Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 11.34.10 AMYou’re fierce, and we’re fierce. But who’s the fiercest of them all? Sometimes, you have to give mad props where they’re due. Thanks for sharing who inspired you to help us come up with our first annual list of the 15 Fiercest Sisters.

As our manifesto states in part: “To be fierce is to embrace all that’s wonderful about being a black woman. To live your dreams, celebrate your strengths and appreciate your true beauty. It means being confident and unapologetically you!”

Here are 15 success stories to enlighten and empower you.