In 1998, a group of dope individuals created Colorlines with the goal of popularizing narratives that center racial justice and the people of color who fight for it. Twenty years—and a slew of clones later—we’re still going strong, highlighting the advocacy and lived experiences of folks who are typically pushed to the margins.

Now, we announce the inaugural class of the Colorlines 20 x 20, a group of transformative leaders who—in the spirit of our mission—use a narrative shift strategy to reimagine what it means to advance racial justice in areas as varied as environmental justice, gender rights, labor, education and religion. This year’s honorees remind us that no matter how dark the tunnel gets, we can always create our own light.