Variety Magazine Honors Iman and Names 9 Black Women to 'Power' List

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Last week, Variety Magazine unveiled their list of powerful New York-based women in Media. Nine Black women made the list, and Iman was honored for her humanitarian work in Somalia at a luncheon on April 25.

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Beverly Bond — Founder and executive director, Black Girls Rock!
As a writer, producer and businesswoman, Bond inspires and motivates others through projects like Black Girls Rock! and doc "Imagine a Future," which debuted at the Tribeca Festival. "I'm extremely excited about my most recent project, 'Rock! Like a Girl,' which will highlight and celebrate women in the creative and performing arts. I love being in the trenches," Bond says. She recently signed a five-year development deal with BET Networks.

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Misty Copeland — American Ballet Theater (soloist)
Being the ABT's first African-American soloist in two decades was one major accomplishment, but Copeland wasn't done: She's also a spokeswoman for leadership organization Project Plie and now memoirist with "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina." She calls the past year a "whirlwind of growth and opportunity. To speak face to face with the people who push and motivate me to continue on my path and see that they are just as moved by me, is a real blessing."

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Lisa E. Davis — Partner, Entertainment Group, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein+Selz
Davis' clients include celebrities and businesses in film, television, publishing, music, theater and sports; she also reps authors including Terry McMillan and Valerie Plame Wilson. "I became an entertainment lawyer because of my passion for media and entertainment. My clients choose me because they know I have a profound appreciation for their talent, and that I will always push the boundaries in negotiations to maximize their creative freedom and financial reward."

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Kimberley D. Harris — Executive VP, general counsel NBCUniversal
Harris joined NBCU in 2013 and reports directly to Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. But before that, the Yale law school graduate worked in private practice and the government, eventually taking a post in the White House Counsel's Office, as deputy counsel and deputy assistant to the president. A big fan of pop culture finds working with NBCU surprisingly similar to the White House, and just as intellectually challenging as the media business rapidly changes. "They are both high-profile organizations. ... You go in knowing that the decisions you make will end up on the front page of the paper."

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Debra Lee — Chair-CEO, BET Networks
With breakout shows like "Real Husbands of Hollywood" and "Being Mary Jane," BET's original slate is stronger than ever. "As a testament to our quality programming, we received 19 NAACP Image Award nominations, more than any other network," Lee says. The first-ever BET Experience -- a three-day festival of concerts, seminars and celebrity appearances -- drew 100,000 attendees and led into the "BET Awards," which saw a four-year high with 7.8 million viewers.

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Audra McDonald — Actor
McDonald already has a record five Tony Awards, but she might need to make room on her mantel for another as she is currently starring as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day." She's come a long way from 1994's "Carousel," which she calls a big turning point in her career. "I was young and just out of Juilliard, and my dream since childhood had been to be in a single Broadway show," she notes. "I didn't care what show, or how big or small role. I just wanted to be in one show. And with 'Carousel,' that dream came true."

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Sylvia Rhone — President, Epic Records
Though she stepped down as president of Universal Motown in 2011 to create her own startup imprint, Vested in Culture, it seemed only a matter of time before longtime label maven Rhone would be back at the helm of a major record company. So it came as little surprise to see her named president of Epic Records. “I'm looking forward to what I think will be the finest chapter in my career,” she said in March.

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Robin Roberts — Anchor, "Good Morning America"
Roberts became news almost as often as she reported on it in the past year, first returning from a show hiatus during which she received cancer treatment, then, while acknowledging everyone who had helped her, outing herself as a lesbian. She continues as half of the “GMA” team of lead anchors (with George Stephanopoulos) that pushed the breakfastcast into the No. 1 spot. Roberts was also the recipient of ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPY Awards.

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Wendy Williams — Host, "The Wendy Williams Show" and CEO of Wendy Williams Prods.
Bestselling author and hit talkshow host, Williams has ambitions. "Right now, the talkshow is the most important part of my career, but I'd really like to have Wendy Williams Prods. take off," Williams says of her company that produces "Celebrities Under Cover" for Oxygen.

Photo and Text Credit: Variety

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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