InStyle (USA) - - Directory - PHO­TOGRAPHED BY LARA JADE

Fash­ion icon Iman and CARE USA CEO Michelle Nunn join forces to end global poverty

Why They’re Badass “When you lift up a girl, you lift up the fam­ily, the com­mu­nity, the na­tion, and it has a pos­i­tive im­pact on over­com­ing poverty,” says CARE USA CEO Michelle Nunn of her or­ga­ni­za­tion’s strat­egy. “If a girl has the chance to do just one ex­tra year of sec­ondary school, that can mean her fam­ily’s in­come in­creases by 10 to 20 per­cent.” Since Nunn be­came head of CARE in 2015, she set a goal of aid­ing 200 mil­lion of the world’s most vul­ner­a­ble people by 2020. And this year, as CARE’S first global ad­vo­cate, Iman has joined Nunn’s cause. “Michelle is a badass be­cause she com­bines gen­tle democ­racy with an iron will,” Iman says. “I’m all caps and fire­works—don’t get me started! But let’s not for­get the quiet badass, be­cause she’s no less heroic. She gets things done.” The su­per­model and long­time ad­vo­cate for in­clu­siv­ity says her ex­pe­ri­ence as a refugee from So­ma­lia at age 16 con­nects her to the people CARE serves. “CARE gave me a fo­cal point for what I re­ally want to do in this third act of my life,” she says. “I am the face of a refugee. I am what is pos­si­ble when people like CARE work­ers step in to help.”

Change Agents As one of the few black su­per­mod­els in the ’70s and ’80s, Iman chal­lenged Western beauty stan­dards and helped rev­o­lu­tion­ize the in­dus­try. In 1994 she launched a cos­met­ics and skin-care col­lec­tion de­signed specif­i­cally for all women of color. “When I cre­ated Iman Cos­met­ics there was no makeup for us. My first job was for Amer­i­can Vogue, and the makeup artists asked me, ‘Did you bring your own foun­da­tion?’ ” she re­calls. “I think my team and I were the first badass beauty war­riors in the busi­ness.” Nunn, mean­while, has ded­i­cated her life to pub­lic ser­vice. Soon af­ter col­lege she co-founded Hands On At­lanta, a lo­cal group that mo­bi­lized vol­un­teers, and built it into a na­tional net­work that even­tu­ally merged with Points of Light (founded by Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush), form­ing the largest vol­un­teer-ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion in the world. The daugh­ter of for­mer U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, she also tried her hand at pol­i­tics. “I ran for U.S. Sen­ate un­suc­cess­fully, but be­ing a badass is not al­ways about win­ning. It’s some­times about en­ter­ing the arena and push­ing bound­aries,” she says. “We’ve never had a woman sen­a­tor elected in

I am the face of a refugee. I am what is pos­si­ble.” —IMAN

Ge­or­gia—but we will. And some­how I will be a part of that longer bat­tle.”

Born Lead­ers “How many Imans are out there who could con­trib­ute in ex­tra­or­di­nary ways that we never get to meet?” Nunn asks, re­fer­ring to refugees. “We’re talk­ing about hu­man be­ings,” Iman adds. “Th­ese people have am­bi­tions and tal­ents just like me.” Her role as global ad­vo­cate en­tails shar­ing her story, help­ing CARE ex­pand, and en­cour­ag­ing people to get in­volved as the non­profit ap­proaches its 75th an­niver­sary.

Next Gen Lexi, Iman’s 19-year-old daugh­ter with her late hus­band, David Bowie, was hes­i­tant to sup­port her mom’s re­lief work at first. “She was wor­ried,” Iman says. “She said, ‘Oh, you’re go­ing to go back to dif­fi­cult coun­tries?’ I said, ‘I am from a dif­fi­cult coun­try. I’m used to it.’ ” But Iman hopes Lexi will join her on her trav­els for CARE to see the re­sults of its ef­forts. “The best legacy is leading by ex­am­ple, whether you in­flu­ence your own kids or some­body far away who calls you a role model,” Iman says. For Nunn, women like Iman, who are de­ter­mined to over­come ad­ver­sity, mo­ti­vate her the most. “Ev­ery time I visit our work sites around the world, it’s like an an­ti­dote to cyn­i­cism,” she says. “It’s a re­minder of hope and pos­si­bil­ity be­cause you see people in the tough­est cir­cum­stances meet those chal­lenges with strength, re­siliency, and grace. That’s a pro­found in­spi­ra­tion.”


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