Now more than ever, the world needs women to stand together, and Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is leading the charge. Rodriguez hosted Marie Claire's first annual Young Women's Honors gala, an event held to celebrate 10 female millennials who did amazing things in 2016. Olympian Simone Biles, Seed Global Health founder Dr. Vanessa Kerry, and Amanda Nguyen, who helped create a bill protecting sexual assault survivors, were among the first group of honorees, and it was Rodriguez's speech as host that summed up the night's themes of empowerment and solidarity.
As host, the actor delivered a powerful speech about how she achieved her dreams and why women need to band together, believe in themselves, and trust that they can accomplish anything. The powerful, emotional speech is one that will resonate with women of all ages, and if you have been down since the election results came in, then allow the star to lift you up.
E! Online reports Rodriguez began her speech by saying, "This has been a dream of mine since I was very young. I wanted to see images of myself on screen, I wanted to know I belonged, I wanted to know I was enough, I wanted to know I was strong. I wanted to know I was capable. I wanted to know I was possible. And every single woman in this room who came to be part of this project, that is helping me bring this project to a reality, is all that and more."
Are you feeling empowered yet? Because there is more, guys.
"Our honorees are everything I dreamt of having when I was a young girl," Rodriguez continued. "Now we get to do that for the next generation. We get to do that ourselves, for any generation, at any point, anything is possible. Especially now during this time we're living in...this room is so beautiful. This room is so hopeful, this room is so strong, and we are only strong together, so thank you."
In the wake of the election, many women have felt defeated, but Rodriguez's speech is a reminder there can be no true defeat as long as you continue to create, to lead, and to champion the women in your life. No matter who is in power in the government, no one can stop you from accomplishing your dreams or fighting for your rights. The women Rodriguez helped Marie Claire honor are all extraordinary examples of this. They made a difference in the world with their bright minds, athleticism, and courage. Let them encourage you, just as they encouraged Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been a vocal voice for women since she became a star on the feminist masterpiece that is Jane the Virgin. She has spoken out against body shaming, talked about how one person can change the world, and has turned her Twitter account into a place of support and inclusivity. The world is a far better place for having her talent, courage, and optimism in it.
To hear Rodriguez's amazing speech for yourself tune into The CW on Dec. 19 to watch the Young Women's Honors. I recommend DVR'ing the event so you can have Rodriguez's amazing call to action on hand whenever you need a little extra encouragement to be your awesome self.
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