Since the start of the EBONY Power 100 Gala seven years ago, EBONY has hosted an online competition, the People’s Choice Award, recognizing deserving individuals serving their communities.

Nominees in this annual online-only competition used their social media following to garner thousands of votes, which helped raise awareness of the issues they represented, such as clean water, ending gun violence and helping young Black girls succeed in the sciences.

Each year, our digital editorial team selects nominees to participate. For two weeks in November, an online voting competition occurs and the nominee who garners the most votes receives an article along with award placement recognition that lives through the following year on the EBONY POWER 100 website.

The 2018 nominees were:

Mari Copeny

Mari Copeny, better known as “Little Miss Flint,” received the most votes in this year’s competition for her tireless work in helping the residents of Flint, Michigan, get clean drinking water, which has been an ongoing crisis since 2014.

Copeny has helped raise over $350,000 with the nonprofit Pack Your Back and helped distribute more than 500,000 bottles of water to Flint residents.

Bishop Omar Jahwar

Omar Jahwar has earned praise from lawmakers and activists for his tireless efforts to end community violence and promote strong family units. He’s used his platform as founder and CEO of Urban Specialists to promote peace among rival gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips.

Daniela Jean

Daniela Jean is the CEO of the nonprofit Arts at Work, Inc., which promotes “literacy, visual and performing arts for youth and the community at large.”

Jean has taught liturgical dance, basic sign language, etiquette and leadership skills to hundreds of at-risk youth over the course of 17 years and has added programs she’s created as part of her nonprofit work.

Taylor Richardson

Taylor Richardson is an advocate, speaker and aspiring astronaut who wants to get more girls involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs. She raised more than $20,000 to “sponsor youth screenings” of the 2016 film Hidden Figures.” This year her diversity and inclusivity campaign raised over $100,000, allowing children to see the Ava DuVernay movie A Wrinkle in Time.

Lincoln Stephens

Lincoln Stephens founded the Marcus Graham Project, which is focused on pushing diversity in media, marketing and advertising. In addition to being recognized by EBONY magazine, he’s been featured in Black Enterprise, and on CNN and NBC.

Jennifer Stimpson

Jennifer Stimpson wants more girls, specifically African-American girls, to be more involved in STEM programs, a space where they are underrepresented. She created youth science and leadership programs such as Get a KIC Out of Science (KIC) and jSTEMP Science, which has been supported by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Dale Williams

Dale Williams is the founder of Leadership for Queens, “a leadership conference for Historically Black University and College (HBCU) Queens.” Williams called her time as a campus queen “impactful” because it helped her come “to grips with my identity as a Black [woman] in American.”