Three women at the top of her game
Some people have mastered the art of not only shining in the spotlight, but also shining their light on others and inspiring change in the world. Three of them are on our Spotlight Squad: Charlize Theron, Misty Copeland, and Yao Chen. These extraordinary entertainers are at the top of their game, and have shattered the stereotypes clinging to their gender and respective fields.
Spotlight Squad : Charlize Theron, Misty Copeland and Yao Chen
Originally from South Africa, Oscar winner Charlize Theron has proven her versatility in numerous roles and genres. In 2004, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress after playing a serial killer in Monster.
In 2019, she starred in and co-produced the drama Bombshell, for which she was nominated for another Academy Award
In 2007, dancer Misty Copeland was only the second African American woman to be promoted to soloist with American Ballet Theatre (ABT); in 2015, she was the first African American woman to become a principal dancer. That year, Time magazine named her one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Chinese TV and film actress Yao Chen has won many awards, including the Audience Choice category of China’s Golden Eagle Award (2010) and Best Actress at the Busan International Film Festival (2016, Asian Content). In 2019, she won the Golden Mulberry Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Far East Film Festival.
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Shining the Spotlight on Causes Close to Their Hearts
Charlize Theron stands out for her work to promote peace as well as women’s and LGBTQIA rights. In 2007, she founded her charity, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, to support African youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2020, her charity helped launch Together for Her, a global campaign against domestic violence during COVID-19. Theron has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2009.
Misty Copeland s’has been devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical ballet throughout her career. She is an ambassador to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, of which she is also a National Hall of Fame alumna, as well as MindLeaps, which uses dance to help youth in post-conflict countries like Rwanda. In 2020, she partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation to launch #SwansForRelief, which helps ballet dancers around the world cope with unemployment during the pandemic.
Yao Chen leverages her popularity to help those who live in disadvantaged areas of China and to raise awareness of the plight of refugees worldwide. As an actress with a public profile and a large social media presence, she uses her influence to draw more attention to the rights and interests of women and children. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, she has raised