Kerry Washington and Zendaya gave powerful speeches to inspire our future leaders at the GLSEN Respect Awards

October 23, 2017

Now more than ever, celebrities are using their platforms to spread awareness and spark the flame of taking action. The power of positivity was on display in full force at Friday night’s 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards in Los Angeles. The ceremony showcases those who have made a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth. And this year, Kerry Washington and Zendaya gave powerful speeches that evoked mini-revolutions amongst attendees.

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Now more than ever, celebrities are using their platforms to spread awareness and spark the flame of taking action. The power of positivity was on display in full force at Friday night’s 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards in Los Angeles. The ceremony showcases those who have made a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth. And this year, Kerry Washington and Zendaya gave powerful speeches that evoked mini-revolutions amongst attendees.

Washington received the Inspiration Award. The Scandal star took to the stage and delivered words that echoed far and wide into our souls. She admitted feeling that our current political climate is “a communal nightmare,” and shared her worry that the Trump administration promotes more hate than good.

But Washington believes that today’s youth are fierce agents of change.

“We need to make sure we don’t get in the way, but that we help them clear the way,” Washington said in her speech, according to Entertainment Weekly. “You are our truest leaders. You point us out of this nightmare and towards that more perfect union. And with your leadership, tonight more than ever before, I know that we will get there.”

Like Washington, Zendaya — who received the Gamechanger Award — used her platform to highlight the student leaders in attendance who are trailblazing ways of change for not only the LGBTQ community, but all of us.

“I have this platform that I’m standing on, and sometimes when you get there, you realize that your purpose is not to stand up there anymore but to get off and let someone else stand on it,” Zendaya declared in her speech, according to Entertainment Weekly. “That’s what I will continue to do and continue to push. To every student that is here, I want you to know that I admire you. This award is really for us. Because we are the game-changers. We are the ones who are literally changing the game. We are not playing.”

We aren’t playing either. And we love that these women are using their platform to push others to use their own.

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