Hello everyone, and happy Friday! Today’s celebrity is the legendary Naomi Osaka, a tennis sensation displaying remarkable talent and a driven spirit. Tamaki Osaka and Leonard Francois welcomed Naomi into the world on October 16th, 1997, in Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan, their second child. Her mother is Japanese, and with a Haitian father, her upbringing was multicultural and diverse. As she progressed in her tennis career, guided by her father, she began to develop a profound skillset. She emerged to worldwide stardom when she defeated her childhood idol, Serena Williams, to win the US Open. Beyond her own accolades, she became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Her victory accelerated her track to stardom, a status that came with success but not without struggles. Unfortunately, our world still experiences racial prejudice, and this dilemma is apparent. Osaka uses her platform to advocate for equality and social justice, all while remaining humble and gracious. Osaka’s ethnicity as half-Japanese receives much criticism from her Japanese counterparts. She’s often deemed not Japanese enough or a false representation of what it means to be Japanese. These comments are incredibly discouraging, but she continues to advocate for equitable treatment regarding race, ethnicity, and mental health. In addition to her athletic achievements, Naomi is a trailblazer in the fashion world. She frequently collaborates with iconic brands, cementing her legacy as a style icon. Many regard her fashion as bold, a choice that reflects her confidence and individuality and inspires fans to embrace their unique identities.


Julien Joseph, Project Race Teens Vice President