It’s Friday, so you know what that means: time to shine a light on sisters who are doing big things!

After a looooong week of Hurricane Sandy, D.L. Hughley’s idotic comments, and non-stop political coverage, it’s time to end the week on a positive note.

So, here 5 fabulous stories about black women.

Gabby Douglas covers Essence. One of America’s favorite Olympians snagged the cover of the December issue of Essence magazine. Not only are we excited that the teen dynamo is getting some much-deserved shine, but we’re also happy that Essence is expanding its list cover girls. Check out a behind-the-scenes video of 16-year-old’s “2012 Women of the Year’ shoot. {Essence}

Verônica Lima became the first black councilwoman of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. Good news for sisters in Brazil. Verônica Lima recently became the first black woman (and lesbian) to be elected to city council in Niterói, which is located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Lima is the former Under Secretary of Food and Nutrition Security and created the first food bank in her state. Her background is in community activism and she said she will focus on women’s health issues in her community. Congrats! {Black Women of Brazil}

Venus and Serena Williams visit Nigeria to inspire more African women to take up tennis. Venus and Serena Williams are in Africa visiting parts of the continent as apart of the “Breaking the Mold” tour, which inspires young women to play tennis and lobbies for women’s rights. During a stop in Nigeria, the Williams sisters visited several schools and interacted with local women. Venus said she has been inspired by “the zeal and passion” of Nigerian women to achieve greatness. Speaking to a crowd, Serena told the audience, “We were able to break the mould in a sport that was really dominated by white people … it doesn’t matter what your background is and where you come from. If you have dreams, if you have goals that are all that really matters.” Indeed. {All Africa}

Spelman College begins $1 million wellness program. After realizing that nearly half of their students suffered from high blood pressure and obesity, Spelman college in Atlanta ditched their athletics program, which only served four-percent of the population, and adopted a wellness initiative that will serve every woman on campus. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman’s president, explained why the institution thought the change was a good idea: “I have been to funerals of young alums who were not taking care of themselves, and I believe we can change that pattern not only for them but for the broader community.” Kudos to Spelman! {CBS News}

Rosie Lewis, 99-years-young, voted for the first time. Despite being alive for nearly a century, Lewis—a Florida resident—has never voted in a presidential election. This year, she vowed to change that. “I said I’m going to vote if the Lord spares my life this time,” she said. “I made it up to my mind to vote.” Lewis hasn’t been shy about who she is supporting, she told reporters, “I love Obama.” For those who think voting is no big deal, if a 99-year-old woman can get out and vote for the first time, so can you. {theGrio}

Got a story about black women we didn’t cover? Share! 

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