Essence’s May Issue Unveils First-Ever Woke 100 List Featuring Nation’s Top Social Influencers and Activists

Director/Producer Ava DuVernay and #BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder
Patrisse Cullors to Also Receive “Woke Awards” at Annual Festival in New

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) Essence unveils its first-ever “Woke 100”
list in the May 2017 issue. The list honors the top 100 women activists
and social influencers from around the country—introducing a sisterhood
at the forefront of activism across the political, social and creative
spectrum. The Woke 100 will also come to life during this year’s Essence
Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®, which will
officially be themed “Woke Wonderland.”

The issue features one cover spotlighting 12 of the women using their
various platforms to battle injustice and infractions to civil rights,
dignity and basic humanity: 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; and
educator/activist Brittany Packnett.

For the full cover story:
the full Woke 100 list:

The Essence Festival, taking place June 30–July 2, 2017, in New Orleans,
Louisiana, will serve as the culmination of the brand’s celebration of
change agents who are vigilant in creating and inspiring equality and a
more inclusive and tolerant nation. Free and open to the public, the
Festival’s Empowerment Experience Stage—held at the Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center—will host conversations and keynote addresses that put
the invaluable voice of Black women at the forefront and will feature
influencers from the Woke 100 list, including Congresswoman Maxine
Waters, Luvvie Ajayi, April Reign, Tamika Mallory
and more.

“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,” said 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.”

In addition to the Empowerment Stage’s previously announced keynote
speakers and program topics, Ava DuVernay and Patrisse Cullors
will receive official Woke Awards for their commitment to advancing
representation and raising community issues in their fields. Following
the awards ceremony, asha bandele will moderate a panel
discussion with DuVernay and Cullors.

The May issue of Essence goes on sale on Friday, April 21.

Join the conversation online using #Woke100 and by following Essence on
Twitter @essence and by becoming a fan of Essence on Facebook.

The Essence Festival® is executive produced by Essence
Festivals LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc., and is
produced by Solomon Group. The Essence® Empowerment
Experience is executive produced by GeChar.

Sponsors of the 2017 ESSENCE Festival® in New Orleans include
presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s,
State Farm
and Walmart.


Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is a leading content company that engages over
150 million consumers every month through our portfolio of premium
brands across platforms. Our influential brands include People, Time,
Fortune, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Real Simple and Southern Living,
as well as approximately 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.


Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company
dedicated to African-American women, with a brand reach of 21.2 million.
With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online,
ECI comprises Essence magazine, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for
African-American women; the Essence Festival; Black Women in Hollywood
and Black Women in Music events; Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty
consumer insights series;; and ventures in digital media
(mobile, television and VOD).


Time Inc.
Sheila Harris, 212-522-1089
Bridgers, 212-522-0108