William Wilberforce was an English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to stop the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire . In 1785, he became an evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform.
Junot Díaz is a Dominican American writer, creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.