The front man for the alternative metal band System of the Down, Serj Tankian is best known for his musical talents in the United States as a singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist. He is widely acclaimed for his vocal talents and is nationally ranked as one of the few for “having the best voice in metal,” ranked at #26 by Hit Parader out of 100. Tankian, is also well known for his political activism, focusing on the human rights and fighting for the global recognition of the Armenian Genocide that occurred in 1915. This is reflected in his musical career, especially during his tenure with System of the Down; such songs include Prison Song,Holy Mountains, and Empty Walls. Respectively each song highlights either over population of the American Prison system, genocide, and of course the United States’ unpopular “War on Terror.” Serj Tankian has created a nonprofit organization with co-founder Tom Morello known as Axis of Justice that works to bring fans of music and musicians together to challenge issues facing the world today.
Dr. Mary Temple Grandin (Temple Grandin) August 29, 1947-Present
Dr. Grandin is a well-respected and celebrated expert on animals and on developing care and emotional treatment for autistic children. Suffering from this disability herself, she was able with the help of her mother and a few close academic supporters to complete her education and become a world renowned researcher for the better care of animals. However her greatest contribution to humanity was her invention of the “Hug Box,” which has been an essential tool in aiding children with autism. Dr. Grandin has also spent much of her time in aiding parents with autistic children. She has written a number of books on the subject, such titles include, The Autistic Brain and Emergence: Labeled Autistic.
Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones) August 1, 1837-November 30, 1930
Mary Harris Jones, or Mother Jones as the miners she lead called her, was one of the bravest organizers for the rights of laborers during the first two decades of the 20th century. Her own life being one of hardship and strife, Mrs. Jones migrated to Canada during the Irish Famine with her family. As a young woman she lost both her husband and children to Yellow Fever and suffered the loss of her home during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was then that she took to marching for better labor conditions, starting with forming a political group against child labor, known as the Children's Crusade. Soon she lead more and more marchers, causing such a havoc in the day to day lives of those in the higher crust that a US District Attorney once called her “the most dangerous woman in America.” Mrs. Jones demonstrated her ability to lead and motivate people.