#SHINESTRONG: Leading Ladies Share Their Words of Wisdom

These women #SHINESTRONG and empower us through their work.

Michelle Obama - BET.com and Pantene direct the spotlight on inspirational women who have embodied what it means to #SHINESTRONG and the nuggets of wisdom they have shared with us over the years.  First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement address at Oregon State University in 2012 and advised graduates to live life for themselves. "Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own," she said.  (Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

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Michelle Obama - BET.com and Pantene direct the spotlight on inspirational women who have embodied what it means to #SHINESTRONG and the nuggets of wisdom they have shared with us over the years. First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement address at Oregon State University in 2012 and advised graduates to live life for themselves. "Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own," she said. (Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Janelle Monae - We admire the singer for staying true to herself and in turn inspiring so many through her actions and lyrics.  (Photo: Marc Baptiste/Atlantic Records)

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Janelle Monae - We admire the singer for staying true to herself and in turn inspiring so many through her actions and lyrics. (Photo: Marc Baptiste/Atlantic Records)

Faye Wattleton - As president of Planned Parenthood, Faye Wattleton is all for helping those who need care while also empowering people to advocate for themselves. "There does not have to be powerlessness. The power is within ourselves," she's said.   (Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage)

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Faye Wattleton - As president of Planned Parenthood, Faye Wattleton is all for helping those who need care while also empowering people to advocate for themselves. "There does not have to be powerlessness. The power is within ourselves," she's said. (Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage)

Tyra Banks - The model has taken an active stance in empowering young women and speaking out against abusive relationships. As a victim of abuse herself, she's said, "Take responsibility for yourself because no one's going to take responsibility for you. I'm not a victim. I grow from this and I learn."   (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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Tyra Banks - The model has taken an active stance in empowering young women and speaking out against abusive relationships. As a victim of abuse herself, she's said, "Take responsibility for yourself because no one's going to take responsibility for you. I'm not a victim. I grow from this and I learn." (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Whoopi Goldberg - The comedian-actress-activist has been open about growing up in the projects in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and working as a phone sex operator before grabbing Hollywood's attention as a talented performer. She's said the greatest thing she's ever done is return a welfare check because she didn't need the assistance anymore.   (Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)

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Whoopi Goldberg - The comedian-actress-activist has been open about growing up in the projects in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and working as a phone sex operator before grabbing Hollywood's attention as a talented performer. She's said the greatest thing she's ever done is return a welfare check because she didn't need the assistance anymore. (Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)

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Sojourner Truth - The women's rights activist, who was born into slavery and lived on to become an icon, once stated that, "It is the mind that makes the body." (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Alice Walker - Due to a traumatic eye injury early in her life, the author of The Color Purple was painfully shy as a young girl and turned to writing poetry and reading before blossoming during high school. "Every small, positive change we can make in ourselves repays us in confidence in the future," she said.  (Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

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Alice Walker - Due to a traumatic eye injury early in her life, the author of The Color Purple was painfully shy as a young girl and turned to writing poetry and reading before blossoming during high school. "Every small, positive change we can make in ourselves repays us in confidence in the future," she said. (Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey - The media mogul has climbed the ranks from an impoverished life to the point where she now has her own television network and makes sure to give back however she can. Her willingness to throw herself into her passions, regardless of whether she stumbles, motivates us. She once famously declared, "I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process."   (Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for SBIFF)

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Oprah Winfrey - The media mogul has climbed the ranks from an impoverished life to the point where she now has her own television network and makes sure to give back however she can. Her willingness to throw herself into her passions, regardless of whether she stumbles, motivates us. She once famously declared, "I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process."  (Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Katherine Dunham - The matriarch of Black American dance was able to infuse her choreography with history and culture and paved the way for renowned dance groups like Alvin Ailey to step up to the stage. She was talented, fearless and curious, and once said, "I used to want the words 'She tried' on my tombstone. Now I want 'She did it.'"  (Photo: Reuters/Jeff Christensen/Landov)

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Katherine Dunham - The matriarch of Black American dance was able to infuse her choreography with history and culture and paved the way for renowned dance groups like Alvin Ailey to step up to the stage. She was talented, fearless and curious, and once said, "I used to want the words 'She tried' on my tombstone. Now I want 'She did it.'" (Photo: Reuters/Jeff Christensen/Landov)

Suzanne de Passe  - The television writer and producer behind some of our favorite series, such as Sister, Sister, as well as screenplays for Lady Sings the Blues and Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, has preached on the power of taking "no" as a vitamin.   (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Suzanne de Passe - The television writer and producer behind some of our favorite series, such as Sister, Sister, as well as screenplays for Lady Sings the Blues and Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, has preached on the power of taking "no" as a vitamin. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Nikki Giovanni - The award-winning poet inspires and riles up the fiery "Renaissance Woman" inside us because, as she says, "You've got to find a way to make people know you're there."   (Photo: Mike Simons/Getty Images)

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Nikki Giovanni - The award-winning poet inspires and riles up the fiery "Renaissance Woman" inside us because, as she says, "You've got to find a way to make people know you're there."  (Photo: Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Johnnetta Cole - Although Washington is the epicenter of politics, it also has several world-renowned museums to which admission is free. At the helm of the National Museum of African Art is Johnnetta Cole, who was also Spelman College's first African-American female president.   (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for the Jackie Robinson Foundation)

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Johnnetta B. Cole - Cole is an anthropologist and an educator, and she serves as the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. She also holds the distinction of being the first African-American female president of Spelman College, so she knows a thing or two about ambition. In fact, she once said that someone who is content with mediocrity is destined to fail. (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for the Jackie Robinson Foundation)

Esi Eggleston Bracey - The VP of Procter & Gamble told Ad Age, "If my role inspires people to appreciate our unique gifts, then I'm making a difference, and that means a lot to me."   (Photo: PNP/WENN.com)

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Esi Eggleston Bracey - The VP of Procter & Gamble told Ad Age, "If my role inspires people to appreciate our unique gifts, then I'm making a difference, and that means a lot to me." (Photo: PNP/WENN.com)

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Rosa Parks - Rosa Parks is known for holding her ground and refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., sparking a bus boycott and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. "I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move," she said in her autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story. (Photo: Photo12/UIG/Getty Images)

Dr. Maya Angelou - The late poet was a celebrated wordsmith and activist who filled so many of us with inspiration and courage. When it comes to the latter virtue, she said that it's the most important of all because we need courage to then be able to practice any other virtue with consistency.  (Photo: Ken Charnock/Getty Images) 

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Dr. Maya Angelou - The late poet was a celebrated wordsmith and activist who filled so many of us with inspiration and courage. When it comes to the latter virtue, she said that it's the most important of all because we need courage to then be able to practice any other virtue with consistency. (Photo: Ken Charnock/Getty Images) 

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Esther E.T. Franklin - In her 2011 interview with Ad Week for the Legend Awards, Franklin said, "There's no better way to challenge your assumptions and perceptions than to be part of the everyday experience."  (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)

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Esther E.T. Franklin - In her 2011 interview with Ad Week for the Legend Awards, Franklin said, "There's no better way to challenge your assumptions and perceptions than to be part of the everyday experience." (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)

Queen Latifah - At the 2013 Bay Path College Women's Leadership Conference, the rapper-actress and TV host shared the story of her journey, how she broke the mold, and surpassed expectations. "Be bold," she said. "Be brave enough to be your true self."   (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Queen Latifah - At the 2013 Bay Path College Women's Leadership Conference, the rapper-actress and TV host shared the story of her journey, how she broke the mold, and surpassed expectations. "Be bold," she said. "Be brave enough to be your true self." (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)