“The most powerful thing you can do is be yourself and express joy and incite joy in others”

Amandla Stenberg is an actress and social activist, leading her to be named one of Time’s Most Influential Teens twice. She is an outspoken feminist and uses her platforms to advocate for women’s rights, equality, and diversity among other political issues. Her acting career frequently overlaps with her political beliefs, which has led her to be considered among the most empowering voices of her generation.

Nationality: American

Industry: Film

Q: Why do you think it’s important for young celebrities — like yourself — to speak out about this lack of women in STEM and other social issues?HuffPost

A: “Often we look to celebrities as role models and celebrities have the most visibility, therefore they’re able to dictate the media and share messages, and those are the messages we look at the most. Hopefully by being [at ComEd’s Icebox Derby Race Day event] and talking about girls in STEM fields and talking about feminism, I can somehow impact girls who might follow me on Instagram and be interested in STEM but are feeling kind of insecure about it, because they don’t think they can be good at it.”