Meet the 13 Georgians on Time’s ‘31 People Who Are Changing the South’ list

Georgians on Time's '31 People Who Are Changing the South' list Meherwan Irani Paula Wallace Kevin Lee AKA "Coach K" and Pierre "Pee" Thomas The South Fulton Eight Chuck Reece

For TIME Magazine's special Aug. 6 issue on the American South, Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams will grace the front cover. But she's not the only Georgian in the issue's limelight.

Magazine editors compiled a list of 31 individuals (or groups) "who are changing the South," a collection of renowned innovators, justice leaders and creatives galore.

Meet the Georgians on the list:

Meherwan Irani

Meherwan Irani, chef-owner Botiwalla. Credit: Courtesy of Chai Pani.

Credit: Bob Townsend

icon to expand image

Credit: Bob Townsend

Though he hails from India, Irani is the mastermind behind some of the South’s popular Indian eats, including Chai Pani in Decatur and Ponce City Market’s Botiwalla. His team is known for serving up innovative South Asian twists on popular snacks, such as spiced-lamb sloppy joes and kale pakora, according to Time.

Irani also collaborated with other Indian chefs to launch the Brown in the South Supper Series.

More related coverage from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Paula Wallace (SCAD)

SCAD president Paula Wallace

Credit: Lois Norder

icon to expand image

Credit: Lois Norder

Nearly 14,000 students attend Wallace’s creative school, the Savannah College of Art and Design, which houses campuses around the world. The once-upon-a-time Atlanta elementary school teacher turned co-founder of SCAD is now one of the country’s highest-paid college leaders.

While her pay and choice of hires have been at the center of recent AJC investigations, Time notes “her influence on Savannah and the world of Southern art is unquestioned.”

More related coverage from The AJC:

Kevin Lee and Pierre Thomas

icon to expand image

The duo behind Atlanta-based Quality Control Music, Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas, are considered some of the best rap connoisseurs in the business. They’re known for bringing in stars like Migos and Lil Yachty to the forefront of the South’s trap scene and “helping amplify the Atlanta sound as hip-hop’s dominant force over the past decade.”

More related coverage from The AJC:

The South Fulton Eight

This photo went viral showing the eight African-American women who are leading the City of South Fulton’s law enforcement and municipal court system. 

icon to expand image

City of South Fulton solicitor LaDawn Jones, court administrator Lakesiya Cofield, public defender Viveca R. Famber Powell, interim police chief Sheila Rogers, clerk Kerry Stephens, chief judge Tiffany Carter Sellers, clerk of the court Ramona Howard and clerk Tiffany Kinslow — these eight women lead the country’s first city in which almost every single criminal justice official is a black woman.

Known as the “South Fulton Eight,” the record breakers went viral after the photo above appeared in the Atlanta Voice.

More related coverage from The AJC:

Chuck Reece

The Bitter Southerner's editor-in-chief brings food and culture writing to an entirely new level.

“We’re trying to write stories about people and things that make the culture special,” Reece told The AJC in 2014, a year after the site’s big debut. The Atlanta-based website with two James Beards awards to its name explores all facets of the city: music, food, history — you name it.

“A bitter Southerner is somebody who loves this region but also is willing to acknowledge and not gloss over the many difficult pieces of its history,” Reece told Time. He describes the publication as a product “for and by a community of anyone who’s ever felt like a misfit in the South.”

More related coverage from the AJC:

Explore Time's full list of change-makers at