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During the 2018 Golden Globes last night, Oprah Winfrey gave an unforgettable and inspiring speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement—becoming the first African American woman to receive the honor.
The speech was the pinnacle of the powerful anti-harassment movement that has uprooted the entertainment industry, and is now taking action for individuals in other industries also affected by sexual harassment and gender inequality. The recently announced #TimesUp initiative, backed by 300 women in Hollywood, is providing legal assistance for women and men who have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.
Winfrey reminds us that countless women throughout time and across different environments have been confronted with, and have had to overcome, instances of sexual harassment. “It’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry,” she states. “It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.”
Sexual harassment and abuse is a systemic problem that can be addressed in a collaborative effort at all fronts, by both women and men. It requires giving individuals a platform where their stories can be shared with others, which will inspire other stories to be told. “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have,” Winfrey said.
Truth is more powerful than the status quo, or those with higher authority, and it will create a better, more equal tomorrow for future generations of women.
“I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
Ensuring the new day of gender equality will require addressing the continuum of issues women face, from sexual harassment in the workplace and the glass ceiling preventing career advancement, to women’s financial independence and economic growth. NAWRB is on the front lines of this process, providing women with the resources and tools for personal and professional success in the housing ecosystem.