It’s International Women’s Day and, not just here at Vitae, but across the world, people are celebrating and continuing to boldly take steps that propel women to achieve their fullest potential. We’re extremely honoured to have incredible women in our Vitae family, who inspire us everyday, and support our mission to empower disadvantaged children through education. The influence they have had in shaping their surroundings has indefinitely carved a way for aspiring women to truly make an impact and be bold for change. Join us as we appreciate these powerful women in all their brilliance.
Ava DuVernay is screenwriter, producer, director and distributor of independent film. Ava is most famously known for, Selma, her transparent depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the demonstration to Montgomery that prompted significant progression in the civil rights movement. However, most recently, Ava’s brutally honest and challenging Netflix documentary, 13th, has caused all viewers second-guess the integrity of America’s incarceration system. Ava DuVernay is fearless in all that she does and we’re grateful for women like herself.
Emeli Sande had her heart set on medical school in Glasgow, but then found herself travelling down to London and igniting her music career. Fast-forward to today, and Emeli is a multi-award winning artist with multiple chart-topping singles, who opened and closed the 2012 London Olympics. With several accolades under her belt, her courageous decision to change paths and determine a future she sincerely believes in, makes the daring step worth it, as Emeli stands strong as the UK’s songbird.
Amma Asante is a BAFTA award winning writer and director, hailing from the UK, who won the award for her directorial debut, A Way of Life, and made an explosive introduction into the film industry. Further on, Amma has won several prestigious awards for her work internationally, has been honoured as one of CNN’s Leading Women on 2014, and then selected alongside Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Ursula Burns at the 2014 Women’s Media Center Awards. 2016 had Amma invited to be a member of the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has her now contributing to Oscar nominations. With recent protest regarding the lack of diversity in the mainstream film industry, Amma’s work and influence in the industry has been, and is bound to continue to, change the face of the film industry as we know it.
Grace Victory, is a YouTube vlogger and presenter who challenges society’s perception of beauty standards, encourages body positivity, and openly covers mental health, all through her online content which is broadcasted to her committed family of viewers. Grace is consistent with content that candidly addresses taboo subjects, spreads the importance of self-love and cares for the online community, living up to her title as “the internet’s big sister.” In 2016, Grace’s exclusive BBC documentary, Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets, interrogated trendy health claims and grew to be one of BBC Three Online’s most watched shows, with over 1.5 million views across BBC One and BBC Three Online. With her debut book, No Filter, reaching the shelves in July, we look forward to Grace’s further endeavours to disrupt the norms embrace our differences.
Rachelle Ann Go
Rachelle Ann Go is a singer and actress from the Philippines, who gained international recognition with her role in the 2014 West End revival of Miss Saigon as Gigi Van Tranh, and then Les Miserables’ 30th anniversary as Fantine. After Rachelle embarked on a program at college, she entered and won as Grand Champion of the Philippine reality talent show, Search for a Star, and boldly decided to leave school to pursue her musical career. Rachelle recently landed the role as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in the West End production of multi-award winning musical, Hamilton. Her consistent rally of international excellence through a diverse history of musical features sets Rachelle apart as someone deemed for greatness, inspiring younger women to pursue a career in musical theatre with excellence, drive and endurance.
Charmaine Hayden is one half of the directorial team behind the modeling agency Face4Music. As one of the leading specialist agencies for curvy models, Charmaine nurtures her Face4Music models, teaching them to stand tall and walk confident despite not being the model industry’s standard body type. Through her community at University and being proactive alongside, Charmaine built her network, including clothing labels and musicians, which has built a strong foundation for her emergence into the role of a modelling agent. Charmaine is not only an agent, but a host on Not For the Radio, a confidence coach and a public speaker who uses her charisma, intelligence, sincerity and entrepreneurial spirit to empower a generation of women who refuse to fit the mould.