25 brilliant, badass, genius actors and musicians who are diversifying the Oscars.

In 2018, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got much larger — and more diverse.

The Oscar-granting organization sent out 928 invitations (a jump from the previous year's 774) to actors, screenwriters, and executives that have shown dedication and exceptional work in the film industry. Those invitations set out make the organization more female, more ethnically diverse, and more international.

928 is a huge number, but we've listed some familiar faces that are joining the esteemed body below:


1. Gina Rodriguez ("Annihilation," "Deepwater Horizon")

Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.

An outspoken defender of women's rights, immigration reform, and the importance of diversity in film, Rodriguez publicly accepted the award with glee.

2. Jada Pinkett Smith ("Girls Trip," "Set It Off")

Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM.

As one of the first actresses to call out the Oscars' diversity problem, Pinkett Smith's decadeslong work is finally getting some well-deserved recognition.

3. Mindy Kaling ("Ocean's Eight," "A Wrinkle in Time")

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.

4. Tiffany Haddish ("Girls Trip," "Keanu")

Photo by Emma McIntyre Getty Images for MTV.

5. Kumail Nanjiani ("The Big Sick," "Hello, My Name Is Doris")

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Women in Film.

Nanjiani's public recollection of falling in love with the woman who would become his wife during her life-threatening sickness warmed the hearts of romantics around the world. A vibrant defender of equal rights and the importance of diversity in film, Nanjiani is sure to add some necessary perspective to the Academy.

6. Danai Gurira ("Black Panther," "Mother of George")

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.

7. Quvenzhané Wallis ("Annie," "Beasts of the Southern Wild")

Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence.

At just 14 years old, Wallis is the youngest member of this year's Academy cohort.

8. Sarah Silverman ("Battle of the Sexes," "Wreck-It Ralph")

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.

9. Wendell Pierce ("Selma," "Horrible Bosses")

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

Pierce may be one of the hardest working men in Hollywood and on the ground. As a hilarious and thoughtful advocate of community engagement and diversity in film, he's a welcome addition.

10. Trevante Rhodes ("12 Strong," "Moonlight")

Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD.

"Moonlight" warmed the hearts of many Americans, in large part thanks to Rhodes' brilliant depiction of black gay manhood.

11. Christine Baranski ("Miss Sloane," "Mamma Mia!")

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions.

12. Hannibal Buress ("Blockers," "Spider-Man: Homecoming")

Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images.

13. Taye Diggs ("Rent," "Chicago")

Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Gotham Magazine.

It's clear that there are few things that Diggs can't do. Now, he can add being on the Academy to that list.

14. Ken Jeong ("Crazy Rich Asians," "The Hangover")

Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images.

15. Joy Bryant ("Bobby," "Get Rich or Die Tryin'")

Photo by  Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

16. Kendrick Lamar ("Black Panther," "Divergent")

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS.

Lamar also won a Pulitzer in 2018 for his rap genius. Enough said.

17. J.K. Rowling ("Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," "Harry Potter")

Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images.

Humanitarian. Writer. Bringer of joy to millions of children and adults for decades. Rowling is the epitome of using one's talents in spite of setbacks to make the world a better place. Her voice in the Academy will make waves.

18. Amy Schumer ("I Feel Pretty," "Trainwreck")

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Schumer isn't one to back down from a challenge. She's a hard worker, a fighter, and an important voice in feminist film.

19. Regina Hall ("Girls Trip," "Scary Movie")

Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images.

Hall's recognition is long overdue, but it's awesome that it's finally here.

20. Derek Luke ("Miracle at St. Anna," "Antwone Fisher")

Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images.

21. Daniel Kaluuya ("Black Panther," "Get Out")

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Huffington Post.

A breakout star of 2017, Kaluuya's rise in film has been fast, powerful, and extremely important.

22. Rashida Jones ("Celeste and Jesse Forever," "The Social Network")

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

23. Kal Penn ("The Namesake," "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle")

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

24. Randall Park ("Ant-Man and the Wasp," "Snatched")

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.

25. Mía Maestro ("The Motorcycle Diaries," "Frida")

Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for LACMA.

Maestro's genius were evident in "Frida" and many other films. This acknowledgement is extremely well deserved.

And that's just 25 of them.

This year, the Academy is more Asian, Latino, black, female, and queer, representing the wide array of experiences around the world. Our film industry will be better for it, and so will the audiences that tune in.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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