Celebrate the 110th International Women’s DayMar 08, 2021 08:00AM ● By Kassidy Garland
As we celebrate the 110th International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charities. Although we do our best to elevate the women in our community every day, we take this special day to uplit the voice of women all over the world.
Ava Marie DuVernay was born on August 24, 1972, in Long Beach, California. As a young child, she showed a passion for art and creativity which was encouraged by her family, specifically her aunt. She fell in love with movies, activism, and their combination at an early age.
DuVernay studied at UCLA, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and African American Studies. After trying her hand out as a journalism intern during the O.J. Simpson trial, she moved on to public relations, eventually opening her own firm which specialized in promoting films to African American audiences.
Despite her love of film, DuVernay never actually got behind a camera until she was 32 years old. She began with short films like Saturday Night Life and My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop. The movie that put her on the map was her first feature-length film, I Will Follow. The movie was an emotional portrayal of a woman who grieves the loss of a family member to cancer.
In 2011, Ava DuVernay won the director’s prize at Sundance for her film Middle of Nowhere, starring Emayatzy Corinealdi, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Toussaint, and David Oyelowo. She became the first Black woman to win the award. She started directing episodes of Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, and also released the ESPN documentary focusing on equal pay for tennis players entitled, Venus Vs.
Some of her most notable works include Selma, 13th, A Wrinkle in Time, and When They See Us. With the majority of her work focusing on the African American experience, DuVernay has led the pack in lifting up the voices that have so often been silenced in Hollywood. She told the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his march to Selma, the story of the 13th amendment and the prison system, and the story of the Central Park 5.
DuVernay is an award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter. She has won Emmys, BAFTA, and Peabody Awards, and she has been nominated for an Academy Award. Ava DuVernay is a vehicle for change, as she uses her films to elevate the voices of minorities. We celebrate Ava Duvernay’s achievements in the film industry, and the barriers she has broken for the women who come after her.
Kassidy Garland has had a great appreciation for reading and writing since she was young. She graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Women and Gender Studies. With a concentration in creative writing, Kassidy has 5 years of experience writing blogs, articles, and for social media. Based out of Philadelphia, Kassidy loves to write about a number of topics and looks forward to sharing her passion with those at FunTimes Magazine.