The Mend 30
We believe everyone deserves to cultivate and nourish a love life of their own choosing.
We believe relationship health and sexual health set the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
We believe compassion and emotional intelligence are the currencies of the future.
The Mend 30 share this vision and work every day to make it a reality. This list isn’t about money, power or business influence, and this list isn’t about being below a certain age. We are proud to present The Mend 30 of 2018, a compassionate and influential group of innovators, creators, academics and storytellers who are opening the hearts and minds of society.
Karamo Brown is a television host, producer, and activist. You’ve most recently watched him as the Culture Expert on the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, where the Fab Five help people get their lives back on track. As the first openly gay African American man on reality TV (Real World: Philadelphia), he’s long been an activist for the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to gracing our screens, Karamo was a psychotherapist and social worker for almost a decade. He worked with the White House in 2016, under the Obama administration, to support the LGBTQ+ communities and their allies. A quick glance at his Instagram and you’ll realize his favorite role is being a dad.
Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and author of the New York Times bestseller “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.” From TED Talks that have racked over 20 million views to an international bestseller translated into 25 languages (“Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence”), Esther Perel is one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. She helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast “Where Should We Begin?” a podcast that explores the intimate conversations couples have with their therapists.
Rupi Kaur is a poet, illustrator, writer, and speaker. With over 3.1 million followers, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon Rupi Kaur’s poetry on Instagram. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry: “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers.” Her debut book “Milk and Honey” held a spot on The New York Times bestsellers list every week for over a year. Rupi’s poetry explores a variety of themes ranging from love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration, and revolution.
Dr. Helen Fisher
Dr. Helen Fisher is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and a member of the Center For Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. As a biological anthropologist who focuses on love and relationships, she is the author of six books, including “The Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray” and “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.” Her website The Anatomy of Love hosts a wide range of resources, including her brain-mapping studies on romantic love, and she is also a TED Speaker.
Cleo is an artist, poet, and author of the best selling book “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life.” New York magazine has dubbed Cleo Wade “The Millennial Oprah.” Her work is rooted in the power of self-love. She has written for the New York Times, Teen Vogue, and W Magazine. Her TED Talk “Want to change the world? Start by being brave enough to care” has garnered over 1.4 million views. Marie Claire named Cleo one of “America’s 50 Most Influential Women” and Fast Company recognized her in the “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Dr. Gary Chapman
Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.” He’s since expanded on his “5 Love Languages” series with special editions written to connect with singles, men, and parents of teens and young children. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored “When Sorry Isn’t Enough,” introducing us to the 5 languages of apology. In addition to his books, Dr. Chapman also reaches thousands of couples all over the country through his weekend marriage conferences.
Anna Kay Faris is an actress, producer, comedian, writer, podcast host, and occasional singer. Well-known as a comedic actor and producer in both TV and film, Anna’s recent role as podcast host has put her at the forefront of the relationship world. Her relationship advice podcast “Unqualified” is the #1 podcast stream and she recently penned a book based on the podcast. In each episode of “Unqualified,” Anna brings on a guest to delve into life, work, and love. Plus, listeners submit their relationship woes to get Anna’s “Unqualified” advice.
Katherine Woodward Thomas
Katherine Woodward Thomas is a licensed marriage and family therapist, as well as an author. She wrote the New York Times bestseller “Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After” and the national bestseller “Calling in ‘The One’: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life.” Through her virtual and in-person learning communities, Katherine teaches thousands from all corners of the world. We’ll leave you with the question she asks when you visit her website: How are you growing your capacity to love and be loved today?
Daniel Jones is a writer, editor, producer, and podcast host. When it comes to love stories, Daniel has seen his fair share. Daniel Jones is the editor of the Modern Love column at The New York Times, which was turned into a popular WBUR podcast. In his book “Love Illuminated,” Daniel draws from 50,000 stories of love to take us through 10 phases of human relationships and the ups and downs of love. He also serves as a consulting producer for the “Modern Love” series on Amazon.
Gloria Jean Watkins, known by her pen name Bell Hooks, is a prolific author, feminist, social activist, professor, and culture critic. Her book “All About Love: New Visions” has become a foundational book on relationships that she wrote to describe her true feelings on love. Her writing covers topics ranging from race to masculinity and the patriarchy to self-help, feminism, and representation.
Ty Tashiro is a social scientist, relationship expert, psychologist, and author of the books “The Science of Happily Ever After” and “Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome.” In The Science of Happily Ever After, he explains why modern relationships can be so frustrating and how emerging psychological findings can help people make more intelligent and informed decisions about how to find a great partner. He’s also been an award winning professor at University of Maryland and University of Colorado.
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd is the founder and CEO of Bumble, and was previously a co-founder of Tinder. Whitney was named one of Business Insider’s “30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Tech” (2014), one of Elle’s “Women in Tech” (2016), and Forbes 30 Under 30 (2017 & 2018). She was also featured on the TIME 100 List in 2018. With Bumble, Whitney is empowering women and transforming how people meet and connect. She’s also seen Bumble through its expansion beyond dating to Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz.
Daniel Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist, and activist for the LGBTQ+ community. He writes Savage Love, an internationally syndicated column where he shares relationship and sex advice, and also hosts Savage Lovecast, a love and sex advice podcast that is in the top 50 iTunes podcasts. Together with his partner Terry Miller, Dan co-founded the Emmy-winning It Gets Better Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower and give hope to LGBTQ+ youth.
Orion Carloto is a writer, poet, and storyteller. In her debut book Flux, Orion Carloto exposes heartbreak through poetry and prose. Popularly known on YouTube, Orion’s channel serves as a visual diary where she shares her favorites, from books to beauty to self care. She also uses the platform to connect with followers and respond to their pressing questions about life, love, and writing.
Lola Tash is an actress and the co-founder of the viral Instagram meme account MyTherapistSays. Seeing the need for an outlet that explores anxiety through the lens of humor, she began curating memes and pairing them with spot on captions. Her love for writing and quick wit guide her as she co-writes the MyTherapistSays book.
Nicole is a co-founder of the viral Instagram meme account MyTherapistSays with Lola Tash. The pair have amassed 3.1 million followers on their account, which shares memes at the intersection of anxiety and humor. Before co-founding MyTherapistSays, Nicole graduated with a degree in psychology. Her knowledge in the field coupled with her love of pop culture shine through in their perfectly curated meme account.
Polly Rodriguez is the CEO and co-founder of Unbound, a company that makes buying sex toys more pleasurable and affordable. She had the idea for Unbound after being diagnosed with cancer and losing her own sex drive, and she knew there had to be a better option than seedy sex toy shops. Through Unbound, Polly aims to empower women to take control of their sexual health and rediscover pleasure. Polly also helped found Women In Sex Tech, a group that supports female entrepreneurs who are breaking taboos and revolutionizing this growing industry.
Karley Sciortino is a writer, television host, and producer. She is the founder of Slutever, a website where she digs into sex and dating, and she’s also the columnist behind Vogue’s Breathless column. In 2017 she produced and created a docuseries for Viceland based on Slutever, where she explores everything from monster erotica to renting boyfriends. She is passionate about sitting down, lying down, and movies with love triangles.
Shan Boodram, known as Shan Boody by her followers, is a certified sex educator, dating coach, relationship expert, and activist. She’s the author of the book “LAID” and her YouTube channel has seen over 25 million views. Shan is also the contributing writer for Freeform’s series “The Bold Type,” which follows three friends navigating the ups and downs of their careers at a fictionalized Cosmopolitan Magazine. She serves as an ambassador for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, American Sexual Health Association, and WomensHealth.gov.
Bryony Cole is a researcher, strategist, and entrepreneur. As the leading expert on sex tech, Bryony founded Future of Sex, which houses a top-rated podcast, research arm, and global events (like the Sex Tech Hackathon). In 2018, her research focused on virtual reality and how it would impact sex, love, and relationships in the future. She travels the world for speaking engagements and also publishes the annual Future of Sex report. Bryony has also been featured on shows like Viceland and Technopia.
Lauren "Lo" Steinberg
Lauren Steinberg is an entrepreneur and founder of Queen V, a company that is reinventing feminine hygiene products for the millennial generation. After being frustrated with the harmful ingredients in feminine products, she created Queen V to offer products that are pH-balanced, free of harmful ingredients, convenient, and affordable to maintain your v, enjoy your v, and heal your v. Lo has been recognized by Ad Age 40 Under 40.
Terry Miller co-founded the It Gets Better Project with his husband Dan Savage. The non-profit is a global movement focused on empowering and giving hope to LGBTQ+ youth. The It Gets Better Project’s early roots was a social media campaign that was so successful it evolved into a multimedia platform reaching millions of young people all over the world.
Sharon Donnelly Love
Sharon Donnelly Love co-founded One Love with her daughter Lexie, to honor the positive spirit of her daughter Yeardley. For 25 years, Sharon dedicated herself to teaching hearing-impaired students in Baltimore City Public Schools. She retired in 2013, and began her full-time work on One Love, developing it into a respected leader in educating young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Sharon is the main spokesperson for One Love, and her work has reached many students at every age level, professionals in the relationship violence arena, and politicians on both a local and national level.
Mari Andrew is a writer, illustrator, and speaker who discovered her knack for illustrating after a particularly difficult season of grief and loss in 2016. Illustrating quickly became a new and uplifting form of self-expression and she committed to making one drawing a day for a year, posting each on Instagram to hold herself accountable. She’s now been at it for over three years and has amassed hundreds of thousands of avid followers. She published her first book of illustrations “Am I There Yet? The Look-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood” in March 2018, which became a New York Times bestseller, and is currently working on her second.
Gabrielle Korn is Editor-in-Chief at NYLON. Before her roles at NYLON and Refinery29, Gabrielle worked for queer and feminist publications like Autostraddle and On The Issues Magazine. Gabrielle has been working on NYLON’s transition to digital, updating some of its themes to highlight untold stories, while still keeping it true to its legacy.
Natalie Patterson is a poet, writer, and community builder. Her love for poetry has taken her all over the country, teaching and performing at universities, colleges, and high schools, and working in non-profit, education, and with major brands like Sephora. She was also the first female producer and host of the nation’s largest poetry venue Da Poetry Lounge. Natalie was featured in an entire season of Soul Pancake’s “That’s What She Said” web series. She’s currently President of Sister Support, a non-profit committed to the advancement of women. She also teaches poetry as a healing tool for incarcerated youth.
Claire Fitzsimmons is an entrepreneur and producer. On International Women’s Day 2018, she launched Salty, a radically inclusive media brand and community exploring modern dating, sex, and relationships for women, trans and non binary people. She began her journey as an events producer at Paper Magazine, has directed “Just The Tips” and “My Abortion Story” for Nylon TV and is co-producing a tour with Dita Von Teese.
Talia is an entrepreneur, writer, and founder of Three Day Rule, a modern matchmaking service that provides its clients handpicked matches and expert advice. She found her calling as a matchmaker while working as a TV producer at E! True Hollywood Story. After setting up many co-workers with matches and sharing insightful dating advice, Talia decided to take the leap and quit her full-time job to pursue her hidden talent for matchmaking.
Naz Perez is a producer, television host, podcaster, and entrepreneur. She started the support group Heart Broken Anonymous after meeting a stranger who was heartbroken and felt more comfortable talking to her about it than family and friends. Naz immediately recognized the need to create a judgment-free space where people could go to share their stories of heartbreak with other strangers. Her hope was that people suffering from heartbreak would know that they’re not alone.
Lenea Sims is an intuitive healer, writer, and self care coach. She founded Gooey Girl, an online collective and publication dedicated to helping people align with their authentic self and understand what it means to take care of themselves. She was named one of Essence Magazine’s “Self-Care Sistahs Who Helped Redefine Wellness in 2017” and, in 2018, spoke at SXSW in Austin about her Find Your Flow program.