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Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C.

“When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazers Honor in Los Angeles. “Then I see Nancy come on TV and I think, ‘Okay this is all good, Nancy’s in the house.'”

Pelosi was one of four Trailblazer honorees at the event, alongside director Ava DuVernay, Me Too founder Tarana Burke and author Margaret Atwood. “Handmaid’s Tale” actress Samira Wiley accepted the honor on behalf of Atwood, who could not attend.

After being introduced by Mindy Kaling, DuVernay shared that she was 32 the first time she tried filming a movie. “I’m black, I’m a woman, I never went to film school. Where did the audacity come from to say, ‘I can do this?'” she said, attributing her fearlessness and passion for representation in film to her mother. “All I knew was that I wanted to make films about women like [my mother].”

Ava DuVernayVH1 Trailblazer Honors, Arrivals, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Feb 2019
CREDIT: Jordan Strauss/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

Actress Alyssa Milano then introduced Burke.

“I hope me getting this kind of visibility means that we’re moving closer to a world that not just believes survivor, but provides resources to investigate these claims,” Burke said in her speech. “Most importantly, I hope we’re moving closer to a world that has deep empathy for those of us who have suffered the indignity and inhumanity of sexual violence, and that we have a shared desire to rid the world of it.”

Tarana Burke and Alyssa MilanoVH1 Trailblazer Honors, Arrivals, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Feb 2019
CREDIT: Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

Anita Hill was also in attendance, continuing the conversation of believing victims of sexual harassment harassment and violence.

All it takes is one person to change the conversation,” she said while introducing the honorees for Everyday Trailblazers, Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Peppermint of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and figure skater Alysa Liu. “That’s why I shared my own experience with sexual harassment back in 1991, and why today at the Hollywood Commission I’m working with the leaders of the entertainment industry to eliminate harassment and bias from our workplaces,” Hill said.

Pelosi also gave a nod to the Everyday Trailblazers honorees. “Your work gives truth to the words, ‘When women succeed, America succeeds,’” she said. “We’re fighting to defend a woman’s right to choose every single day…without interference from politicians or anyone, [including] the White House.”

The evening featured performances by Rita Ora and Elle King.

“VHI Trailblazer Honors” will air March 8, National Women’s Day, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1 and Logo.

PeppermintVH1 Trailblazer Honors, Arrivals, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 20 Feb 2019
CREDIT: Jordan Strauss/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

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