Maya Rupert is a federal policy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Prior to joining NCLR, she was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office but eagerly sought after the chance to work with NCLR when the position came her way in 2010.
“My work for the LGBT community came from my sister and wanting to do something that would be meaningful and impact a number of lives, hers included,” Rupert tells Hello Beautiful.
Four years later, Rupert is proud of the work she has been doing to reduce housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity, closing the gap in health disparities and working toward equal opportunity access to basic human rights for LGBT people.
“The question that NCLR always asks is who’s being left out of the conversation, so this is an organization that’s specifically being active about being proactive for people who are a part of marginalized communities, and so many other issues that we talk about and think about,” she says. “We have to do a better job centralizing the voices of people who are often marginalized in society.”
GET INVOLVED: NCLR accepts donations but they also encourage interested parties to sign up to their mailing list to keep up with the innovative ways that they are working toward progress. Visit nclrights.org.
FOLLOW MAYA RUPERT ON TWITTER: @MayaRupert
Sharon Lettman-Hicks is known for her work in the advancement of LGBT rights. She’s straight, and the Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, but don’t refer to her as an ally.
“I hate the word ‘ally,’ because I don’t consider myself an ally,” she once told Metro Weekly. “I consider myself a sister in a movement, because to me it is a family affair and black LGBT people are my brothers and sisters.”
Lettman-Hicks, who faced discrimination growing up overweight and the dark skin child of Hispanic immigrants, is driven by her experiences to help make the lives of other people better. Through her work, she creates initiatives to engage the Black church community on LGBT issues in an effort to reduce homophobia in families and to end Black on Black violence against LGBT people.
GET INVOLVED: NBJC encourages interested parties to get involved by donating and/or joining the discussion on social media. Visit NBJC.org for more information, and keep up on social media at Facebook and Twitter.
FOLLOW SHARON LETTMAN-HICKS ON TWITTER: @SharonLettman
Jackie Lacey has an extensive record for setting precedents. She’s a first-generation college graduate who became the first woman and African-American to be named district attorney of Los Angeles County. Throughout her career she has been a champion of justice for human beings and animals alike, winning national attention for her successful prosecution of the county’s first racially motivated hate crime and establishing The Animal Cruelty Prosecution, ensuring that animal cruelty and neglect cases are prosecuted effectively in the Los Angeles area.
Her most recent work is evident in another first-of-its-kind program for sex trafficking victims called Saving Innocence. Women arrested for prostitution in LA won’t be considered criminals, under the program. They will be viewed as victims, because many of them work for pimps, and enrolled in outreach and management services geared toward helping them become independent and stay off the streets. Minors who complete the program will have no record of arrest, giving them a chance to start over.
GET INVOLVED: Saving Innocence offers internship opportunities, volunteer positions and the option to join the rescue team. Join the movement by visiting SavingInnocence.org.
FOLLOW JACKIE LACEY ON TWITTER: @JackieLacey
GINA ELEANE WOOD
Gina Eleane Wood’s career includes twenty-plus years of public service. Her multifaceted track record includes work in the legislative and executive branches of Oregon State Government, the Department of Juvenile Justice in South Carolina, the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and more.
Wood is currently the senior director of program development at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, DC-based organization with a mission to promote bipartisanship while addressing important issues facing the United States like homeland security, the economy, housing, and immigration.
Her many titles and affiliations are diverse and keeping up with everything she has going on might not be easy. However, Wood is especially passionate about the empowering Black women. She serves on the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc’s (BWA) board of directors where she advocates for protecting and advocating for the rights of Black women and their families. BWA has a multitude of programs that employ education that focuses on STEM, economic empowerment and health for the advancement of Black women and girls.
GET INVOLVED: BWA has a number of luncheons and benefits for several causes. Reach out via their website, Bwa-inc.org, to see how you can become a benefactor.
FOLLOW GINA ELEANE WOOD ON TWITTER: @GinaEWood
GAEL SYLVIA PULLEN
Gael Sylvia Pullen is a public speaker and philanthropist with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. She began her career as the co-founder and president of Better Communications, Inc, an international education program focused on increasing minority representation in the world of science. Following that endeavor, she owned Charis Real Estate, which became the largest minority-owned real estate brokerage firm in Southern California at the time.
Pullen has gone on to own several other successful business, in various industries, and has made it her life’s goal to inspire people to be financially literate and economically empowered. She is committee co-chair of PR and Communications for Women Moving Millions, a community of people who have made pledges of one million dollars or more to organizations and initiatives that promote the advancement of women and girls, in the direction of economic growth as a way to promote healthy societies and global stabilization. The best way to keep up with this fierce woman is to visit SylviaGlobal.com, her website that publishes positive media for “world thinkers, doers and donors.”
GET INVOLVED: Women Moving Millions encourages philanthropists to join the community and make a pledge of a million or more. Visit womenmovingmillions.org for more information.
FOLLOW GAEL SYLVIA PULLEN ON TWITTER: @SylviaGlobal
See The Rest Of The List!
Also On HelloBeautiful:
1. Blue. #May10 #NYC
2. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
4. One Big Happy Family
The royal family, Bey, Jay & Blue are all out shopping and we're sure they spent our entire life's savings in 30 minutes or less.
5. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
6. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
7. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
8. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
9. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
10. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
11. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
12. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
15. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
17. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
18. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
19. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
20. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
21. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
22. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
23. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
24. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
25. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
26. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
27. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
28. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
29. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
30. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
31. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
32. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
33. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
34. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
35. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
36. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
38. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
39. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
40. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
41. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
42. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
43. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
44. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
45. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
46. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
47. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
48. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
49. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
50. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
51. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
52. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
53. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
54. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
55. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
56. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
57. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
58. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
59. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
61. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
62. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
63. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
64. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
65. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
66. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
67. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
68. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
69. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
70. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
71. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
72. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
73. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
74. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
75. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
76. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
77. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
78. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
79. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
80. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
81. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
82. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
83. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
84. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
85. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
86. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
88. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
89. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
90. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
91. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
92. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
93. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
94. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
95. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!
96. Blue Swings With Mommy
"I like the swing, this is nice, Mom--Oh, I'll let you pose for that shot."
97. Blue Decked Out In Pink
"Are we actually meeting people right now? Oh, I'll get it together, then."
98. A Hot Pink Summer
"Doesn't my mom look absolutely amazing? I know you're hating right now."
99. Working Her Moves
"Was Blue trying out Bey's bootylicious moves already?"
100. Mean In Green
"I'm going to be just as tall as you soon, Mommy! And, by soon, I mean tomorrow."