“When I was younger, my mother tried to get me an agent because I was always singing and dancing, but whenever she took me to an audition, I would just shut down. By high school, I was telling everyone, “Oh, I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up,” because my dad was always saying to me, “Pick a career path where you’re always going to be necessary.” But by junior year, I was president of choir, I was the lead in the school play, and I just loved being onstage performing. I literally had a breakdown because I’m not big on denying myself the things that I want, and I knew I was going to do it anyway. So it was coming to terms with the fact that my life was never going to be stable. I’d never know where the next job was coming.” Aja Naomi King, The New York Times
Aja Naomi King, 33 is African American, an actress and pro-woman advocate. You most likely know her as Michaela Pratt from the legal drama series “How To Get Away With Murder”. Aja is a social activist known for campaigning for the female empowerment. She sits on the board of “Opening Act”, a nonprofit in New York that helps disadvantaged kids express themselves through writing and performance. Speaking on why she is passionate about activism especially on female power, she says activism is an important tool, influencers can use in making a case for equity and equality. “Activism has become so important to me.”
In addition to her work with Opening Act, she is also an ambassador for L’oreal Paris. Through L’Oreal, she is able to further her advocacy for women through the Women of Worth event which celebrates women who are doing laudable things in their communities. As an actor, she uses her gift to showcase the strength of women and aims to change social ills through art. She has acted the movie “A Girl from Mogadishu”, a film which highlights a Somali woman’s radical attempt to end female genital mutilation.
Aja also devotes her time to mentoring young girls and women. “For two years, I’ve mentored a young woman through Opening Act. The group works with schools that have a low graduation rate and gives kids a safe space in which they can play, create, and communicate their feelings. Opening Act has given my mentee confidence, and I’m so happy to be a part of that. I’m also very excited to be working with the Center for Reproductive Rights. They deal with policy makers to create legislation. Now they’re working on a bill called the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prevent states from enacting laws that could deprive women of the reproductive health care they need. I hope to help amplify that message and visit Congress with them to present the bill.”
Culled from The New York Times