Happy New Year gapmusers (well not so new anymore!)
Each new year we take stock of the amazing women who inspired us in the previous year and reminisce on how they’ve transformed our lives.
This year is no different. From the first black woman to be appointed principal dancer in 75 years and another who has revolutionized television, to one who proved that you don’t need much to make a difference. These phenomenal women are living proof that you can achieve your dreams even when all your cards are stacked against you.
So here you go…the women that inspired us the most in 2015:
1 Misty Copeland
Misty not only became the first black woman to be named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theartre in 75 years, but also accepted the honor with grace and a sense of purpose. She has used her role as a platform to inspire black girls everywhere to pursue their dance aspirations no matter the circumstances and to make a difference in the world. She recently partnered with Mind Leaps, an organization that brings dance and education to children in post conflict countries, to inspire girls in Rwanda through dance.
2. Jessica Jackley
Founder of Kiva.org, an organization that gives entrepreneurs from all over the world access to interest free loans, and author of the best selling book Clay, Water, Brick, Jessica Jackley reminds us that innovation comes from every corner of the globe. Through her story and those of the entrepreneurs her non-profit has helped, she proves that we don’t have to have much to be innovative and entrepreneurial.
3. Shonda Rhimes
If you watch TV, you’ve been entertained by Shonda Rhimes! From Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice to How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal, she’s proven that any woman can succeed in Hollywood and that diversity is bankable! This extraordinary author, screenwriter, and producer inspires us not to be afraid to take risks and to defy the norm. Yassss Shonda!
4. Serena Williams
Serena is the best athlete…period! (Yeah, I said it.) At 34 (ancient by tennis sports standards), she’s proved to everyone that you can be the best at any age. And to every girl and woman out there, she shows us that you can be a fierce competitor, strong, sexy, and classy, all at the same time!
We were thrilled that she was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year (it’s been 30 years since the magazine named a woman it’s sportsperson of the year!) There’s no other athlete more deserving of this award in 2015. We’re not only inspired by her achievements on the court, but also by her dedication to making sure less fortunate kids get an education. Through the Serena Williams Foundation she has built schools in rural parts of Uganda and more. She’s also a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
5. Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi
Want to understand feminism quickly, read Chimamanda’s book, “We Should All be Feminists” or listen to this infamous Ted Talk on the movement. This highly acclaimed author makes it easy for anyone regardless of gender to understand what feminism truly means and why it should matter to all of us (boys, girls, men and women alike.) We’re inspired by her fierceness and her relentless support of our demand for equality.
6. Janet Jackson
Muscian, entertainer, philanthropist…Janet Jackson is the epitome of an independent, strong, powerful, and resilient woman. We’re in awe of her staying power and unyielding dedication to make the world a better place.
What do all these women have in common? An unfaltering desire to succeed despite any obstacles, commitment to pay it forward and make a difference, undeniable strength and resilience, and passion for their craft. We hope that these qualities will inspire you in the new year to become your best self and to go out and do everything possible to achieve your goals for the year and dreams for your future.
Which women inspired you in 2015? Please share here with us and our readers so we too can be inspired.
Hope your year is off to a great start, gapmusers.