Meet the Next MAKERS: Olivia, Anna and Emily
We shared with you the names of the six Next MAKERS. Now let's get to know them! Here is a look at the next three Next MAKERS: Olivia Joy Stinson, Anna Rodriguez, and Emily May, selected from over 1,200 inspirational women from across the country. Check out the gallery for pictures of these extraordinary women as they received their award from MAKERS Marlo Thomas, Faith Ringgold, and Kathrine Switzer. Over the next month, we'll be providing you with updates on the Next MAKERS, take you inside their shoots, and inside their celebration.
To meet our other three Next MAKERS Lydia Cincore-Templeton, Reshma Saujani and Col. Jill Chambers, click here.
OLIVIA JOY STINSON (North Carolina)
Olivia Stinson is only nineteen, but she has already had more of an impact on her community than many people do in their entire lives. At the age of thirteen she got the idea to start a book club for the children of incarcerated parents, 5600 of whom lived in and around Olivia’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Within a year she had started the PEN Pals Book Club using a $500 grant her mother found online and the two applied for. She was a little nervous about the turnout when her experiment began, but her worries quickly melted away as more and more kids kept returning to each monthly meeting, over time blossoming into devoted readers, outgoing friends, and academically successful students. Over the past five years PEN Pals has grown from a book club into a full-on support group where the kids read and discuss books about real issues in their lives like teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, and drunk driving. Olivia expanded the organization to serve kids as young as five, and she hopes to take it into more communities and eventually nationwide. We have no doubt that with her vision, grit, and dedication she'll get it there.
ANNA RODRIGUEZ (Florida)
Anna Rodriguez is the kind of woman who sees something is wrong and can't be quiet. She can't wait for someone else to do something about it. She does it herself. In the mid 1990s Anna Rodriguez was a volunteer translator at a domestic violence center in Naples, Florida. She was following up on a domestic violence call one day when she encountered her first case of human trafficking. A young girl was being held captive and sexually abused at a house in the migrant worker area of Naples. Anna had to take eight trips back to the house, but Anna was eventually able to extricate the young woman and re-unite her with her family. After saving that first victim, Anna went on to become a pioneer in the fight against human trafficking not only in Florida but also around the globe. Today her organization, the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, has rescued hundreds of migrants from domestic servitude and sex slavery, and helped to raise awareness about the crisis of modern slavery.
EMILY MAY (New York)
Emily May first experienced street harassment shortly after she arrived in New York from Richmond, Virginia to begin studying at New York University. She was walking down the street and a man said, “Hey Baby.” Emily smiled and replied “Good Morning!” Then the man said something that we can’t repeat here because it is too filthy. The incident stuck with her. Now, a decade later, Emily is trying to make sure that women don’t have put up with street harassment or assault anymore. The organization that she founded, Hollaback!, provides a social media platform for women to share their stories, find support, and educate the public on a problem that people have considered to be unavoidable for far too long. In just a few years Hollaback! has inspired women all over the globe and become one of the fastest-growing feminist organizations in America.
MAKER Marlo Thomas presents the award to Next MAKER 19-year old Olivia Stinson. A pioneer in many ways through being the first single woman as a lead character on television to her work with St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Marlo was delighted by the achievements of Olivia, who started a book club for children of incarcerated children when she was only 13.
MAKER Faith Ringgold presents the award to Next MAKER Anna Rodriguez. Faith, a fearless pioneer in her own right, relayed her appreciation of Anna's fearless commitment to ending human trafficking.
MAKER Kathrine Switzer presents the award to Next MAKER Emily May. Switzer, who was almost dragged off the road when she ran the Boston Marathon before women were allowed to compete, conveyed her enthusiasm for Emily's initative to end street harassment.