Amanda Gorman presented her poem “We Rise” at Variety’s Power of Women event presented by Lifetime, in which the 23-year-old encouraged women to rise up and speak their truth and strength into power.
The National Youth Poet Laureate — who is one of Variety‘s Power of Women cover stars — delivered a strong message about visibility and allowing others the space to use their voices to speak out. In an industry that is still dominated by white men, Gorman explained that it is time for women and people of color to have a seat at the table. She then transitioned into reading her work.
“What I want to do is what I typically do when I feel inspired, and that is reading a poem,” Gorman said, revealing that she only decided to read it at the event on the car ride to the event.
Watch Gorman perform “We Rise” above.
The poem opens with:
Today, everyone’s eyes
Are on us as we rise.
Today is the day women
Are paving the way,
Speaking our truth to power.
In this hour, it is our duty
to find the brave beauty
In rooting for other women
So they too know we are not victims,
We are victors, the greatest predictors
of progress. We press for change,
A new dawn drawn into the open
By women whose silence is broken.
We push on and act on
Our responsibility to bring visibility
To the most vulnerable:
To bring freedom to those who didn’t have a choice,
To bring volume to those who are using their voice.