In honor of Women’s History Month, each week Culturas will be sharing five womxn of color who are noteworthy.
This week is focusing on noteworthy modern-day figures everyone should know.
Amber Ruffin, born January 9, 1979, is an American comedian, television host, writer, actress, author and playwright. She currently hosts her own late night show called The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock.
Ruffin is the only Black woman to host a late night show in 2021. Her show touches on systemic racism in a way unique to Ruffin. Her impeccable comedic timing and cheery presence make her show an educational and entertaining watch. She is able to connect with audiences in a way the straight, white, male late-night host could only dream of.
Born June 20, 2001, Nia Sioux is a Pennsylvania native who is best known for being on Lifetime’s reality show, Dance Moms. Sioux began dancing at 3-years-old and also started singing and releasing music in 2015.
Sioux is now a student at UCLA and uses her social media platform to educate by posting “Role Model Monday’s” where she shares a short bio about an activist or someone of note and why she admires them. Sioux was also active in getting her generation to vote in the 2020 election. She is an active voice of Gen Z’s fight for social justice.
Ava DuVernay was born on August 24, 1972, in Long Beach, California. She is an American filmmaker responsible for creating Selma, When They See Us and 13th.
In 2014, she was the first Black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film Maker for 13th. DuVernay was included in the 2017 Time 100 list of most influential people in the world. She is on the board of governors as part of the director’s branch for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Yalitza Aparicio Martinez, professionally known as Yalitiza Aparicio, is a Mexican actress who made her acting debut in Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. Aparicio was born December 11, 1993 in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, she is indigenous hailing from the Mixtec and Trique.
She earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for “Roma,” making her the first indigenous woman and second Mexican woman to be nominated for a Best Actress nomination. In the same year she was also named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Additionally, Appricao was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples.
Chloe Zhao, born March 31, 1982, in Beijing China, is a Chinese filmmaker known for her work in independent film. She has garnered much critical acclaim in her years and won the 2021 Golden Globe for Best Director for her movie “Nomadland.” She is also nominated at the 2021 Oscars for Best Director.
“You felt like you were never going to be able to get out [of China]. A lot of info I received when I was younger was not true, and I became very rebellious toward my family and my background,” Zhao told Filmmaker magazine. “I went to England suddenly and relearned my history. Studying political science in a liberal arts college was a way for me to figure out what is real. Arm yourself with information, and then challenge that too.”