Essence Magazine debuted their first ever Woke 100 list, celebrating women who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people across America!

The cover features 12 of these women: writer/producer Shonda Rhimes; veteran journalist Joy-Ann Reid; Women’s March co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez; Women’s March organizer Janaye Ingram; political commentator Angela Rye; Circle of Mothers founder Sybrina Fulton; author/blogger Luvvie Ajayi; social activist April Reign; #BlackLivesMatter cofounder Opal Tometi; andeducator/activist Brittany Packnett.

The cover story highlights the inaugural list of female creators, activists, educators, journalists, politicos and thinkers who are socially conscious and vigilant about changing our nation for the better. Each honoree has a profile focused on them, their accomplishments, and their work.

The Essence Festival, which takes place June 30-July 2, 2017 will serve as a celebration of these women. “We are beyond proud to announce our first ever Woke 100 list and to summon a circle of women who are shaping the narrative of today’s social and political climate,” raved Essence editor-in-chief Vanessa De Luca. “As we kick off the conversation of modern activism in our May issue, the 2017 Essence Festival’s ‘Woke Wonderland’ theme will act as the intersection of passion and purpose—bridging the gap between this generation’s most prominent voices in leadership and those who’ve laid the groundwork before them.”

Black girls and women in Hollywood are not only shining on-screen, but behind the scenes as well in the fight for civil rights in Black communities. They are using their platforms to create awareness and facilitate change. Among them are Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Zendaya Coleman, Tamron Hall, Willow Smith, Yara Shahidi, Solange Knowles, JoyAnn Reid, and more!

The Woke 100 issue is available on newsstands April 21! For the complete list, please visit Essence website here.

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