“How Women Change The World” was the theme of Emily’s List 2023 Pre-Oscar Breakfast. Packed with powerhouses working on impacting change throughout entertainment and politics, the morning kicked with California’s first woman Lieutenant Governor Eleni Koulnalakis and Emily’s List President LaPhonza Butler setting the tone for a morning of inspiration. “We’re not just talking about women in elected office, or just talking about women in entertainment,” Butler said. “We’re talking about women in business. We are talking about everyday women who choose to do extraordinary things to change not just their lives, but the lives of their families and the people around them.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, in a featured talk with Emily’s List board member Yvette Nicole Brown, encouraged anyone in the room who owns a building to reach out to her office, as many of LA’s homeless have the vouchers for housing, but nowhere to go. She also shared plans to spearhead an initiative encouraging people to come to Los Angeles for the 7,000 jobs available in the city, falling in line with a philosophy passed down to her from former U.S. Rep. Diane Watson: “You need to lift while you climb.”

“Women are changing the world by us speaking up,” Garcelle Beauvais told Variety before moderating a panel with Amber Riley, Lisa Ann Walter, Massachusetts attorney general Andrea Joy Campbell and Sophia Bush. “That’s how we impact the world. Look at the election. When we show up, we show out, right?”

Amber Riley, Garcelle Beauvais and Gloria Calderon Kellett at the Emily’s List 6th Annual Pre-Oscar Breakfast held at the Beverly Hills Hilton on March 7, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. Gilbert Flores for Variety

Cookie Johnson, wife of retired NBA player and businessman Magic Johnson, expressed frustration at Walgreen’s recent decision to stop selling abortion pills in 20 states. “Why are you pulling that away from us when we’ve had it all these years?,” told Variety. “It should be ours. That’s our decision.”

Sophia Bush called for more diversity in the fight for women’s rights. “We must confront as women, our own internalized misogyny,” she said during the panel. “She’s electable if you elect her, but we white women must get very clear that if we do not share groups like this, if all our groups don’t look like this one, we’re failing.”

Emily’s List board member Gloria Calderón Kellett concurred: “I feel like in the last decade it is the women — specifically women of color — that are taking up space, making things right, making things equitable and lovely and warm. With Emily’s List, on a national landscape, we are supporting women, saying what mothers, caregivers and daughters need.”