Community Crusaders

Nationwide
Presented by Nationwide

There is nothing more powerful than pursuing one's passions for the greater good. Driven by purpose and a mission to help others, these change-makers are leaving an extraordinary impact on their communities and beyond.

Brandon “Stix’”Salaam-Bailey. Photo Courtesy of Subject.
Brandon "Stix" Salaam-Bailey.Image: courtesy of Brandon ‘Stix’ Salaam-Bailey.
Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey
Rapper, Entrepreneur and Activist

Stix, a multidimensional leader who has used his music career and entrepreneurship as a jumping-off point to build grassroots activations that empower communities, is the founder of the Think Watts Foundation. From financial literacy and entrepreneurial training to housing and meal programs, his organization creates solutions for both the immediate and long-term needs of the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, where he grew up. He works closely with local professional sports teams, such as the Los Angeles Football Club, the Los Angeles Rams and the L.A. Clippers, to build meaningful partnerships that positively impact the community.

Debra Langford
Debra Langford. Photo Courtesy of Subject.
Debra Langford
Executive Director and Head of Black Wealth Initiatives, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

As executive director and the head of Black Wealth Initiatives for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Langford champions the development of opportunities that guide members of the Black community in wealth preservation, growth and generational legacies. A philanthropist at heart, she has served on the executive committee of Leading Women Defined Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports Black female leadership.

Elizabeth Clay Roy. Photo Courtesy of Subject.
Elizabeth Clay Roy. Photo Courtesy of Subject.
Elizabeth Clay Roy
CEO, Generation Citizen

Before she was old enough to vote, Clay Roy was working as a campaign volunteer, going from door to door canvassing citizens. As a “pro-democracy changemaker” and CEO of Generation Citizen, her organization partners with schools to provide students in grades 6 through 12 with the knowledge and skills they need to take civic action. She managed the nation’s first state-run volunteerism initiative under former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. A resident of Harlem, Clay Roy is also the inaugural coalition chair for 50×2026, a program pushing for the return of civic education in secondary schools.

Fatima Goss Graves
Fatima Goss Graves. Photo by the Tyler Twins.
Fatima Goss Graves
President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center

With her life’s work centered on using the law to improve the lives of Black and Brown women and girls in areas such as fair pay, health care and reproductive rights, Goss Graves holds several titles. She is president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, president of the National Women’s Law Center Action Fund and a co-founder of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. Goss Graves was instrumental in passing the first ban on sex discrimination in health care as a part of the Affordable Care Act. As she continues her transformative work, Goss Graves is examining public policy and the housing crisis, and their impact on women of color.

Ghetto Gastro. Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma.
Ghetto Gastro. Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma.
Ghetto Gastro
Culinary Collective

Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao and Lester Walker comprise the culinary collective known as Ghetto Gastro, a group that has built its reputation cultivating one-of-a-kind international events—always with the mission to empower underprivileged communities. Their blend of community activism, culinary chops and mixed media experiences have put them in the room with major companies looking to align with their values. Ghetto Gastro’s community give-back program, built into every new product launch, looks to end food insecurity. The collective released a custom line of kitchen appliances, CRUXGG (sold exclusively at Target), and this past spring, a cookware line with Williams Sonoma. Their first cookbook, Ghetto Gastro Black Power Kitchen, debuts in October. The trio is creating a future for cookware, packaged goods and community engagement that’s more deliciously inclusive than ever before.

kiesha nix
Kiesha Nix. Image: Kerry James Photography.
Kiesha Nix
Vice President, Charitable Affairs & Lakers Youth Foundation

Making a mid-career change from finance to community relations was a shot that paid off for Nix. As the current vice president of charitable affairs for the Los Angeles Lakers, the first Black woman in the position, she is one of the most powerful players in sports philanthropy. In one of her role’s first initiatives, Nix raised $400,000 in one afternoon at the foundation’s annual golf tournament, the most ever raised in the event’s history. Nix previously served as executive director for the Community Lakers Youth Foundation. She is committed to assisting young people and women with gaining leadership opportunities in the sports world.

Leah Thomas. Photo by Val Vega.
Leah Thomas. Photo by Val Vega.
Leah Thomas
Founder, Intersectional Environmentalist

Known as “GreenGirlLeah” on Instagram, Thomas has become something of a pioneer when it comes to diversifying the environmental movement. Reimagining nonprofits in a very Gen-Z way, she founded Intersectional Environmentalist, a collective that provides services and resources for those interested in green causes. Her book, The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet, promotes awareness for saving our Earth while examining the inextricable link between environmentalism, racism and privilege.

Maya Wiley
Maya Wiley. Photo Courtesy of Subject.
Maya Wiley
President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

A civil rights leader, activist and NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst, Wiley was named president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in May. She also serves as the senior vice president for social justice at The New School in New York City, and as a professor at the institution’s Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment. Dedicated to effective leadership, Wiley ran for mayor of New York City in 2021.

reggie bullock
Reggie Bullock. Image: courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks.
Reggie Bullock
NBA Player and Activist

In memory of his sister Mia Henderson, a transgender woman who was murdered in 2014, basketball pro Bullock has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ equality throughout his career. Most recently, the Dallas Mavericks forward was awarded the NBA’s 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award. Since arriving in Texas, Bullock, now in his 10th NBA season, has continued his efforts, forming relationships with several local organizations that work in the queer rights space.

Stephanie L. Young. Photo by Jack Manning III.
Stephanie L. Young. Image: Jack Manning III.
Stephanie L. Young
Executive Director, When We All Vote and Senior Advisor, Civic Nation

As the executive director of former first lady Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, a non-partisan voting initiative, Young’s goals are simple: to serve our country, our people and our communities. In 2020, as the former chief communications and culture officer for the initiative, she created and implemented a messaging, cultural and partnership strategy that helped register over 500,000 voters and engage with 100 million Americans—the largest increase in voter participation in more than 120 years. In 2022, she launched Obama’s first-ever Culture of Democracy Summit, bringing together some of the brightest minds in an exchange of ideas to strengthen democracy with action.

Hon. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Photo by Lelanie Foster.
Hon. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Photo by Lelanie Foster.
The Honorable Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Brown Jackson made history when she was sworn in as the 116th Supreme Court Justice of the United States on June 30, becoming the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. Before her confirmation, she served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where she issued more than 500 opinions on cases involving a range of important issues, including the separation of powers, the reach of the Fourth Amendment and collective bargaining rights. Brown Jackson’s distinguished career includes being vice chairwoman and commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, working as a federal public defender and practicing private law.

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