The Culture Creators’ 2019 “Innovators and Leaders” award recipient Kevin Lee or “Coach K,” is redefining the current era of rap and hip-hop music. Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of the Atlanta-based and black-owned indie record label Quality Control Music, Coach K has a dream to make not only the record label but Atlanta into a force to be reckoned with.

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You might call 22-year-old singer-songwriter Grace Carter a musical alchemist. Like turning lead into gold or water into wine, Grace transmutes her emotions into gorgeous, heartfelt songs. Turning her pain into passion, Grace’s soaring, soulful vocals and deeply personal, meaningful lyrics resonate with listeners in a way that is reminiscent of heavy hitters like Adele and Nina Simone. Whether it’s her latest single “Amnesia,” or an older track like “Saving Grace,” you can feel the intensity of each song in your bones.

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Dream Hampton is many things: a writer, a cultural critic, a social activist, a community organizer, and an award-winning filmmaker. There’s something about Dream and her work that makes you pay attention. It might be her fearlessness and fighting spirit, almost as if she was born to speak out and stand up. After all, she’s named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Although she spells her name in lowercase out of humility (and in homage to feminist Bell Hooks and poet E.E. Cummings), her legacy is larger-than-life. 

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Every day the newly crowned Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi recites self-affirmations in the mirror: 

“You’re beautiful. You’re capable. You’re intelligent.” 

And with that faith in herself, Tunzi won the hearts of millions. Not that we needed much convincing. The 26-year-old South African beauty radiates elegance, poise, and thoughtfulness.

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When the average person pulls out their phone to play a game the thought doesn’t cross their mind that something as trivial as a game could dramatically change someone’s life. But 24-year-old game developer Lual Mayen has witnessed firsthand the power of video games. He was born into the chaos of the Sudanese Civil War, Mayen’s mother gave birth to him on the run as she fled on foot to escape a massacre by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Mayen lived 22 years of his life moving from camp to camp, but in the last two years, he has become a force to be reckoned with. 

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