Aerie, the women's lingerie and lifestyle retailer that has staked its mission on empowering women to love themselves as they are, is now taking its message of support one step further by pouring $400,000 into helping leaders make improvements in their own communities.

The company announced eight new #AerieREAL Role Models on Thursday along with 20 changemakers who will each receive $20,000 grants to benefit their work.

"We're doing so much at Aerie, and I think the fact that we're actually giving people the money, and also the investment of our energy, our time, and our platforms is something that no one else is doing," said Iskra Lawrence, a fashion model who was named an Aerie Role Model in 2016.

The company, which began shifting its brand messaging to encourage women to "love your real self — inside and out" in 2014 when it stopped airbrushing photos, is "standing for something," Jen Foyle, Aerie global brand president told Cheddar.

Among the new Role Models named this year are Tony-winner Ali Stroker, actress Lana Condor, and DJ Tiff McFierce.

"It's been really fun mentoring the girls," Lawrence said. "It is a community. It's not just the Role Models. We spread that community to our customers as well."

"We keep looking forward," Foyle said. "What can we do different? Because, like I said, our competition is now following. We have to lead and there's so much more to talk about."

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