Ellen Pompeo is looking to the strong women of the world to set a good example for her girls.
Specifically, the mom of daughters Sienna May, 2 next month, and 6½-year-old Stella Luna celebrates the success of African American women — and makes it a point to show off their accomplishments to her children.
“My daughters are black so it’s very important to me that they see a lot of images of beautiful, powerful, strong black women,” the Grey’s Anatomy actress, 46, tells PEOPLE.
“Every time there is a black woman on a magazine cover, whether it is Kerry Washington or whoever it is, I make sure that magazine is in my house and on my table. For me, that’s super important.”
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Pompeo, whose daughters she shares with husband of almost nine years Chris Ivery, also makes sure these images of women are shown to her children while they watch television.
“Every time [Venus and Serena Williams] play tennis, I make sure my daughters watch them,” says the actress, who’s collaborating with beauty brand Philosophy on a campaign to eliminate stereotypical perceptions of middle age.
“I feel really fortunate that they are growing up in a time [in which] the first president my daughter knows is Barack Obama,” she shares. “That’s an incredible gift.”
For more from Ellen Pompeo, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
— Jen Juneau with reporting by Jackie Fields