We’re all regularly in awe of Scandal‘s Olivia Pope, but we’re also equally in awe of the actress who plays her, Kerry Washington. Washington gave a speech at the GLAAD Awards where she was named the 2015 Vanguard—an honor given out to celebs who’ve made it a point to promote equal rights for LGBTQ people.

Dinner and Show - 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

Washington gave an inspiring and honest seven-minute-long speech, which touched on things like necessary inclusivity of society’s “outsiders,” storytelling as a way to educate and teach acceptance, and the importance of uniting together as a society and to say she had her audience truly engaged would be an understatement, she had the entire audience standing and clapping furiously  by the halfway mark. It was seriously powerful.

“I’m going to say some stuff and I might be preaching to the choir, but I’m going to say it. Not just for us, but because on Monday morning people are going to click a link to hear what that woman from Scandal said at that award show, and so, I think some stuff needs to be said”

“We can’t say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each others existence, and the truth of each other’s hearts,” she told the crowd. “We must be allies. And we must be allies in this business, because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone, anywhere, is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable.”


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