Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
It’s important to be able to use your voice. Twenty years ago, we couldn’t be part of a campaign about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights without a big backlash. Today, we can stand up and make our voices heard to their fullest extent.
We started the NO H8 campaign as a protest to the passing of Proposition 8, which amended the California state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The fact that there was even a vote on those rights felt like a personal attack. When the majority has a right to vote on the rights of a minority, the minority is never going to win. We realized that if one person’s rights are at risk, everyone’s rights are at risk, and we had to do something about it.
The turning point in our lives was marching in the protests down Sunset Boulevard with thousands of people, demanding our rights back. It was an overwhelmingly moving experience to be part of that energy. We went home and asked ourselves What can we do? What do we have to give to the cause? We saw the solution when we looked around at the photo equipment and other tools and resources we had. The tape over people’s mouths in the photos we take for the campaign is about people trying to silence our voices and take away our rights.
We want people to see connections, like how calling people second-class citizens, not deserving of rights other humans have, connects to all the LGBT teen suicides over the past few years. It means a lot to be involved in something as powerful as the NO H8 campaign, to be doing things like giving young people the respect we wish we’d had more of growing up.
We weren’t activists when we started the NO H8 campaign, but seeing the ways the campaign speaks out on so many different issues has educated us. The campaign has become a community-driven effort to speak out for human equality. It’d be great to see it expand to a worldwide effort to live in a world with no hate.
We like helping people even though we don’t know them. Our efforts may educate someone or open a dialogue. Maybe they think the Proposition 8 issue doesn’t affect them personally, but if someone in their life is affected, someone they love and care about, then it does end up affecting them personally.
We need to care when voices are silenced. We need to step up for our friends.
- Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley