Kerry Washington is known for breaking barriers both on and off the screen. In 2012, when Washington first stepped on screen as Olivia Pope in Shonda Rhime’s hit television show Scandal, she was the first Black Woman lead on a Prime Time show in almost 40 years. She would later be nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in 2013, and 2014.
Born in 1977, in New York City, Washington grew up performing with TADA! Youth Theatre, which fostered a love for the arts. Kerry attended George Washington University where she graduated in 1998 with a double major in anthropology and sociology. She also spent time studying at the Michael Howard Studios for performing arts in New York City.
Besides using her voice for acting and performing, Washington uses her voice for activism.
In 2007, Washington supported Women’s Cancer Programs for the Entertainment industry Foundation with Lee National Denim Day which is a fundraiser by Lee Jeans. She was supported by fellow celebrities Mariska Hargitay, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Gabrielle Union. On the first Friday in October, people are asked to donate the money they would spend on a pair of jeans to support Breast Cancer research and support programs.
Washington is also a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community and was named an honorary chairperson of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards in 2013. On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and another 53 injured in a shooting at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando, Florida for LGBTQ people. Later in June, Human Rights Campaign (HRC, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States), released a video featuring Washington, and others, that told the stories of those killed in the senseless shooting.
Washington is also a member of V-Day. A movement started by author and activist, Eve Ensler who is known for her play The Vagina Monologues. The global movement which started in 1998 aims to end rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, and all violence against women and girls. Washington first performed at V-Day in 2002, and has since performed at numerous V-Day events and continues to be a proud supporter of the movement.
Kerry Washington remains a role model for women everywhere and lifts people up in her community and around the world. She says, “The most effective use of my microphone is handing it to women and marginalized people.”
This month is Women’s History Month and here at The In Trive we wanted to take a moment to commemorate some amazing women who are doing extraordinary things! Our in-house contributor Kelsey Erynn helps us highlight these special women along with sharing some lessons that we all can learn from them. Check it out and enjoy! xoxo – CP