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  • Title
    Singer, Songwriter, and Producer
  • Affiliation

If you didn’t know that the multilingual singer was a force of nature in the philanthropic world, you’re a little late to the party. Shakira’s cause of choice: early-childhood development and education, particularly in her home nation of Colombia, where she launched the foundation Pies Descalzos (named after an early album, it translates as “Barefoot”) in 1997. She has also developed her public-policy chops as a founding member of the ALAS Foundation, spurring governmental action on early nutrition and schooling across Latin America. It’s not just an academic exercise: In 2016 the foundation’s schools fed and educated more than 6,000 children. Of course, it is performing that has given Shakira a uniquely powerful platform, with over 32 million followers on Instagram and 43 million on Twitter. Her 104 million fans on Facebook make her the most-followed female celebrity on the planet. But her real leadership comes in how she has leveraged those platforms on behalf of vulnerable kids.