Viola is one of the women featured in the May issue of Essence magazine for their work promoting equal rights.

For the first time ever, ESSENCE honors the women who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.

The cover features a host of dynamic women, such as writer/producer Shonda Rhimes, veteran journalist Joy-Ann Reid, Womens March co-chairs Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez. Plus, appearances from Womens March organizer Janaye Ingram, political commentator Angela Rye, Circle of Mothers founder Sybrina Fulton, author/blogger Luvvie Ajayi and social activist April Reign. #BlackLivesMatter cofounder Opal Tometi and educator/activist Brittany Packnett are also featured.

When we say Black women will save the world, were being literal.

On the following pages, ESSENCE recognizes 88 more socially conscious change makers. By their example they empower all of us to take action.

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