Kerry Washington: An International Advocate
Today about 8 million people are preparing themselves for the excitement that comes with "Scandal Thursday." Post on Twitter and Facebook with speculation on who "the mole" is are flying rampantly. I on the other hand cannot stop thinking about Kerry Washington. Yes, I mean the actual Kerry Washington, not Olivia Pope (who I am also in love with, like so many others).
What's Got Kerry On My Mind?
My urban readers will remember her as Chenille from Save the Last Dance; others will remember her for her role in Ray as Della Bea Robinson. I remember her as an activist.
In 2008, I received a phone call from a representative of V-Day, an international non-profit that works to end violence against women and girls all over the world. At the time I was working on a few projects for V-Day and other initiatives that addressed violence against women. I was very familiar with the issues and had begun to build a career path around my advocacy work in that area. Even still, I was surprised to receive a call from one of the powerhouses behind the V-Day movement.
Over the course of our conversation she reminded me that Kerry Washington (yes, The Kerry Washington) was a prized member of their board. Kerry was not only a board member, she was also a dedicated member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. During her work with both organizations she saw a need and called for V-Day to help to fulfill that need. Kerry wanted V-Day's message about violence against women to get to the members of Delta Sigma Theta and out into the black community.
V-Day had one problem. Who did they know that could speak to the issues of violence against women internationally and in the black community? Somehow, I became their solution. So, in February of 2009 I spoke about the international and domestic aspect of violence against women on behalf of their organization at Delta Days in the Nation's Capital.
What many people don't know is that I suffered a major personal loss the day before I was scheduled to speak at that conference. To be honest, I almost didn't go. In hindsight, speaking in front of those women helped me work toward healing. Seeing those rooms filled with women who wanted to learn how to combat violence against women and having private conversations with ones fighting their own battles reminded me that my journey was not over. That conference and my continued work with V-Day would lead to other speaking engagements and my first job in PR.
Kerry Washington is...
It's true, Kerry Washington is an amazing actress who has been in box office hits, graced prime-time television as a black leading lady and landed the cover of Elle magazine; but to me, she is so much more. She is an inspiration, a mentor, an advocate and a true force to be reckoned with. She is not only beautiful and talented as an actress, but also smart and involved with important issues that affect every day citizens. Aside from her work with V-Day, Washington is also a political advocate and heavily involved in the preservation of the arts. She even has a whole page on her official website dedicated to her work as an advocate.
Kerry's work with activism changed my life. Her call for someone to spread the message of ending violence against women to the black population did so much for me. That one phone call had a major impact on my life and career. It helped me to heal from a loss, land a new job and continue to do work that I loved. My respect for her and the work she has done on and off the stage is unwavering. Though I have yet to meet her, it is clear that her spirit is guided by humanitarianism. Don’t be surprised if she announces a relationship with the United Nations at some point in her career.
So, while you are watching Scandal tonight think about the woman who brought Olivia Pope alive and all the work she has done as an advocate for women around the world.
Check out Kerry Washington's spotlight and her views on the work done by V-Day here.
Thank you for helping me get the experience of a lifetime Kerry!