Lena Waithe

by Kamala Harris
Heather Sten for TIME

Lena Waithe won an Emmy for writing while starring on the Netflix show Master of None, but it might be more accurate to call her a Master of Everything. Besides her Emmy, Waithe created the Showtime drama The Chi, appears in Steven Spielberg’s new sci-fi blockbuster Ready Player One and still makes time to be an incredible mentor and role model for young women of color. No wonder a recent Vanity Fair cover story—the first featuring an openly queer black woman—called her someone who’s “disrupting the hell out of Hollywood.”

Thanks to Waithe, diverse communities can turn on the TV and see vivid, funny, deeply real portrayals of people like themselves. And that’s empowering—whether you’re a student or a Senator. As Waithe said in her Emmy acceptance speech, “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.” Because of her, millions of Americans have donned their capes.

Harris is a U.S. Senator from California

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