Be Passionate and Move Forward With Gusto

Ava DuVernay

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"Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal."

Ava DuVernay (1972-) is an American filmmaker and director, most well-known for her documentary film 13th (2016) which explores the criminal justice system in the U.S. and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.

DuVernay won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, becoming the first Black woman to win the award. She also became the first Black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director, and in 2017, DuVernay became the first Black woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, for her film 13th.


In celebration of Juneteenth.

Nikol Chen (she/her)

Digital Content Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! My name is Nikol and I look after the Laidlaw Scholars Network.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. My final research explored the potential effects of design on patient wellbeing in hospitals, and I also took modules such as Ethnographic Documentary Filmmaking, Anthropology of the Built Environment, Art in the Public Sphere, and other less interesting-sounding things :)

Drop me a line if you have any questions about the site, or if you'd just like to chat! I am always down to meet interesting people, so let's get [virtual] coffee ☕️

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