Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman Honored By Angelina Jolie & Daughter Zahara

On Thursday, Amanda Gorman was one of five women recognized for their career accomplishments at Variety magazine’s Power of Women dinner.

Held in Los Angeles, the even boasted a long list of famous faces and accomplished entertainment industry execs, including Angelina Jolie and her daughter Zahara Jolie-Pitt, who walked the carpet with Gorman. Ahead of presenting Gorman with her award, Jolie delivered a heartfelt speech welcoming the young poet who captivated the world during President Biden’s inauguration in January.

“Those who have the power of free speech – the weapon of free speech – must combine to defend those who do not,” after touching on not only Gorman’s achievements, but also some of the obstacles she faced as a child. “We need voices like Amanda’s, those lights in the dark. May you burn fiercely, and light the way for others.”

Gorman was honored alongside singers Lorde and Katy Perry, actress Rita Moreno and television executive Channing Dungey, who became the first Black woman to run one of the Big Four broadcast networks when she was hired as the president of ABC Entertainment in 2016. In 2020, Dungey was named the new chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Television Studio, and is now the first woman to ever hold that position.

As she introduced Dungey to the crowd, Ava Duvernay took the opportunity to praise her friend for the barriers she’s knocked down for women of color in the television world. “Think of the steps,” she said. “Think of the rooms, think of the battles, think of what it took every day to step toward that goal.”

Each of the five Women of Power was also given the opportunity to introduce a focus charity. Gorman used her speech to spotlight WriteGirl, an LA-based organization that matches girls with women writers who mentor their creative writing.

Check out Gorman’s full acceptance speech below.

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