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Top 30 Europeans


Yvette Jarvis Special Advisor to the Mayor of Athens on Immigration, Greece


Politician Yvette Jarvis is arguably the most recognisable black woman in Athens. A former professional basketball player, model and singer she is a well-known personality in Greece and the first African-American female to be elected to public office in the history of Greece. Brooklyn- born Yvette Jarvis graduated from Boston University with a degree in psychology and sociology before moving to Greece as a professional basketball player in 1982, becoming the first African American to play in the Greek Women’s Basketball League. Her political career began with her involvement in various non-profit organisations for female domestic violence victims and assistance for people with special needs. Yvette became the first black person elected into the Athens City Council in 2002, during which time she set up a ‘Know Your Rights’ information centre offering legal advice to immigrants and initiated a bill for the hiring of disabled people in the municipality, allowing them to exercise administration on local affairs. In 2006 Yvette was appointed by the mayor, as Special Adviser on Immigrant Affairs. She is also vice-president of the Black European Women’s Council and was elected board member of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) association in 2011.


Noemie Lenoir Model and actress, France


French model and actress Noemie Lenoir is regarded as one of the world’s best models. Born in Les Ulis, France, of Madagascan and French parentage, at the age of 16 Noemie was discovered by New York modelling agency Ford Models in 2001. She is best known for modelling high fashion brands such as Gucci, L’Oréal, Tommy Hilfiger, and Victoria’s Secret and is also the face of UK high-street retailer Marks & Spencer. Noemie has catwalked for more than 18 designers, appeared in top magazines such as Elle and Sports Illustrated and starred in five films – her most popular appearance being in Rush Hour 3 in 2007. Although less known for her participation in charity work, Noemie represents L’association Nacionale Médias Handicap, which raises support for disabled people. Noemie’s successful career was almost brought to an end aſter attempting suicide in 2010. But she got over that period and her acting and modelling career continues to grow.


Lucia Asué Mbomio TV Presenter of Espanoles en el Mundo, RTVE, Spain


Lucia is inf luential for being one of the few black faces featured on RTVE, Spain’s national television station. Of Spanish and Equatorial New Guinean parentage, Lucia is the face of Espanoles en el Mundo (Spaniards in the World.) Apart from her successful career as TV personality, she is an advocate for raising awareness of the African presence in Spain. Lucia produced the award-winning documentary La Ciudad Invisible (The Invisible City) in 2010, documenting the lives of ethnic minorities living in Cañada Real Galiana, Europe’s largest illegal settlement in Madrid. The same year Lucia was presented with a prestigious award from former Spanish president José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, for her outstanding work. Lucia continues to present for Spain’s national television channel while working on other projects that strive to reveal African contributions to the history of the country.


Tabo Sefolosha NBA player, Oklahoma City Tunder basketball team, Switzerland


In 2006, Thabo Sefolosha became the first Swiss basketball player to play in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA). The South African and Swiss guard is one of four team players to start all 82 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. However, Thabo is less well known for his charitable contributions. In 2008 Thabo helped unveil the opening of a new court refurbishment at the Martin Luther King Boys and Girls Club, organising a basketball clinic for children using the facility. Particularly committed to improving the lives of children in his father’s hometown of Mamelodi, South Africa, he and his wife hosted their first red-carpet, annual international charity event in 2011, successfully raising $50,000 for the township. He is also the founder of Camp Thabo Sefolosha in Switzerland, where he provides young athletes with training and the opportunity to participate in championship games.


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