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extraORDINARY People

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extraORDINARY People are defined by personal choices that have inspired others to join in tremendous collective achievements. Watch their videos to find out how you can apply their tools for change in your own life.

Are you an educator? Learn about the tools for change, or see how the videos below connect to the Express Yourself curriculum.

Tool: Embrace Culture

Florence JonesFlorence Jones
She empowered the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California to preserve the cultural integrity of their ancestors and resist the destruction of tribal lands.

Kevin Ward By challenging the predetermined path society has chosen for minorities, Kevin has engaged and empowered many other students to embrace their own culture as part of their identity.

Tool: Protest

Korematsu Fred Korematsu
His nonviolent protest of the unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during WWII spanned four decades and resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

KorematsuErica Fernandez Her organized and harmonious protests protected an agricultural community from corporate exploitation.

Vajra Watson She founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. "We underestimate young people," Vajra says. "They're ready to grab the mic. Are we ready to listen?"

Tool: Express

Charlotta Bass Charlotta Bass
Her provocative journalism and courageous political activism were bold victories for civil rights, in Los Angeles and across the country.

JenGaxiolaJennifer Gaxiola Her creativity and passion for filmmaking send an empowering message to youth throughout her community.

Royal Chicano Airforce Royal Chicano Air Force
As sons of migrant farmers, this group of inspired and committed artists found particular meaning in Cesar Chavez’s and the United Farm Workers’ causes of improved wages and working conditions of migrant workers.

Tadashi Nakamura Tadashi Nakamura
His grassroots activism starts with understanding the roots of ordinary people who, when they come together with a common vision, can do the extraordinary.

Slater Jewel Kemker Her films and journalism celebrate the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the world with media and technology.

Tool: Advocate

DrMarshallDr. Joseph Marshall, Jr.
He co-founded the Omega Boys Club after years of working as a Middle School teacher and seeing too many of his students lost to drugs and violence.

Aitan GrossmanAitan Grossman
He took to heart the call to action in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and began writing a song that would become an anthem for youth environmentalists. "100 Generations" has been recorded by schoolchildren as far away as Taiwan and Ethiopia.

Eliza Riley Through her youth leadership program, Eliza has given a sense of identity, community, and strength to a new generation of people with disabilities, and has witnessed many of them develop into successful, happy, visible, and productive members of society.

Tool: Forgive

Kiki Kiki Vo
Recovering from the fire that scarred her body and killed her mother, her indomitable spirit is a gift of hope to others whose challenges seem insurmountable.

Azim Khamisa In memory of his murdered son, Azim carries a message of forgiveness and mutual respect to groups of young people all over the country.


Tool: Volunteer

AlexEpsteinAlex Epstein He founded an organization of student volunteers to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Jackie Rotman  Jackie created Everybody Dance Now! a nonprofit organization that aims to transform the lives of youth through dance, leadership, and community.

DeMonte Smith  DeMonte joined the Safe School Ambassadors Program to help make his school free from bullying and harassment.

Tool: Teach

 Adarsha Shivakumar & Apoorva Rangan Their
ability to educate rural Indian farmers about raising environmentally and economically sustainable crops has reduced poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

Laurence TanLaurence Tan
His dedication to teaching outside-the-box and his support of young people through the Watts Youth Collective provides safe learning spaces and important opportunities.

Tool: Organize

Janet Miller Janet inspired fellow teachers to challenge the statistics and create a safe learning environment for all students at Hoover Middle School.

Chukou Thao When Thao saw the injustices endured by Hmong farmers, he organized the community to bring them economic development, training and assistance.

Brian Cox Brian brought a community center that was over-run by gangs, and a park that was desolate, dark, and drug-ridden, back to life.

Know someone who embodies these qualities?

Nominate that person to be featured in the UNITY Lab!  Nominees can be past or present, from anywhere in the world.