For the second year in a row, ESSENCE honors the women who are proven change agents, shape-shifters and power players across the nation and beyond. These women continuously fight the good fight by inspiring us and igniting movements—from the healthcare field to the Hill to Hollywood.

This year’s cover star features the one and only Kerry Washington — who, alongside Nina Shaw, is one of the founding members of the Time’s Up campaign, and a consistent supporter of Black Lives Matter (but more on that later).

The women on this list represent a vast spectrum of excellence: From #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke to Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter; from corporate women shattering glass ceilings to the countless women dismantling white supremacy. These women consistently leave their mark on the on their respective communities and industries. 

Ahead check out our 2018 list and join the #Woke100 discussion on Twitter.

Pick up the May 2018 issue of ESSENCE on newsstands on April 27!