Foreign Policy Magazine

the advocates

BEYOND PROTECTING AND DEFENDING, THESE INDIVIDUALS EMPOWERED. THEY GAVE UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES A FOOTHOLD IN SILICON VALLEY AND REFUGEES ONE IN THE OLYMPICS. THEY SHOWCASED DIVERSE IMMIGRANT FARE ON FRANCE’S CULINARY SCENE. THEY IDENTIFIED UNLIKELY CHANNELS–IN GUINEAN BEAUTY SALONS AND ON SESAME STREET–FOR BUILDING HEALTHIER, MORE TOLERANT SOCIETIES. IN CASES WHEN THEY COULD NOT EMPOWER, THESE PEOPLE FOUGHT WITH WORDS, DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE’S SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND FOR AMERICANS WHO SIMPLY WANT A GLASS OF CLEAN DRINKING WATER.

Nadia Murad

ACTIVIST

GERMANY

For transforming trauma into a quest for justice.

Nadia Murad won’t let the world forget that she was raped. In August 2014, she was among thousands of Yazidis, a minority religious and ethnic group, captured by the Islamic State in northern Iraq. Most of the men, including six of Murad’s brothers, were killed. Murad and many other women became sex slaves. She escaped after three months, eventually making her way to Germany. Today, she tells her story—to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Congress, leaders in the Middle East, and other power brokers—because she views it as a potent weapon against her former captors. She’s called for international protection of minorities in the Islamic State’s crosshairs, for expanded

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