KINGSTON, R.I., Jan. 19, 2018—Call them the fabulous five.
A special edition of Newsweek about women’s rights is out today with a bold cover designed by a University of Rhode Island graduate who is turning her feminism into art.
Narya Marcille’s design features five nationally recognized women who are paving the way for gender equality, civil and human rights, racial equality, and justice for all.
Those women and more are profiled in “She Persisted: Moments of Courage, Strength and Rebellion in the Fight for Feminism,” which is available online and will hit newsstands Jan. 23.
“This was a huge opportunity for me,” says Marcille. “I’m eager to see what comes next.”
Marcille’s design is reminiscent of a celebrated poster she created for the Women’s March on Washington last year. A Newsweek editor saw that poster and liked it so much he asked Marcille to design the “She Persisted” cover.
Landing the job was a coup for Marcille, 35, a stay-at-home mom in North Smithfield who works as a freelance graphic designer while taking care of her children, ages 4 and 1.
The five women, all linking arms, are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; Ellen Pao, former interim C.E.O. of Reddit who rattled patriarchal Silicon Valley when she filed a gender discrimination suit against her employer—a powerful venture capital firm; Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani education and women’s rights advocate who, at the age of 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, a Nigerian novelist and feminist; and Gina Rodriguez, an American actress of Puerto-Rican descent best known for her role in the comedy-drama series, “Jane the Virgin.”
Behind the women are dozens of protesters with raised fists, some carrying posters that say, “Fight Like a Girl” and “The Future is Female.” One poster has a woman’s raised fist inside a gender symbol for women. They are all standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., under a turbulent pink sky—a “feminist color,” says Marcille.
Marcille, a 2005 URI art graduate, says she worked for a week on the illustration, including an all-nighter on Christmas. Steven Charny, art director for Topix Media, which publishes Newsweek’s special editions, chose the women he wanted on the cover, and Marcille created the images.
“They’re all incredibly strong and determined women,” she says. “They’re in charge of their lives.”
Marcille’s poster for last year’s Women’s March was a hit. The Library of Congress requested a copy for its permanent archives, and Marcille sent a copy to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was featured in the poster. (Justice Ginsberg likes it so much she displays it in her chambers.)
The Newsweek cover could get even more attention, with more than 500,000 copies of the special edition printed in the United States and Canada. Marcille plans to patronize at least one place in Rhode Island that will sell the magazine—the Whole Foods grocery chain.
“We’re at an age where women are being celebrated,” she says. “It’s thrilling.”
The magazine is available online through https://onnewsstandsnow.com/products/newsweek-she-persisted. To see more of Marcille’s work, visit https://www.naryamarcille.com.