Academy Award nominee and winner of the Emmy, the BAFTA and the Peabody, Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the Oscar-winning historical drama SELMA, the Oscar-nominated criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, on which she became the highest grossing black woman filmmaker in American cinema history. She is currently in production on her next project based on the infamous case known as CENTRAL PARK FIVE, while overseeing production of her hit TV series QUEEN SUGAR. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her independent film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. In 2017, she was featured as one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest Culture Leaders and TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. DuVernay sits on the boards of Sundance Institute and Film Independent. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
Abby Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. (She missed Beijing 2008 due to a broken leg.) Her ability to wear down defenses with her physical play, aerial game and hard running has long been a key to the USA’s success. After winning the Women’s World Cup in 2015, Wambach retired as one of the most dominant players in the history of women’s soccer. A true leader on and off the field, Wambach is dedicating the next chapter of her career to fighting for equality and inclusion across industries. She is the youngest of 7 children and claims she got her toughness from her 4 older brothers. She loves coffee, cooking, music and playing golf.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. Ta-Nehisi is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is also the current author of the Marvel comics The Black Panther and Captain America.