Director and producer Ava DuVernay’s work, both on and off set, uses art to shift the narratives surrounding communities of color. She embraces art as a conduit of positivity for Time magazine’s new The Optimists issue, which debuts online today (February 7). 

“When I was invited to guest-edit this issue, Time’s second special issue devoted to optimism, it was on a particularly dreary day,” DuVernay reflects in an introductory essay. “The national headlines were what we’ve come to expect: bigotry, poverty, injustice, trauma, trouble. I weighed my own feelings of despair and doubt against the idea of reveling in an experience dedicated to optimism. The choice was easy. I wanted to explore the other side.”

The issue includes videos, profiles of influential artists of color and essays on art’s relationship to structural change, including the following features: