Human Rights

Two heroes honored for driving impact in 2016

Two women at the heart of two powerful social change campaigns in 2016 are being honored as changemakers for their work confronting sexual assault.

Amanda Nguyen, the petition starter behind a victorious campaign that established the first federal Bill of Rights for survivors of sexual assault, and Brenda Tracy, who along with her son Darius Adams have been the drivers of a petition asking the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to ban violet athletes from competitive sports, were honored by Marie Claire and ESPN for their work advocating on behalf of sexual assault survivors.  


Amanda will be honored as part of Marie Claire’s first-ever “Young Women’s Honors” program, which will honor eight women deemed “unstoppable” for their grit, grace, and greatness. Amanda’s petition, signed by more than 140,000 people, was a major part of her work pushing federal legislation to protect victims of sexual assault. The legislation passed both chambers of Congress this year (unanimously!), and was signed into law by President Obama in October. Not only was that historic, but it also became the first federal law to use the phrase “sexual assault survivor.” Amanda was also named one of Foreign Policy’s “Global Thinkers” this week.


Brenda, meanwhile, was selected by ESPN as part of espnW’s “Impact25” list — a list that honors top athletes and influencers of 2016. Brenda and her son Darius have garnered more than 170,000 signatures on their petition asking the NCAA to ban violent athletes, and earlier this year Brenda not only delivered the petition to the NCAA’s headquarters in Indianapolis, but she was also given a seat on an ad-hoc committee launched by the NCAA to combat sexual violence in collegiate sports.

As Brenda’s son Darius writes for espnW, “She’s my hero and she should be yours, too. She is courageous and brave and relentless in her pursuit of justice and cultural change.”

Couldn’t agree more! Here’s to celebrating two women who not only waged two of the biggest social change campaigns in 2016, but who are leading the way in seeking justice for victims of sexual assault.

Written by
Michael A. Jones
December 14, 2016 7:52 pm