Friday, April 8th, Variety hosted its 3rd Power of Women luncheon in New York City.  Lupita Nyong’o along with Misty Copeland, Megyn Kelly, Julianne Moore and Vera Wang were honored for their outstanding humanitarian efforts.

Oscar winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, currently the star of Broadway’s Eclipsed, was recognized for her work with Mother Health International (MHI), a nonprofit organization that helps pregnant women and children in areas of disaster, war and poverty, and gave a speech stressing the importance of women in need helping one another so that their power of solidarity can help heal.

“I’ve been thinking about the ways in which it is so vital for women to help other women.  To support other women.  To lift one another up.  We are often encouraged or even taught to bring each other down; to fight one another. We are taught that we can only survive in this world if there are no other viable women near us. But I’ve also been thinking about all the ways that women’s bodies are so often under attack, in this very moment, all over the world. How do we fight against all that pain? How do we turn that pain into power?”

[bctt tweet=”“We are fighting back, refusing to be silenced, refusing to be shut down.” – Lupita Nyong’o” username=”HBR_Media”]

Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre, was honored for her work with Project Plié, an American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and Boys and Girls Club partnership initiative designed to increase racial and ethnic representation in American ballet.  Copeland gave an emotional speech as she shared her experiences being discovered on a Boys and Girls Clubs basketball court when she was 13 years old.

“I was discovered at a local Boys & Girls Club, on a basketball court.  I went from living in a motel to dancing at the Metropolitan Opera House.  Through my charity, Project Plié I am now working with Boys & Girls clubs across the country to help increase diversity in dance.”

“We are not just plucking (children) out of underprivileged communities, but surrounding them with teachers and executive staff who look like them and can relate to their experiences.  I am reminded by families and children that I meet every day that representation matters.  Being able to see yourself or someone who looks like you on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House matters.”  – Misty Copeland

[bctt tweet=”“I am reminded by families and children that I meet every day that REPRESENTATION MATTERS.” – Misty Copeland username=”HBR_Media”]

Another Oscar winner, Julianne Moore, was recognized for her involvement with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nationwide movement for reform to end gun violence. Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly was honored for her involvement in ChildHelp, a nonprofit that supports victims of child abuse. The last honoree, fashion designer Vera Wang, was honored for her work with the Youth Anxiety Center, which offers treatments and counseling for children and teenagers with anxiety.

Last year Variety celebrated Oprah Winfrey, Anna Kendrick, Susan Wojiciki, Salma Jayek Pinault, and Gwyneth Paltrow for using their celebrity clout to bring attention to humanitarian issues across the globe.

“We are honored to provide a platform that celebrates the outstanding women in entertainment who support and promote philanthropic causes making the world a better place to live.” – Michelle Sobrino Stearns, Variety

You can watch each of the beautiful speeches below:

Lupita Nyong’o

Misty Copeland

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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