Tamika D. Mallory speaking at the Women's March on Washington
There is nothing sexier than impacting positive change. And when we say sexy, we're talking about fearlessly walking in your purpose in such a way that everyone can't help but take notice of and appreciate how truly badass you are. We're talking #humanitygoals, #growuptobelikeyou, #pleaseupdatehistorybooks sexy. And for this reason, it's important to pay homage to women currently living and working among us who are taking social activism to the next level, inspiring the rest of us to ask ourselves,  'What am I doing to bring about change?' While there are countless powerful sistah's out there leading in communities across the country, we decided to highlight seven women giving us #activismgoals!

Tamika D. Mallory

Chances are, you've seen Tamika D. Mallory, the outspoken champion for social justice who helped organize the Women's March on Washington, attended by over 300,000 here, and sparked duplicate marches across the globe. The 36 yr old New York native has been applauded as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, gun violence, and police misconduct. Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama called her “a leader of tomorrow” and she was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio. 

Johnetta Elzie Image via Getty/Jason LaVeris
Moved to action by the death of Michael Brown, Johnetta Elzie made a splash among Ferguson protesters by aiding with volunteer coordination and live tweeting surrounding events effectively becoming a leading citizen journalist on the protests. Later, she went on to co-create the website and database MappingPoliceViolence.org which tracks all people killed by police. Elzie currently leads We The Protesters, an organization which supports nationwide protest groups in combatting police violence and systemic racism through policy change.

Dr. Moya Bailey
If you’ve ever used the word “misogynoir,” you can thank Dr. Moya Bailey for its existence. Her devotion to examining the way Black women are represented in pop culture led her to coin the term as well as pursue Women’s Studies and activism. An assistant professor at Northeastern University, Dr. Bailey co-created Quirky Black Girls (a network that celebrates Black girls who exist outside of social norms) and the Crunk Feminist Collective (a supportive space for queer and straight hip hop gen feminists of color). She also is the digital alchemist for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network.

Monica Raye Simpson

Before Monica Raye Simpson relocated to Georgia to work with and eventually lead the Atlanta-based SisterSong, the queer Black North Carolina native rallied against racism, human rights abuses, prison industry and violence against Black women and LGBTQ people. The facilitator/speaker/organizer/singer is also a certified doula. Now the executive director of SisterSong, Simpson created the organization’s Artists United for Reproductive Justice project which supports artistic collaborations on replicable artwork to further SisterSong’s cause of women’s reproductive health rights.

Patrice Cullors
In the wake of Trayvon Martin's tragic death, Los Angeleno organizer, artist and freedom fighter Patrisse Cullors' co-founded hashtag #BlackLivesMatter jumpstarted the civil rights fight of our time. Her activism, however didn't begin or end with the multi-issue global, Black queer femme-led intersectional movement. Before that, Cullors led a crusade against inmate abuse as the executive director of End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails and has since confounded prison activist organization Dignity and Power Now. She also serves as board member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Ciara Taylor 
Having built a reputation for taking on the causes of living wages for Florida A&M campus workers and combatting K-20 budgets cuts, Ciara Taylor was in prime activist form to take to the streets following Trayvon Martin's shooting. Her response to the tragic killing was co-founding Dream Defenders which works on human rights issues, ending police brutality and shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline. She currently serves the organization as the director of political consciousness and develops and executes statewide political, educational and leadership development programming.

Tanya Fields
Having experienced the challenges of gaining access to healthy and affordable food in the Bronx, Tanya became active with South Bronx-Mothers on the Move, the Majora Carter Group and Sustainable South Bronx.  The community activist and public speaker founded the BLK ProjeK in 2009 to further combat wealth inequality, the cycle of poverty and institutionalized sexism. The BLK ProjeK creates economic growth opportunities for women and youth of color through education, urban gardening, public space beautification, and community programming. She also created and stars in a web-based cooking and lifestyle show Mama Tanya’s Kitchen where she teaches how to prepare affordable gourmet meals.

Who are your favorite activists right now?

Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

By Alma Hill 

I remember the day I realized the grocery stores in communities of color sold a completely different kind of food than the grocery stores in “better” neighborhoods.

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I used to live in a small suburb of Orlando called Winter Park. The population was pretty diverse, both in skin color, and income levels, mostly because of a few schools in the area. Winter Park as a whole however is known as one of the wealthier suburbs. Our local grocery store had a produce section took up half the store.

My fiance worked at a mall across town in a lower-income neighborhood predominately Black and Latino. One day he had a short shift so I decided to stay in the area and do my grocery shopping instead of making the 45 minute commute each way.

“It’s the same grocery store.” I thought to myself. “Can’t be THAT different.”

It was what I found inside the grocery store that made me question my surroundings.

In this neighborhood, I walked in and was greeted by a literal wall of Cheese Puffs. While searching for the produce section, I found an entire portion of the store dedicated to junk food. It was in its own corner, and had three aisles plus a wrap around wall filled to the brim with chips, candy, popcorn, cookies, soda. It took me a full ten minutes to find the produce section. It was tucked away in the back corner of the store, and had one wall of green veggies, and two fruit stands. Those were the only vegetables.

I wish I was exaggerating just a little bit, but the sad fact is, I’m not. There is a genuine disparity between the quality of food in Black and Low Income neighborhoods and wealthier, predominantly White neighborhoods. I won’t speculate on the reasons WHY this is, but the fact is, this is the reality. This lack of access to healthy food actually directly affects the health of Black Americans.

According to a study published by FoodTrust.org, “Since 1990, numerous studies have proven that low income communities and communities of color have less access to healthy food than higher-income and less diverse communities.”

The same study also found that living closer to healthy food retail is associated with decreased risk for obesity and diet related diseases. These SAME diseases are the ones that run rampant in Black communities. Diabetes, Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol. All of these diseases are related to poor eating habits.

It’s fair to say that the evidence suggests that available markets have no vested interest in the general health of Black Communities. It’s come to a point where we have to realize that it’s time for Black communities to take control of our health and end the inequality of food. Time for us to grow and buy from our own locally sourced communities.

Now many reading this may be thinking “It sounds easier than it is.” which is true, but it’s also true that there are Black Americans who who are proving everyday that it can be done, cheaply and efficiently.

Take the Libertad Urban farm community located in New York City. The South Bronx is the last place you’d expect to see a black owned farm, but the Libertad Urban Farm is here to challenge your expectations. Tanya Fields, the founder of the the small farm, worked for six years to get the rights and the land to grow her own food for her community.

“This is about human rights.” Fields said to The Root, in a video interview. “We should all have the right to eat food that does not slowly kill us.”

Fields was inspired to grow her own food because she realized there was a lack of healthy food options in her community. According to National Geographic, the Bronx has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, with 37% of it’s residents not having access to adequate nutrition.

Figures like this can be found all over the country, but they mostly appear in low-income communities and communities of color. Fields, and others like her, are looking to end these kinds of statistics at the source, and have become the face of the Black Food Revolution.

Fields embodies the mission, and the mission of all those who want to take control of their health with one simple phrase.

“The ability to say, I grew some of my food, and I had some control over what went into my body, and I made the decision as to what that was going to be. That is radical. That is revolutionary.”

Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she's a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul,but you have been warned.