You cannot count out this theatrical trailblazer. In 2019, Nataki Garrett accepted the role of Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival knowing she’d have a difficult time ahead of her. For one thing, anyone who knows about Oregon’s history, knows that it began as a “whites-only” state. And the history of American theater has often been an exercise in exclusion. But it isn’t just her commitment to her craft and breaking down boundaries that makes Garrett a member of the Root 100 list. In 2022, Garrett began to receive death threats. She told NPR news that her first instinct was to hide. "The act of threatening is supposed to make you feel isolated. And it does," Garrett told NPR. But she didn’t back down. She continued on with her work never wavering in her belief that art can’t help us better contextualize the world around us. For her work in the arts and her commitment to diversity and inclusion regardless of the personal cost, Garrett is a clear example of what makes someone a contender for The Root 100 list.