June 13, 2024

Allyson Felix, Mj Rodriguez and more are TIME’s 2022 Women of the Year

 “When you speak your truth, things happen,” Allyson Felix, one of TIME’s 2022 Women of the Year told the magazine, adding: “You draw power from one another.”

(l-r) Allyson Felix, Amanda Gorman and Mj Rodriguez
Photos: Getty Images

Felix is one of 12 women on the two-year-old list, which celebrates women “who have reached across communities, generations, and borders to fight for a more inclusive and equitable world,” according to the magazine.

This year, the list is ripe with Black excellence. In addition to Felix, fellow honorees include poet Amanda Gorman, powerhouse civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill, British-trained midwife and Black maternal health advocate Jennie Joseph, history-making Golden Globe winner Mj Rodriquez, and celebrated actress-activist Kerry Washington. Also on TIME’s list are social media activist Tracy Chou, international human rights attorney Amal Clooney, refugee-activist Zahra Joya, singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, NASDAQ CEO Adena Friedman, and survivors’ advocate Amanda Nguyen.

(l-r) Kerry Washington, Jennie Joseph and Sherrilyn Ifill
Photos: Getty Images; Instagram (Jennie Joseph)

Washington was honored for the generous use of her otherwise glamorous platform, which she has used to amplify a number of causes as well as investing in numerous women-led startups and “bringing the stories of women of color to life” through her production company, Simpson Street.

“The most effective use of my microphone is handing it to women and marginalized people,” Washington told TIME.

As for TIME’s other Black women honorees: since competing in Tokyo, Felix may be the most decorated Olympian in track and field of all time, but she’s also the new founder and CEO of a lifestyle brand and a fierce advocate for maternal rights and parental leave. Gorman wowed the world as the youngest-ever inaugural poet just over a year ago; in the year since, she has become a bestselling author and continued to raise her voice for equality and human rights. As the longtime leader of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, which she exited earlier this year, Sherrilyn Ifill’s tireless work for gender equity and civil rights earned her a spot on the list (as well as some early buzz about a possible nomination to the United States Supreme Court). Jennie Joseph is changing the face of midwifery and the way Black maternal health is addressed in the U.S. And Rodriguez, the Emmy-nominated star of FX’s Pose, made history when she became the first trans actor to win a Golden Globe in 2021.

“When I was younger, I didn’t have anyone of color in the LGBTQI community,” she tells TIME. “Now, I want to be the example. I want to show them that it’s possible.”

But while she may have broken barriers in the realm of television, Rodriquez also want to break down the biases that color how how women, women of color, and particularly trans women are perceived and treated by the world at large.

“I want people to see what I am before I’m trans, before I’m Black, before I’m Latina,” she says. “I want people to see I’m human.”

The entire TIME 2022 Women of the Year list can be viewed at Time.com.

Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).

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