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Kerry Washington Named “Time Magazine” Woman of the Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Kerry Washington was recently named the Time Magazine Woman of the Year. This accomplishment comes after a long career in both the arts and activism. Kerry Washington is known to most as the actress who portrays Washington, D.C. fixer Olivia Pope on Scandal, created by Shonda Rhimes. Washington is also known for her roles in Django Unchained, Confirmation and The Prom. In addition to her decorated acting career, Kerry Washington has produced several movies and directed several television episodes.

Along with her cinematic career, Kerry Washington is an avid political activist. Following the 2016 election, Washington became more involved with politics. In 2017, Washington spoke at the Women’s March in Los Angeles. In 2020, Washington actively advocated for the Biden-Harris campaign. Recently, Kerry Washington has been using her position in Hollywood to help advocate for important causes. Washington invested in a few woman-owned startups such as the health brand Solv and the jewelry company Aurate. Washington also owns a production company that focuses on untold stories of women of color. Additionally, Kerry Washington started her program Vision Into Power Cohort, a two-year program where Washington provides direct funding to organizations of her choice. All 10 of Washington’s organizations have women in leadership positions. In particular, the organizations support Black and Native women in acquiring leadership positions. Washington was also a founding member of Time’s Up, the nonprofit organization that raises money to aid victims of sexual assault.

Time Magazine named Kerry Washington a Woman of the Year for 2022 because of her tremendous efforts and achievements in political activism. However, Kerry Washington is also a cultural icon for her role in Scandal. When Scandal first aired in 2012, Kerry Washington was the first Black woman to star in a network TV drama in over thirty-eight years. Because she has paved the way in politics both on-screen and in real life, Washington stands as a role model for younger women who want to succeed in acting or in activism. In selecting their Women of the Year, Time Magazine developed criteria to find women who are working to create a better future for women everywhere. Kerry Washington certainly fits these criteria, and her work continues to impact young girls everywhere.

Time chose a total of 12 women to highlight for their intellectual, athletic, artistic and political accomplishments. The total list includes Kerry Washington, Amal Clooney, Kacey Musgraves, Michaela Jae “Mj” Rodriquez, Allyson Felix, Amanda Gorman, Adena Friedman, Amanda Nguyen, Jennie Joseph, Sherrilyn Ifill, Tracy Chou and Zahra Joya. Washington is just one of the great women on this list.

In an article highlighting how Time Magazine chose their women of the year, Time editors Naina Bajekal and Lucy Feldman wrote, “Our 2022 Women of the Year list features twelve individuals who have reached across communities, generations and borders to fight for a more inclusive and equitable world.” Hopefully, women and girls all around the world will see Time Magazine’s spotlight on the 12 amazing women chosen and know that the possibilities for what a woman can achieve are limitless.

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Abby is a third-year at Florida State majoring in International Relations and minoring in Underwater Crime Scene Investigation. When she isn't studying or writing, you can find her hiking, thrifting, watching movies, or reading a good book.