News / AOL Blog

MAKERS Adds Actress, Advocate and Architect

Jun 21, 2012

New to the video library this week are the stories of actress Rita Moreno, who talks about breaking into Hollywood and defying stereotypes; Whitney Smith, who advocates for empowering girls, and Marika Shioiri-Clark, an architect who uses design to empower social change.

Rita Moreno is a singer, dancer, and actress, among one of the few actors to have one an Oscar, Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy. She was the first Latina to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in the 1961 musical film West Side Story. Moreno continues to have a rich and vibrant career. Her latest roles include the Fran Drescher sitcom Happily Divorced and her autobiographical one-women-show Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup,which debuted on stage in 2011.

Whitney Smith is a teen advocate and the founder of Girls For a Change, an international organization that empowers girls to create social change within their communities and abroad. Smith began her career as a social advocate in college, where she initiated and developed the first LGBT support group in the Pennsylvania state university system. She's active on many boards for high-profile organizations, including Thinking Beyond Borders and the National Girls Institute.

Marika Shioiri-Clark is an architect who uses design to empower global change and battle inequality. Working alongside Partners in Health, she was a lead designer on the Butaro Hospital Project in Rwanda, where she lived on-site in 2008 developing designs and overseeing construction. Shioiri-Clark has been rewarded amply for her accomplishments. She was an Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute in 2009, a summer fellow at Public Architecture in 2007, and received a U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Traveling Fellowship in 2008.

Learn more about Marika by watching this video: