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1. Maxine Waters

Rep. Maxine Waters Source:Getty

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D – CA) has weathered a career in politics that has spanned over 30 years. In this time, she has earned a reputation as a strong and fearless advocate for disadvantaged populations of women, children and people of color. She’s recently taken President Trump to task, vowing to keep challenging any discriminatory or corrupt policy he implements.

2. Soledad O’Brien

HearstLive Launch Source:Getty

Soledad O’brien is one of the leading media correspondents of our generation. She’s perhaps best known for her extensive coverage of some of the most important world events of our time during her tenure at CNN. O’Brien is the current the host and producer of the political show, “Matter of Fact” on Hearst Television, where she offers a fresh perspective on the current political climate.

3. Jamira Burley

People For The American Way Foundation Reception Honoring 2012 Young People For Fellows Source:Getty

Jamira Burley is no stranger to overcoming odds. As a the senior campaigner for Amnesty International, one of the issues Burley speaks out strongly against is gun violence, which she considers a human rights crisis.

4. Lisa Nicole Carson

BET's 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards - Portraits Source:Getty

Actress Lisa Nicole Carson has appeared in “ER,” “Ally McBeal,” “Jason’s Lyric” & more. After a hiatus from Hollywood, Carson revealed a bipolar disorder diagnosis and has since been vocal about the struggle with the disorder and its effects on her life. The talented beauty has since re-emerged in the BET series “The New Edition Story.”

5. Nadia Lopez

2015 Black Girls Rock! - Arrivals Source:Getty

Principal, author and community advocate Nadia Lopez became something of an overnight viral sensation after her story came out on Humans Of New York from the praise of one of her students. Since then, Lopez has become something of a beacon for how administrators should approach running their schools.

6. Draya Michele

Premiere Of WGN America's 'Underground' Season 2 - Arrivals Source:Getty

Draya went from reality show star to fashion mogul by investing in herself and her goals. She capitalized on her social media popularity and TV platform to launch an empire. Mint Swim, Draya’s online swimsuit company, cleared more than a million dollars in sales in 2016 and shows no signs of slowing down.

7. Miko Branch

ESSENCE 2015 Best In Black Beauty Award Winners Source:Getty

Miko Branch is co-founder of Miss Jessie’s Salon & hair care brand, a multi-million dollar company that she started with her sister, Titi Branch, in 2004. After a devastating tragedy where Titi took her own life, Miko took time to self-reflect and change course in her career, but remains involved in day-to-day operations. She also authored the 2015 memoir, “Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business From Scratch.”

8. Regina King

Vulture Awards Season Party Source:Getty

The Emmy-winning actress took a gamble when she bluffed her way into her directorial debut on R&B singer, Jaheim’s “Finding my Way Back,” music video set. However, the risk paid off. She became the first of her castmates on “Southland” to step into a directorial role on the show. After a period of shadowing Shondaland show producers, King also took formal classes to hone her behind-the-camera skills.

9. Gabourey Sidibe

Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 - Arrivals Source:Getty

The Oscar-nominated actress and author is known for her talents in front of the camera, but it’s her revolution of self love that continues to grab headlines. Bombarded with comments about her weight, the actress has consistently taken a definitive and bold stance declaring her self-confidence and talents would not be shaken by nay-sayers.

10. April Ryan

46th Annual Legislative Conference Of The Congressional Black Caucus - Day 2 Source:Getty

A veteran White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan has covered three presidencies, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Most recently, she made headlines for her challenge of Donald Trump, who ridiculously asked her to introduce him to the Congressional Black Caucus. Ever the professional,Ryan took to Twitter and countered, “I am a journalist not a convener!”

11. Roxanne Shante

Roxanne Roxanne' Premiere - 2017 Sundance Film Festival Source:Getty

‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ was an anthem in the 80s, when Shante burst onto the scene at just 14 years old, finding herself in the midst of a rap beef. Since then, her spirit has been tested and proven resilient –even after a cancer diagnosis several years ago. Lolita “Roxanne Shante” Gooden & has emerged from the flames and primed, once again, to have her revenge, this time on the silver screen.

12. Fantasia Barrino

FOX's 'American Idol' Finale For The Farewell Season - Arrivals Source:Getty

The world met Fantasia Barrino when she took home the top prize on “American Idol” in 2004. Motivated by a supportive fan base, Barrino persevered over personal tragedies and setbacks and went on to win Grammy and Billboard awards and amass record sales of over three million. In 2007, she also became the first “Idol” alum to appear in a Broadway show, consistently earning rave reviews for stirring performances.

13. Ciara


Ciara has had 8 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 Singles, 3 VMAs, and a Grammy. But beyond her music career, Ciara became a representative for women vocal about their family values. She’s since transitioned from pop star into motherhood &amp with a beautiful blended family with husband Russell Wilson, all while pursuing and cultivating her musical craft.

14. Terrie Williams

Moving Mountains For The Arts Award Gala Source:Getty

Terri Williams is a licensed therapist, mental health advocate and publicist for a roster of A-list celebrity personalities in sports, entertainment, business and politics. Her work in public relations reaches far beyond her paying clients and deep into the communities in which she serves as an activist and philanthropist.

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