the rich on the poor is really astounding. On top of a huge budget deficit, unprecedented inequality in America, largest wealth soaring at the top, they want more, and more, and more…. I’ve never seen anything like this in being part of and watching policy in this country for three and a half decades.”

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries.

Hear him explain more about the deficit and public debt that we currently have in this country and its history in the video in the comments.

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