Laverne Cox attends 'Derek' New York Premiere at MOMA on September 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

Who is Laverne Cox?

Laverne Cox was born in Mobile, Alabama, she was a male at birth and later transitioned to becoming a transgender woman.

She is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she started her acting career.

You might remember Laverne Cox as a contestant from season 1 of VH1’s reality show I Want to Work for Diddy, but these days the transgender actress/producer can be seen on Netflix’s hit TV series Orange Is the New Black.

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Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

With her role on Orange Is the New Black, Cox has made history as the first African-American transgender actress with a starring role on TV show.

Cox, who has the same acting coach as Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, stars in the series as prison inmate Sophia Burset.

Laverne Cox has created her own lane in Hollywood. As the first African-American transgender actress with a starring role on a TV Show, Orange Is the New Black.

Since her debut on Orange is the New Black, Cox has used her celebrity to discuss issues that often plague the trans community including often being the targets of violence, experiencing discrimination on daily basis, and astonishing unemployment rates.

What’s next for her?

The breakout star from Orange is The New Black is currently filming season 2 of the hit Netflix series and is also co-producing a new documentary about the incarceration of a transgender woman of color, CeCe McDonald.

McDonald, who is in the midst of a 41-month long prison sentence, was incarcerated after defending herself during a violent, transphobic and racist attack that subsequently resulted in the death of one of her attackers.

Follow Laverne Cox on Twitter @LaverneCox