As the fight for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood continues on, it remains important that minorities and underrepresented communities are celebrated and recognized by their own. In the case of ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, the annual celebration has provided a platform for women of color and their contributions to the entertainment industry to be honored even when mainstream Hollywood overlooks them. This year's event is no different with the announcement that 2018's honorees include Danai Gurira, Tessa Thompson, Tiffany Haddish and Lena Waithe.
The luncheon will take place Thursday, March 1st at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills and will place the spotlight on the four game-changing women who are making a difference in their fields. Gurira, an actress and award-winning playwright who is currently starring in Marvel's Black Panther; Thompson, an actress and activist who recently starred in Thor: Ragnorok; Haddish, comedian, award-winning actress and breakout star of Girls Trip; and Waithe, Emmy-award winning writer and creator of Showtime's The Chi, will each be on hand to accept the honors.
Vanessa De Luca, essence Editor-in-Chief, said in a statement that the women were selected because of the various voices each brings to the table. "As the modern feminist movement continues to gain prominence during Awards season, women are emboldened to not only speak up, but to stand together," she said. “ESSENCE proudly salutes Lena, Danai, Tessa and Tiffany for being remarkable artists shining beyond the screen, and raising their voices to benefit all women.”
In anticipation of the event, the ladies will grace ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood issue which hits newsstands February 23rd just in time for the Oscars, which are set to air live on March 4th on ABC. Be sure to check out the March 2018 issue of the magazine to see what each woman has to say about the impact they are making in the industry.