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TheGrio.Com Reveals Fourth Annual “TheGrio’s 100” List

TheGrio’s 100” List Features African-American Industry Leaders and Will Be Featured On-Air and Online on NBC News and MSNBC throughout February


NEW YORK, NY - In celebration of Black History Month, announced “theGrio’s 100” list on NBC News’ “Today” show this morning. The exclusive list honors Black History Month by highlighting the next generation of African-American history makers and industry leaders who are making a difference in the lives of all Americans. The 100 honorees come from various fields of work, including business, education, sports, science and the environment, media, service and activism, politics, health, pop culture, and the arts.

This year’s list includes newsmakers and celebrities like Susan Rice, Gabby Douglas, Swizz Beatz and Amar’e Stoudemire, as well as up and coming leaders such as Svante Myrick, the 25 year-old mayor of Ithaca, NY; Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9 year-old star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild;” Vince and Vance Moss, brothers who led a medical mission in Afghanistan; and Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago’s Teachers Union and at the center of the strike back in September of 2012; to name a few.

“This year’s list shines a light on those African-American leaders who may be lesser known but are doing incredible work in their communities, while also highlighting recognizable names for work you may not know they’re doing,” said David Wilson, executive editor of ”The goal of ’theGrio’s 100’ is to go beyond the rear-view conversations about Black History Month, and instead take a look at where we’re going. This year’s honorees are a great sampling of the leaders who are taking us there"

The “theGrio’s 100” will be profiled on NBC News platforms, including “NBC Nightly News,” “Today,” and MSNBC, throughout the month of February. Fans can also check out more about “theGrio’s 100” on theGrio’s facebook page: and on Twitter @thegrio with the hashtag #thegrios100.

TheGrio’s editorial team selected the 100 individuals with input from a group of experts and NBC News affiliates from across the country.

The full list of “theGrio’s 100” is below with links to each honoree profile.


Brendon Ayanbadejo, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

William Barber, Reverend, Grassroots Activist

Swizz Beatz, Hip-Hop Producer

Beverly Bond, Founder, Black Girls Rock, Inc.

Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Chair of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network

Wanda Butts, Founder, The Josh Project

Nerfertiti Martin & Emily Carpenter, Gender Equity Youth Activists

Ben Crump, Lawyer, Parks and Crump LLC

Isis King, Transgender Activist

Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME


Nick Cave, Contemporary artist

Ava Duvernay, Director, “Middle of Nowhere”

Ty Hunter, Beyonce’s Stylist

Nzinga Knight, Fashion Designer

Anthony & Demarre McGill, Classical Musicians

Dinaw Mengestu, Writer, MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow

Tripoli Patterson, Professional Surfer, Art Curator

Laura Smalls, Fashion Designer

RZA, Director, “The Man With The Iron Fists”


Susan E. Chapman, SVP, Global Real Estate and Work Place Enablement at American Express

Farrah Gray, Businessman, Philanthropist, Author

Oscar L. Harris, Founder and Chairman, Turner Associates Architects and Planners

Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments, LLC

Vera Moore, Founder, Vera Moore Cosmetics

Dambisa Moyo, Author, CNBC Contributor and Economist

Randall Pinkett, Co-Founder and CEO, BCT Partners

Suzanne Shank, President and CEO, Siebert Brandford and Shank

Amos Winbush III, Founder and CEO, CyberSynchs

Kiante Young, Owner, Young and Doin’ It Marketing


Madu Eneli, Author

Walter Kimbrough, President, Dillard University

Sabrina Lamb, Founder and CEO, World of Money

Karen Lewis, President, Chicago Teachers Union

Tommie Lindsey, Jr., Forensics Coach, James Logan High School

Carolyn McCaskill, Professor, Gallaudet University

Dylan C. Penningroth, Associate Professor, Northwestern University

Earl Phalen, CEO, Reach Out and Read

Amar’e Stoudemire, Author, NBA Player

Dorian Warren, Associate Professor, Columbia University


James Aikins, Jr. & Charletta Ayers, OB/GYNs

Charles E. Crutchfield III, Dermatologist

Marilyn Gaston & Gayle Porter, Founders, Primetime Sister Circles

Kafui Dzirasa, Psychiatrist, Researcher

Nameemah Ghafur, Family Practice Physician

Robert Gore, ER Physician

Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, U.S. Health and Human Services

Rick Kittles, Biology Researcher

Vince & Vance Moss, Surgeons

Terrie Williams, Mental Health Advocate, Publicist


Dean Bacquet, Managing Editor, The New York Times

Salaam Coleman Smith, President, The Style Network

Emi Kolawole, Editor, Washington Post’s “Ideas and Innovations”

Keija Minor, Editor-in-Chief, Brides Magazine

Tambay Obenson, Founder, Shadow and Act

Franchesca Ramsey, Comedian and Vlogger

Robin Roberts, Co-Host, “Good Morning America”

Michael Strahan, Co-Host, “Live with Kelly and Michael”

Ken Strickland, Washington Bureau Chief, NBC News

Wendy Williams, Host, “The Wendy Williams Show”


Barbara R. Amwine, Executive Director, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Stefanie Brown, Founder, Brown Girls Lead

Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte, NC

Steven Horsford, Congressman, Nevada’s 4th Congressional District

Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney

Svante Myrick, Mayor, Ithaca, New York

Rob Nabors, Deputy Director, United States Office of Management and Budget

Susan Rice, United States UN Ambassador

Judy Smith, American Crisis Manager, Founder of Smith and Company

Nina Turner, Ohio State Senator


Chadwick Boseman, Actor

Gary Clark, Jr., Blues Guitarist

Terrence J. Jenkins, E! News Correspondent

Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele, Comedians

Solange Knowles, Singer/songwriter, Actress

Kendrick Lamar, Rapper

Will Packer, Producer, “Think Like A Man”

Elle Varner, Singer

Quvenzhané Wallis, Actress

Kerry Washington, Actress


Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, Author, Muslim Environmentalist

Mario Armstrong, Host, “The Mario Armstrong Show”

Kat Calvin, Founder, Black Girls Hack

Kelvin Doe, Teen Innovator

Aprille Ericsson, Aerospace Engineer

Shaun Evans, CEO, OMBO Apps

Brittney Exline, Engineer

Rodney Stearns, President and Founder, Text No More App

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium


Antron Brown, Auto Racer

Gabrielle Douglas, Olympic Gymnast

Arian Foster, Running Back, Houston Texans

Robert Griffin III (“RG3”), Quarterback, Washington Redskins

Britney Griner, Center, Baylor Bears

Lia Neal, Olympic Swimmer

Jabari Parker, High School Basketball Phenom

Claressa Shields, Olympic Boxer

Taylor Townsend, Tennis Player

Ken Williams, Executive Vice President, Chicago White Sox


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