27 April, 2015
TIME Magazine has released a list of 100 individuals it says are the "most influential" people in the world. These men and women come from many countries. They are government leaders, activists, artists and celebrities.
The list includes U.S. President Barack Obama, Cuban leader Raúl Castro and Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Nancy Gibbs is the managing editor of TIME magazine. She says she want people to understand that just because people have power does not mean they have influence.
"Power's reach is limited to those you can control. Influence's reach is boundless when any great idea, any cause, or cure or creation can be shared instantly and globally from the palm of your hand."
Nigerian activist Obiageli Ezekwesili is on the list. She leads the "Bring Back Our Girls" movement. She believes being on the list will help in finding the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year by the militant group Boko Haram.
"It certainly helps to keep the world constantly reminded that the girls are not yet back. A year ago, nearly everyone around the world knew that 219 young women had been abducted by savages. Suddenly, the whole world sort of moved on to other matters. With this attention on their matter, the whole world can galvanize itself again toward their rescue."
TIME magazine put Abubakar Shekau on its list of "most influential" people. He is the leader of Boko Haram, which recently said it is allied with the Islamic State group.
Others on the list are fighting for social justice. They include those who fight for transgender equality -- protecting individuals who believe that their sex at birth is in conflict with their true gender. The list also includes those who work to empower females and defend poor people.
Bryan Stevenson created the Equal Justice Initiative. He fights racial discrimination and speaks up in support of prisoners in the United States. He says famous people have a responsibility to talk about important issues.
"There's no question that the history of this country has been shaped by artists and entertainers and celebrities who took a stand on important social justice issues, and I think this generation needs to do the same."
I'm Jim Tedder.
Ramon Taylor reported this story from New York. Christopher Jones-Cruise wrote it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
celebrity – n. a person who is famous
boundless – adj. not limited in any way; having no boundaries
palm – n. the inside part of the hand between the wrist and the fingers
remind – v. to make (someone) think about something again; to cause (someone) to remember something
abduct – v. to take (someone) away from a place by force
savage – n. a person who is very violent or cruel
matters – n. the situation or subject that is being discussed or dealt with
galvanize – v. to cause (a force that is capable of causing change) to become active
take a stand – idiom to take a position in opposition to someone or something; to oppose or resist someone or something