100 Women We Love 2014

From professors, to musicians, to activists, we present to you 2014’s 100 Women We Love.

Vanessa M. Brown

Senior Pastor Vanessa Brown is a voice of empowerment for anyone who has ever felt rejected by their religion. ″I want the LGBT community to know that we are the most resilient, innovative, creative, talented and spiritual beings on the planet,″ says the native New Yorker. Her positive influence is felt far beyond the ″radically inclusive″ ministry at Harlem´s Rivers @ Rehoboth and Rivers of Living Water, Newark, NJ. Brown has recently been given the title of Episcopal Liaison of the North East Region of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. ″The most rewarding aspects of my work as a spiritual leader in the community are seeing when people begin to truly reconcile their spirituality with their sexuality, live in their authentic truth, love the God of their understanding, and realize it´s not about religion [as a whole, but] about their relationship [with God],″ she says. When it comes to equal rights, she is a firm believer that we must work hard and sometimes sacrifice in order to achieve our goals. ″Freedom is not really free. There is a high price to pay. Let´s ensure that all of us are living in our freedom to be. We are far greater together than we are apart.″ Now, can she get a hallelujah? -GH

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