The 2017 YBCA 100 List
Each year, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts releases the YBCA 100 list, celebrating the innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders from all over the world who are using their platform to create cultural movement. This year, the list took on a renewed urgency and importance. In the face of uncertain social and political headwinds, we gave voice to those who can lead us towards a more hopeful and equitable future.
On October 28, 2017, several of the year’s honorees spoke and performed at the annual YBCA 100 Summit. Watch their presentations and performances here »
100 Days Action
For providing a forum for artistic resistance.
community education and empowerment initiative
For cultivating the next generation of community leaders.
Trans Latinx Disabled organizer
For striving to create a world that is safe for all people, regardless of gender identity.
For creating a home for the African American experience.
editor in chief of Marvel Comics
For transforming a universe of superheroes into one of universal inclusion.
president of Y Combinator
For moving big ideas into reality.
Alt National Park Service
For putting transparency and the public interest above politics.
Former CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting
For fact-based, non-partisan, truth-driven stories.
chef, author, educator, activist
For using his platform to advocate for food justice and human rights.
Appalachia-based arts organization
For strengthening the voices of the people of Appalachia and rural America.
For upending the relationship between capital and urban development.
author, scholar, TV host
For generating a deeper understanding of the Middle East through alternative coverage.
For bringing relevance back to the television sitcom.
For her exhaustive creativity in music, art, and technology.
Brand New Congress
political action committee
For giving ordinary citizens a platform to make change.
The California Sunday Magazine
digital and print publication
For finding extraordinary value in the tales of ordinary people.
Chance the Rapper
performer, founder of SocialWorks
For keeping social change at the forefront of his actions and artistry.
co-founder, International Indigenous Youth Council
For demanding respect for her cultural heritage.
spoken-word poet, LGBTQ activist
For refusing to conform and speaking it loud.
founder and CEO of Vote.org
For empowering more people to participate in our most vital civic action.
For providing the fuel to question those in positions of power.
founder and executive director of Center for Media Justice
For advocating for the defense of net neutrality and media justice.
Carolina De Robertis
For writing stories that challenge us to think bigger.
composer, multimedia artist, DJ
For tackling social and environmental issues through innovative art.
community development entrepreneur
For building bridges across finance, community, and art sectors.
For creating work that challenges current social and political systems.
writer and professor
For her funny, critical, and intersectional writing.
For promoting radical healing, hope and imagination.
Girls on the Run of the Bay Area
girls’ empowerment organization
For helping every girl embrace who she is.
actor, writer, rapper
For distilling his own real hustle in music and comedy into the surreal Atlanta.
executive director of Institute for the Future
For providing perspective and strategy to future-looking organizations.
Melonie and Melorra Green
curators, artivists, radio show hosts
For being unstoppable advocates for the arts, Pan-Africanism, and LGBT rights.
For connecting her contemporary art practice to the community she came up in.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, founding physician at Bayview Child Health Center
For advocating healthy outcomes for all children.
cultural architect, artist, educator
For enhancing Oakland through music, activism, and community organizing.
executive director of the Museum of the African Diaspora
For championing provocative and vital voices in the African Diaspora.
Jemele Hill and Michael Smith
cohosts of ESPN’s SC6
For bringing new perspectives to the world of sports.
For giving voice to the diversity of the American experience.
The Indivisible Project
political resistance movement
For fostering change through collaboration.
founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
For advocating for the labor of those who serve us food.
For powerful human storytelling.
spoken-word artist, writer
For sharing her poetry through unexpected channels.
cultural producer, arts advocate
For bringing art and culture into mayoral politics.
social justice organization
For offering a form of solidarity that starts in the kitchen.
For pushing dance’s potential to engage with the community.
For exhibiting the harmony between seemingly discordant artistic practices.
For fearless, precise political reporting.
For telling the stories of invisible African-American cooks who made our country.
For having the courage to chase the facts and deliver difficult truths.
Tarell Alvin McCraney
playwright, actor, screenwriter, educator
For turning his own search for identity into a powerful screenplay in Moonlight.
Heather C. McGhee
president of Demos
For pushing us towards a more inclusive and equitable society.
photographer, artist, activist
For capturing the often unseen faces in a community.
founder of CryptoHarlem
For ensuring human rights online for marginalized and over-policed populations.
political protest movement
For sparking a movement of civil disobedience to protest unjust legislation.
founder and director of artEquity
For training artists to facilitate important conversations around social justice.
News and Guts
news, media, and investigative reporting platform
For being a brave media voice in a world of fake news.
comedian, television host
For providing a nightly check on the new not-normal in America.
For using humor to share the contemporary Muslim-American experience with us.
art and community space
For offering powerful challenges to the social and art market status quo.
fashion creative director
For designing clothes and textiles to convey African cultural history and issues of the present.
mental health advocacy organization
For using art as a model for social services.
social justice organization
For using art to build a culture of social justice.
For reviving crucial historic and cultural narratives.
comedian, director, writer
For bringing awareness and intentionality to mainstream media.
artistic director of CounterPulse
For fostering a space and resources for creative community endurance.
jazz pianist, composer
For writing and performing music to empower people against racism and social inequality.
founder of Project Wallflowers
For reimagining public spaces with “ailmento para el alma.” She is magic!
girls of color empowerment organization
For helping girls contribute radically to their communities.
For recognizing the importance of linguistic autonomy and equality.
actor, writer, director
For humor, joy, and realness in everyday life.
For pushing political boundaries and supporting immigrant rights.
poet, writer, playwright
For challenging the notion of a post-racial society.
Laurie Jo Reynolds
artist, policy advocate, researcher, and professor
For intervening in government systems to create change.
designer, partner at Hector, founder of CUP
For designing public spaces that help to create more democratically responsive environments.
performer, producer, community organizer
For scrutinizing class and structural racism through the art of words.
executive director of Color Of Change
For building a digital space for effective civil rights activism.
principal at Human Scale Studio, tactical urbanism advocate
For working with the community to make Detroit more vibrant.
For transforming higher education to directly impact poverty and inequality.
Run for Something
For inspiring and helping young people to run for public office.
founder and CEO of Lava Mae
For providing access to hygiene to transform lives and communities.
president and CEO of Delancey Street Foundation
For providing a path for ex-felons and others to contribute to the vitality of our communities.
BART Board of Directors, President of Akonadi Foundation
For advancing opportunities for underrepresented communities in the Bay Area.
Smart Bomb Oakland
futurist arts and music community collective
For showcasing dynamic, innovative, and marginalized voices.
artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater
For conjuring issues of race, gender, and the environment through dance.
For telling stories that are rooted in empathy, inclusion, and equity.
executive director of ACLU of Northern California
For seeking out and advancing justice for all people.
The Stud Collective
For smartly disrupting cultural displacement through resistance economics.
For using music to promote healing and community.
chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora and food justice activist
For teaching food justice as a path for social revolution.
founder of Babecamp and the #LoseHateNotWeight campaign
For fearlessly exploring the intersection of size, gender, and race.
CEO of Chobani
For proving that big corporations can be kind and successful.
For cross-pollination of cultures, musicians, writers and artists.
Deanna Van Buren
cofounder of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
For transforming how our nation views men and women post-incarceration.
Jose Antonio Vargas
journalist, filmmaker, CEO of Define American
For laying bare the politics of immigration as a journalist and undocumented immigrant.
editor of Teen Vogue
For guiding a teen magazine towards covering the big issues.
For writing boldly from the core of the African-American historical experience.
The White Helmets
Syrian humanitarian organization
For conducting volunteer urban search and rescue for civilians in Syria.
poet, musician, actor
For prioritizing socially engaged ideas as a music artist and actor.
For using humor to explore race and economics.
founder of [freespace]
For uncovering new paradigms to restore vulnerable places and spaces.