The third annual CARE Impact Awards took place Wednesday night, honouring some stars for lending their voices to help defeat poverty and achieve social justice by empowering women and girls.
Andra Day performed at the event which was hosted by journalist Lisa Ling, with filmmaker Ava DuVernay, actress Eva Longoria, Bozoma Saint John, tennis pro Venus Williams, Iman and more honoured for their work to achieve equality.
Longoria was one of the honourees accepting the CARE Impact Award for Exceptional Activism. Meanwhile, DuVernay took home the CARE Impact Award for Global Feminism and Williams accepted the CARE Impact Award for Gender Equality.
“There are just so many individuals being honoured today for their tireless work in their communities and beyond, so I am humbled to be included alongside these global leaders,” said Williams. “In 2013, I was fortunate enough to experience CARE’s work firsthand, when I traveled with them to Kenya to help women provide clean drinking water for their families. As I walked alongside these women and saw the pride in their faces, they were able to take care of themselves, take care of their families and offer solutions for their future, it just touched my heart. I was reminded of the unparalleled strength of women. The women I met on this trip are the foundations of their communities and being able to see how education can transform, not only just girls themselves but benefit their families and communities, was really special to me. I am so inspired by the work CARE does to uplift women.”
“These are strange times unsettled times, dangerous times even for many many people and the luckiest of us are inconvenienced but for so many others particularly Black and brown communities, COVID has disproportionately stolen livelihoods and lives widening and deepening the inequalities that’s already existed, But in this darkness there’s also a possibility and there is opportunity,” DuVernay said during her acceptance speech. “Responsibility, to lift each other up and refuse the pandemic’s attempts to divide us. This sort of stubborn resilience is in CARE’s roots, where a small group of Americans created CARE packages to send to Europe after World War II.”
“There’s a misconception that you have to be rich or famous to be an activist or philanthropist,” Longoria said, while her son Santiago, 2, made a surprise appearance. “All it really takes is a fighting spirit, a willingness to do the work, and a real commitment to a community you care about. For me, that’s the Latinx community, and specifically, Latina women and girls. Thank you again for this incredible honour. We all know if you want something done, ask a busy woman to do it! So let’s do it. And make the change we want to see.”
But it was CARE’s Global Advocate Iman who kicked off the awards with a powerful message, “As a refugee, I have been the beneficiary of the priceless help that NGOs like CARE offer… as a Somali immigrant and an American citizen, I am proud to help show the world how CARE embodies its name and puts it in action.”
Hillary Clinton, who serves as honorary chair for CARE’s 75th Anniversary Campaign, also spoke during the virtual awards ceremony before Andra Day performed her powerful 2015 anthem, “Rise Up”.
The Impact Awards brought together people from around the world to support those in crisis brought on by COVID-19 and to raise awareness and funds for CARE’s efforts in 100 countries through their Crisis Response Campaign.