Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Shonda Rimes and Tyler Perry, Cory Booker and Van Jones—just a few big names among The Root 100, a comprehensive list of the most influential African Americans this year, compiled by the leading news site for black voices and perspective. Hundreds of prospects between the ages of 25 and 45 were run through The Root’s formula—which defines influence as “the marriage of reach and substance”—and two prominent Las Vegans made the cut (and ranked higher than the likes of actor Will Smith and White House adviser Derek Douglas). Here are some excerpts:
No. 61. Hydeia Broadbent
Job: AIDS activist, “Knowing Your HIV/AIDS Status” initiative
Bio: Broadbent, who contracted HIV in utero, lost her medical insurance 15 years after telling the world she had AIDS. “People look at me and look at Magic Johnson and say, ‘If I get AIDS, I can take this medicine.’ What people don’t know is that because of funding cuts, people can’t always get these lifesaving medicines.” The experience has led her to redouble her efforts to ensure that all who need HIV/AIDS drugs can get them.
No. 69. Steven Horsford
Job: Nevada state senator
Bio: Democratic state Sen. Steven Horsford. Need we say more? Nevada’s cutting-edge Senate majority leader has been making a name for himself since his election in 2004, battling Republicans to protect dollars for education, health care services and job creation. He was co-chair of President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in Nevada. Word is that he is considering a run for a House seat. He’s always looking for the next challenge.