Meet the Artists and Writers Leveraging Their Voices for Good

An aboriginal playwright, a feminist filmmaker, and more.

Each year, GOOD celebrates 100 people from around the globe who are improving our world in creative and innovative ways—advocates, inventors, educators, creatives, business leaders and more who are speaking up, building things, campaigning for change, and ultimately refusing to accept the status quo.

In this section, meet 14 storytellers raising their voices to represent the vast diversity of mankind.

Genevieve Clay-Smith Makes Filmmaking Inclusive


Filmmaker and actress Genevieve Clay-Smith doesn’t think you should count anyone out. Be My Brother, Clay-Smith’s award-winning 2008 short film, starred an actor with Down syndrome, and inspired Bus Stop Films, her nonprofit film studies program and production company for aspiring filmmakers with intellectual disabilities. Its films have screened at over 90 festivals worldwide and won more than 50 awards. This year, in addition to continuing to dispel the stigma surrounding intellectual disabilities, she is developing curriculum to share with like-minded organizations.

Nakkiah Lui’s Unapologetic Art and Activism


Writer, actress, and aboriginal activist Nakkiah Lui followed up her groundbreaking 2014 sketch series, Black Comedy—a biting satire from the perspective of Australia’s first people—in style. The proud Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander debuted two new acclaimed plays: the raucous Blak Cabaret and the pointed Kill the Messenger, the latter of which explores the deaths of two Australian aboriginal people battling systemic racism. She also went viral—her speech last summer at the University of Sydney denouncing white privilege and the colonization of Australia incited discussion about racism in Australian theater.

eL Seed Transcends Cultural Divides

Paris, Dubai

French-Tunisian artist eL Seed calls his renowned intricate blend of Arabic calligraphy and street art “calligraffiti.” Preaching peace through colorful mash-ups of script and identity on post-revolution walls, his work has grown increasingly significant over the last year as mass migration has caused cultures to collide.

Sarah Feely Focuses on Unlikely Heroes

Los Angeles

Feeley makes films about the underdog, the other, and the hidden side of things. She helped produce Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers, about the dark side of war contract cronyism, and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, about small-town crusaders who took on the retail giant. Her most recent documentary, last year’s Raising Ryland, is an intimate portrait of two supportive parents and their young transgender son.

Mynette Louie Puts Women Center Stage


Film producer Mynette Louie is president of Gamechanger Films, the first film fund and production company devoted exclusively to narrative features directed by women. Its latest, the minimalist Lovesong, directed by So Yong Kim, debuted at Sundance in January. The SXSW-hyped, Karyn Kusama-directed dinner party horror, The Invitation, comes out in March.

Inua Ellams Explores the Human Condition


Inua Ellams is a Nigerian-British poet, playwright, performer, and graphic artist whose work explores notions of fate and identity rising from conflict and displacement. He blends old and modern techniques, seamlessly splicing mediums and forms in his myriad creative projects. Ellams, who has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company, is currently working on a sequence of poems, inspired by the notoriety of Nigerian financial escapades.

Clinton Walker Spotlights Marginalized Musicians


When music journalist Clinton Walker published Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music in 2000, the book, documentary, and soundtrack reshaped the history of music in Australia, detailing how aboriginal bush ballad traditions evolved into the country’s best rock ‘n’ roll. An updated version has snowballed into a festival series sending aboriginal country acts around the world. Walker will soon finish his long-gestating companion work, Deadly Woman Blues, a graphic history of black female Australian musicians complete with a documentary, album, and stage show.

Ivan Moraes Democratizes Brazil’s Media


Six years ago, filmmaker and producer Ivan Moraes profiled hundreds of indigenous, African, disabled, and LGBT citizens in his hit documentary series, Pé Na Rua. At communication rights organization Centro de Cultura Luiz Freire, he focuses on the media’s institutional marginalization of such groups, raising awareness of problematic public policy and lobbying for more democratic broadcast systems. In 2016, Moraes is helping launch a public, city-owned FM radio station in Recife.

Tania El Khoury Provokes with Performance Art


Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is known for art interventions that intrude into public space. She once staged a spy thriller in a public area in London, turning passersby into unwitting participants—her response to a British police report on how to spot a terrorist, essentially a primer on racial profiling. She also swam the Beirut coast to question increasing coastline privatization. Her interactive Gardens Speak project plays audio of ordinary Syrians’ final moments from speakers placed beneath an artificial graveyard.

Chaka Studio Preserves a Problematic Past


In 1995, the Peruvian government forced the sterilization of over 272,000 women and 21,000 men, mostly indigenous. Twenty years later, British production company Chaka Studio’s Maria Court, Rosemarie Lerner, Sebastian Melo, and Ewan Cass-Kavanaugh have unveiled The Quipu Project. An online transmedia documentary, the project has recorded hundreds of victims’ stories over an anonymous phone line, creating an archive that preserves and reclaims collective trauma. The team is working now to tour the project around the world as an interactive exhibit.

THEESatisfaction Speaks Its Truth

Brooklyn, Seattle

As THEESatisfaction, Catherine “Cat” Harris-White and Stasia “Stas” Irons croon and spit sharp social commentary over futuristic funk-psychedelic tunes. In 2015, the musical duo released its sophomore album EarthEE, which stretches the genre-mashing soul of their 2012 debut, awE naturalE, across frenzied tribal beats as the lyrics cover everything from cultural appropriation to sexism to the idea of a post-racial society.

Serge Attukwei Clottey Confronts Colonial Legacies


Multimedia and performance artist Serge Attukwei Clottey uses garbage to create works that explore themes like Ghana’s plastic pollution and trade history. He does this in the name of “Afrogallonism,” an Afrofuturist concept of Clottey’s, which asserts that the faulty economic relationship between Africa and the West can be upended through art. He also founded the GoLokal performance art collective to promote community engagement and recently presented his first American solo exhibition in New York.

Zackary Drucker Breaks Out of the Binary Box

Los Angeles

This past year, artist, director, and cultural commentator Zackary Drucker was at the forefront of the transgender community’s mainstream breakthrough in pop culture. Aside from co-producing hit show Transparent’s second season, she helped produce the Amazon trans docu-series This Is Me, directed the experimental short Southern for Pussy (co-created with her mother), and appeared on the reality show I Am Cait.

Haroon Gunn-Salie’s Art Is Above the Law


Haroon Gunn-Salie’s public art challenges the South African establishment with a venom inherited from his anti-apartheid activist mother. The 27-year-old once changed 13 Zonnebloem road signs back to their old apartheid name to critique the government’s white-washing. His bronze sculpture, Sunday Best, earned Gunn-Salie a show at the prestigous 2016 SP-Arte in São Paulo.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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