Yesterday, the White House hosted its first United State Of Women summit. Some of the most influential women in the nation including Hollywood powerhouses Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and Oprah Winfrey, were invited to this exclusive and inspirational event to discuss issues pertaining to women and girls across the globe.
The primary goal of the United State of Women Summit is to “rally all of us together to celebrate what we’ve achieved, and how we’re going to take action moving forward.” Through this Summit, The White House aims to give a voice to women everywhere and shed light on hot topic issues such as healthcare, wage gaps, education, sexual violence, childcare, and other pertinent issues that women face everyday.
“Changing laws isn’t enough. We have to change the national culture.” – Vice President, Joe Biden
Pop culture and mainstream media content plays a major role in how our national culture is shaped. It is important for women on screen to honestly depict a myriad of multi-dimensional and complex characters with depth to represent women everywhere. Our culture is empowered when we see women who are strong, intelligent, fearless, and human.
Shonda Rhimes has created some of the most interesting, diverse, complex, and multi-dimensional female characters in the history of television. She has developed multiple strong female characters that are seen battling adversity and sexism among a host of other trials and tribulations while coming out at the other end stronger than ever. She has revolutionized the way women are seen in the media.
“A person is not diverse… Color of skin is not what makes people diverse. Content should look to create the “actual world.”
“The best thing you can do is to not make someone the only one in the room. If someone is the only person of color in the room, or the only woman in the room, they run a higher risk of being dismissed as ‘weird and wrong,’ and that person gets ejected.” – Shonda Rhimes
Towards the end of the summit, Oprah Winfrey interviewed First Lady, Michelle Obama and they discussed family life, pursuing ones passion, deflecting negative energy via social media, authenticity, and her role as a mentor to young people.
“The work always continues. We’re never done. We can never be complacent and think that we have arrived as women. We have to continue the work.” – First Lady, Michelle Obama
You can watch the inspirational conversation between Oprah and Michelle Obama below: