Lupita Nyong'o is Glamour's 2014 Woman of the Year

When Lupita Nyong'o won her Oscar for 12 Years a Slave in February, she said she hoped her success would inspire others: “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid," she concluded her acceptance speech. Nyong'o is the daughter of a prominent Kenyan family, born in Mexico and raised in Kenya. She studied at Hampshire College and then Yale before director Steve McQueen asked her to play the role of Patsey in12 Years a Slave. Her varied upbringing seems to have been the perfect precursor for the many roles she's begun to play as a full-fledged star. 

Since that day at the Oscars, Nyong'o has signed on for more films, a deal with Lancome, front rows at fashion week, and now, Glamour's Woman of the Year. In the December cover story, Nyong'o talks about race, the importance of Oprah, and why she's proud to be a part of popular culture. Check out some choice quotes with photos from the cover shoot in the gallery above.