• Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States | MAKERS Men

    Why He’s a MAKER: We love the bromance memes. We cheered when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But what you need to know about Joe Biden is how he’s fought to end violence against women. He’s written laws, started movements and continues to drive change today. “As long as there’s a breath in me, I’m going to continue to be engaged in this.” Feminist Foundations: Biden grew up in Scranton, Pa., the son of parents determined to raise good humans. “My dad used to say the cardinal sin of all sins was for a man to raise his hand to a woman. My mother’s expression was ‘Joey, look at me. Remember, you’re defined by your courage, and you’re redeemed by your loyalty.” Single Dad: In 1972, just weeks after Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident. Biden was left to raise his two sons alone. “I knew I had an obligation to them, but it turns out my boys ended up raising me.” They also won the heart of Jill, who Biden married in 1977. Taking Action: In 1990, Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act. “When I started to write the legislation, I was convinced we had to get some brave women to come forward and take this out of the shadows. It allowed other women to say, ‘Wait a minute, that happened to me.’” The Act became law in 1994. #MenToo: In his role as Veep, Biden brought his fight to prevent sexual assault to college campuses. One theme emerged during his town halls with women students. “I said, ‘If we can do anything to make you safer, what would it be?’ The overwhelming response was, ‘Get men involved.’” That became the focus of Biden’s “It’s On Us” movement, which got young men to pledge to change their behavior. Changing the Conversation: After serving as VP for eight years, Biden started the Biden Foundation to continue his public service just as many brave women began breaking the silence around workplace assault. His yardstick for progress: “We’ll succeed when we change the culture enough that no woman says, ‘What did I do?’ And no man says, ‘Well I was entitled,’ or ‘She asked for it.’ The Future: Having defeated incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election, he was inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20, 2021.

  • John Legend, Musician | MAKERS Men

    "Critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter John Legend has won ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Tony and more awards, making him the second youngest performer to achieve the EGOT status. Legend recently released his fifth studio album DARKNESS AND LIGHT, to rave reviews which features his current anthemic hit ""Love Me Now."" Legend also serves as one of the principles for Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles. Get Lifted Film Co. serves as Executive Producers on the HBO Southern Rites, Pop Network docu-series Sing it On, WGN America’s series Underground, and films such as Southside With You and La La Land. In 2015, Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign; a campaign designed to change the national conversation of our country’s misguided policies and to make a change in America’s criminal justice system."

  • Justin Baldoni, Actor, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur | MAKERS Men

    How You Know Him: The L.A.-born actor stars on the hit CW show Jane the Virgin opposite Gina Rodriguez. He's also the producer of the most-watched digital docuseries ever, The Last Days, which tells the emotional stories of people battling terminal illnesses. Why He's a MAKER: "If you are a female director, chances are you don’t have the credits. But it's not because you’re not good. It’s because you haven’t had the damn chance." Baldoni is committed to changing that: his production company Wayfarer Entertainment is dedicated to amplifying women’s voices in Hollywood. His Feminist Inspiration: "If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't be the man I am today." What's Next: Baldoni is launching the series Man Enough, in which Baldoni invites his guy friends to a weekly dinner party and leads a candid discussion about redefining manhood and the role men have in the gender equality endgame.

  • Kumail Nanjiani, Actor & Comedian | MAKERS Men

    Why he’s a MAKER: He listens to women. He respects women. He’ll never be the guy who says women aren’t as funny as men. He gets how challenging it is for women to break into comedy’s bro culture and he’s worked with his wife Emily V. Gordon to create inclusive comedy shows and “The Big Sick.” Also, seeing him gush about Emily’s talents is totally adorable. From Pakistan to America: Nanjiani decided to come to America for his college years. It wasn’t the easiest transition. “I was super shy in Karachi, I never felt confident in myself. It wasn’t until I came to America, and was on my own and was forced to interact with people that I started coming out of my shell and being funny.” Comedy Culture: After college, Nanjiani moved to Comedy’s capital city. “I think of how scary it was for me starting comedy in Chicago. And then how much scarier it would have been if I’d been a woman because it really was such a boys’ club, and it was very aggressive, it was very locker room.” Husband-Wife Team: Nanjiani started writing the script for “The Big Sick” on his own. Then he gave it to his wife Emily to review. “Her notes weren’t just notes. It was another perspective. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is not my story, this is our story.’ She’s such a great writer and her perspective as a woman completely changed the movie.” Equality and Quality: Nanjiani wants more women in comedy for two reasons. “Here’s the big thing—having more women writers, more women directors, more women executives, more women in positions in power, you don’t just do that to make an equal society, you do that because the product will be better.”

  • Leland Melvin, Astronaut | MAKERS Men

    Leland Melvin's story is a fascinating look at how perseverance and passion led him from the NFL to NASA. Before becoming an astronaut, he played professional football with the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Armed with a B.S. in chemistry and a M.S. in materials science engineering, he traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station. By working on such high stakes teams, Leland developed a deep and nuanced understanding of effective team dynamics. Upon hanging up his space boots, he led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force, developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan. After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut and Senior Executive Service leader, he shares his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue STEM careers.

  • Russell Wilson, Super Bowl Champion Quarterback | MAKERS Men

    Russell Wilson enters his 6th season with the Seahawks in 2017. Wilson was selected as the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2012, he tied Peyton Manning's record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie (26) and was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he led the Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl victory, and in 2014, led them to a second straight Super Bowl berth. Wilson has won more games (46) than any other NFL quarterback in his first four seasons, and is currently the second highest rated NFL passer of all time behind Aaron Rodgers. Wilson's accomplishments don’t stop on the field. The Why Not You Foundation, which he launched in 2014 is dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to financially supporting organizations aligned with the foundation’s mission, Wilson works to extend the foundation’s impact by making visits to Seattle Children’s, advocating for pediatric cancer through Strong against Cancer, working with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to Pass the Peace, as well as many others.

  • Tony Porter, CEO, A Call to Men | MAKERS Men

    Why he's a MAKER: He gets it. While so many see domestic violence as a women's issue, Porter calls it what it is: "It's a men’s issue." And he knows as a man, it's important for him to speak up. "I'm a member of the dominating group. I can give voice to those being marginalized, and speak the truth to men." Tackling violence in the NFL: By bringing A Call to Men and its message into the locker rooms, Porter has helped the NFL reduce domestic violence arrests among its players by 40 percent since 2014. [Insert our touchdown dance here.] What woke him up to feminism: Early in his social work career, his female colleagues schooled him. "The way they spoke about feminism, the way they spoke about violence against women and girls... That was a moment that I could remember clearly, I made a decision that this was the direction I was going to go in." Who made him the man he is: Mom. "Her ability to accept people, meet people where they're at. I would like to believe I digested that. She surely lives in me today."

  • Blake Irving, Former CEO, GoDaddy, Inc. | MAKERS Men

    Blake Irving, Board Director and Retired CEO, GoDaddy, on making tech more diverse.

  • Kevin Huvane, CAA Managing Partner | MAKERS Men

    Kevin Huvane grew up in the Bronx in the 1970s. From a very early age, Huvane's mother - a housewife and a feminist - shared with him her love for movies, television and the theater. During his teenage years, Huvane worked as a doorman, bellman and elevator operator at the Wyndham Hotel in New York City. Upon graduating college, the hotel offered him a new position: accommodating celebrity guests. One day on the job, a woman, who witnessed his interactions with a hotel guest, told Huvane he would make a great agent. The next day, Nat Lefkowitz, chairman of the board of the William Morris Agency, contacted Huvane and convinced him to become an agent. He joined William Morris as a mailroom trainee and worked his way up to agent. When at first he did not succeed in signing established stars, Huvane turned his focus to new artists. He signed Sarah Jessica Parker when she was 19 years old and Julia Roberts shortly thereafter. One evening over dinner, Huvane's mother asked him why Hollywood wasn’t making movies for women and that became his mission: to stand at the forefront of equality. In 1995, Huvane and his partners took over as the new leadership of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). With a visionary model for client representation and service, CAA pushed boundaries in the industry and continued to lead the way in Hollywood. He currently serves as Partner and Managing Director of CAA where his personal clients are among the world’s most accomplished actors, directors and writers in film, theatre and television. His rolodex of talent under his management include Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Seacrest, Emma Watson, Tom Cruise and Halle Berry.

  • Phil Donahue, Pioneering Television Talk Show Host | MAKERS Men

    In 1967, Phil Donahue changed the face of daytime television, pioneering the audience-participation talk format as the host of The Phil Donahue Show. The show had a 29-year run which stands as the longest of its kind in U.S. television history. His TV journalism earned him 20 Emmy Awards — 9 as host and 11 for the show — as well as the George Foster Peabody Award; the President's Award from the National Women's Political Caucus; the Media Person of the Year Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance; and induction into the Academy of Television’s Hall of Fame. TV Guide named Donahue one of the Greatest Television Shows of All Time. Donahue has frequently been lauded for his groundbreaking interviews with world leaders and newsmakers — including Muhammad Ali, Johnny Carson, Ayn Rand, Nelson Mandela, Madalyn Murray O'Hair (his first Donahue guest), Margaret Meade and all of the presidents since Jimmy Carter. In 1985, he introduced satellite "spacebridge" telecasts between the United States and the Soviet Union, and then brought his talk show to Russia for a week of programs. He was the first Western journalist to visit Chernobyl after the nuclear accident there. Donahue has also headlined numerous network and public television specials, including the Emmy Award-winning children's special,” Donahue and Kids,” the landmark “Ryan White Talks to Kids about AIDS” and “The Human Animal,” an exploration of human behavior which was also a five-part, prime time series that aired on the NBC television network. In 2006, Donahue co-produced and co-directed Body of War, a documentary film about a young Iraq War veteran left in a wheelchair by enemy gunfire who begins questioning America’s involvement in the war. Universally hailed by critics ("almost unbearably moving," wrote TIME magazine), Body of War captured, among others, the Best Documentary award from the National Board of Review; the Grand Jury Prize at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival; and a People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Donahue is also an admired writer, whose opinion columns have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He is the author of the best-selling memoir, "Donahue: My Own Story" and "The Human Animal." A native of Cleveland and the father of five and grandfather of two, Donahue is married to award-winning actress, author and activist Marlo Thomas. They live in New York.

  • Common, Award-winning Artist, Actor, Producer | MAKERS Men

    There’s something about Common. Many know him as the Grammy and Academy Award-winning hip hop artist, poet, actor, and film producer. He’s all of those things, but, largely thanks to the love and support of his mother who he considers his “home and foundation,” he’s so much more. Raised in Chicago, Common wrote his first rap song at just 12 years old. He credits the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni for inspiring him in his formative years and. Inspired by their work, Common says his art will “always honor and uplift women.” With a career spanning 25 years, including a collaboration with his childhood hero Dr. Angelou, Common has become a loud and proud activist for equality. He’s even played a Civil Right’s Movement leader in 2014’s lauded film, Selma, which was directed by fellow MAKER Ava Marie DuVernay, the first black female director to have a film (Selma) nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Common co-wrote and performed the film’s song “Glory” which took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song. “Man, if we had women taking over the world, the world would get better,” Common told MAKERS.

  • Geno Auriemma, UConn Women's Basketball Coach | MAKERS Men

    Since 1985, Geno Auriemma has led the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) women's basketball team to eleven NCAA Division I national championships, the most in women's college basketball history, and has won eight national Naismith College Coach of the Year awards. He has served as head coach of the U.S. Women’s basketball team from 2009 to 2016 winning the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, and the gold medal at the Olympics as assistant coach in 2000, and as head coach in 2012 and 2016. Twelve of the players he coached on the UConn Huskies have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games. Currently, UConn has won 111 consecutive straight games, a new NCAA record. Auriemma grew up in Montella, Italy and moved to the U.S. in 1961 when he was seven years old. During his sophomore year at Bishop Kendrick High School, Auriemma played basketball for the varsity coach, Buddy Gardler. Gardler's admirable coaching style inspired Auriemma to become a coach. Auriemma met his wife Kathy in December 1972 at Montgomery County Junior College before transferring to West Chester State University. After graduating in 1981, he became assistant coach at the University of Virginia where he was in charge of recruiting players. By his third season his reputation was highly recognized as his team recruited six high school All-Americans and held a 24-8 record, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title, ranking No. 10 in the nation, and a place in the NCAA tournament. His reputation won UConn’s attention, who offered Auriemma a coaching position. Auriemma was in no rush to jump at the opportunity but after talking to John Toner and Pat Meiser something told him to go for it—and the rest is history.