Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are humanitarians, global leaders and cofounders of Archewell, which currently includes the nonprofit organization Archewell Foundation, as well as Archewell Production and Archewell Audio. Throughout its global footprint of work, Archewell is focused on driving systemic change across communities everywhere. The Duke of Sussex is a military veteran, mental fitness advocate and environmentalist who has dedicated his life's work to addressing the most pressing global challenges of our time, doing so in a way that bridges philanthropy with systems-based change. He is the founder of the Invictus Games, a globally renowned platform for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans that uses sport and competition as part of their rehabilitation. He is also the founder of Travalyst, a non-profit global alliance of leading tourism companies and organizations working together to transform the future of sustainable travel and tourism. Prince Harry cofounded the children's health and wellbeing charity Sentebale with his dear friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, in memory and continuation of their mothers' legacy combatting the HIV crisis. He also serves as president of African Parks, a non-governmental organization that manages over 14 million hectares of national parks and preserved ecosystems across Africa in partnership with local communities and governments. In recent years, he was named Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp, a world-class coaching and mental fitness platform used in over 90 countries and by hundreds of companies. He served on the Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder, which brought together leaders spanning government, industry, media and civil society to inform solutions to today's misinformation and disinformation crisis. The Duchess of Sussex is a feminist, bestselling author, and longtime advocate for racial and gender justice who has worked throughout her life to promote stronger communities and more equitable outcomes for families. She is a dedicated champion of policies that uphold and protect human rights, such as access to paid leave, and has worked with leaders across the public and private sector to advance women's economic independence. She has sought to bring a comprehensive approach to women's empowerment, working with organizations like Smart Works to connect women with the tools and support they need -- including clothing, mentorship and interview coaching -- to secure employment. In her experience as a humanitarian ambassador, which took her to countries like Rwanda and India, she tackled issues ranging from clean water and food insecurity to girls' education and period poverty. She previously served as a United Nations Women's Advocate for Women's Political Participation and Leadership, a Counsellor to One Young World, and a World Vision Global Ambassador. She is an impact-driven investor in sustainable and female-led businesses and has led a number of successful non-profit efforts focused on lifting up local communities, such as "Together: Our Community Cookbook," a charitable project supporting a group of inspiring women who gathered to cook fresh food for their families and neighbors following the Grenfell Tower fire in London. In addition to serving as patrons and advisors to several charities, both the Duke and Duchess grew up with service as a guiding principle of their lives, learning from early ages the importance of helping others and being a force for positive change in the world. Their fearlessness in tackling vital societal issues and their commitment to living an authentic life has captured the world's attention. In 2021, the Duke and Duchess were named to the TIME 100 Most Influential People list. The Duke and Duchess currently live in California with their son Archie, their daughter Lili and their two dogs.
Appearing in well over 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Jackson's portrayal of Jules, the philosopher hit man, in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" made an indelible mark on American cinema. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Among his many award-winning performances, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever," for which he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. Jackson received an honorary Academy Award at the 2022 Governors Awards. Jackson recently completed production on his first limited series for television, "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" for Apple, in which he stars and which he is producing. In 2021, Jackson reunited with Salma Hayek and Ryan Reynolds for Lionsgate's "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard," the sequel to the 2017 film "The Hitman's Bodyguard." He can also be seen in the newest "Saw" sequel, "Spiral," with Chris Rock and Max Minghella and in Lionsgate's "The Protégé." In 2020, Jackson starred in the EPIX docuseries "Enslaved," which he executive produced with LaTanya Richardson Jackson. "Enslaved" won three awards at the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards and two awards at the 2021 Impact Docs Awards. He also starred opposite Anthony Mackie in the Apple drama "The Banker." In 2019, Jackson starred in Warner Bros.' "Shaft" and Sony's "Spiderman: Far From Home." Jackson also starred as a young Nick Fury opposite Brie Larson in the massive global hit "Captain Marvel." Jackson also reprised his role as Mr. Glass in M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass," the final installment of the series that includes "Split" and "Unbreakable." In 2018, Jackson lent his voice to the Academy Award-nominated film "Incredibles 2," reprising his role of Lucius Best, a.k.a. Frozone. In 2017, Jackson starred in Warner Bros.' "Kong: Skull Island" with Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston. In 2015, Jackson appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-nominated Western "The Hateful Eight." He starred as Major Marquis Warren, alongside Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell. That same year, Jackson appeared in Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and Spike Lee's "Chiraq." In 2016, Jackson was seen in David Yates's "The Legend of Tarzan," starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz, and Tim Burton's "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." That same year, Jackson completed production on Brie Larson's directorial debut "Unicorn Store," Dan Fogelman's "Life Itself," and "The Last Full Measure" with Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer and Ed Harris. In 2012, he co-starred in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" with Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also starred in "The Avengers" as part of his nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Jackson reprised his role in both Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which was released in April 2014, and the 2015 sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." Jackson made his Broadway debut in 2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in "The Mountaintop," portraying Martin Luther King Jr. The play also starred Angela Bassett and was directed by Kenny Leon. Jackson's career began onstage upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts. He appeared in plays including "Home," "A Soldier's Play," "Sally/Prince" and "The District Line." He also originated roles in two of August Wilson's plays, "The Piano Lesson" and "Two Trains Running," at the Yale Repertory Theatre. At the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in "Mother Courage and Her Children," "Spell #7," and "The Mighty Gents." Additional film credits include: "RoboCop," "Oldboy," "Mother and Child," "Iron Man 2," HBO's "The Sunset Limited," "Lakeview Terrace," "Soul Men," "The Spirit," "Jumper," "Resurrecting the Champ," "1408," "Black Snake Moan," "Snakes on a Plane," "Freedomland," "Coach Carter," "Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith," "S.W.A.T," "Changing Lanes," "Formula 51," "Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," "Caveman's Valentine," "Eve's Bayou," "Unbreakable," "Rules of Engagement," "Shaft," "Deep Blue Sea," "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," "The Negotiator," "The Red Violin," "Jackie Brown," "187," "A Time to Kill," "Die Hard with a Vengeance," "Jungle Fever," "Sphere," "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Ragtime," "Sea of Love," "Coming to America," "Do the Right Thing," "School Daze," "Mo' Better Blues," "Goodfellas," " Patriot Games" and "True Romance." Jackson served as executive producer for the Spike TV animated series "Afro Samurai," which premiered in 2007. The series received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the "Afro Samurai" video game launched in February 2009. Jackson also starred in John Frankenheimer's Emmy Award-winning "Against the Wall" for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries and a Golden Globe nomination.
ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR
This year’s Activist of the Year Award will go to Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esdaile has been working with the Black and Latino Caucus to address the lack of testing, data, personal protective equipment and vaccinations for the Black and Brown communities. His efforts on this initiative have yielded better access to testing and vaccination sites in minority communities. He also fought for the passage of bills that limited use of tasers and established Connecticut's Minority Health Advisory Council to eliminate health disparities. Most recently, Esdaile collaborated with many stakeholders, hospitals, and the governor of Connecticut on the NAACP National Million Jobs Campaign, an initiative focused on removing barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals, helping people make fresh starts and reducing recidivism.
YOUTH ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR
Channing Hill is an aspiring lawyer pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in strategic, legal, and management communication at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Channing is not new to social justice and advocacy: at only 20 years old, Channing has organized and led protests in public schools in her home state of Texas since her adolescence. After finding her voice in her NAACP youth council in Arlington, Texas, she now leads as the Howard University NAACP chapter president and the Region 7 National Youth Works Committee representative. In 2021, Channing was one of eight student leaders in #BlackburnTakeover, a sit-in at Howard University that lasted 34 days, the longest student protest in Howard’s history. Channing’s commitment to social justice is rooted in a firm belief in community and Black radical traditions.