Lupita Nyong’o at MLK Now event in Harlem on Jan. 15, 2018

If you’ve followed Lupita Nyong’o’s career since her breakthrough Oscar-winning role in 12 Years a Slave, you know she’s more than an ingenue—or four-time Vogue cover model. The Yale-educated actress, writer, producer and director is the product of a highly artistic, academic and political upbringing, and has long been outspoken about issues affecting black women, including reproductive health, sexual abuse and colorism (she has an upcoming children’s book on the topic).

The Glow Up had the opportunity to spend a few moments with Nyong’o on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when she made an appearance at the MLK Now event in Harlem to recite the words of activist and attorney Kathleen Cleaver.

As an actress whose roles thus far have often made strong statements about the intersection of blackness and womanhood, Nyong’o shared her thoughts on how those intertwining identities are affecting the choices she’s making in her career—and in life.