Viola DavisandStacey Abramsknow how to harness their power.

These bold, towering figures may come from vastly different professional backgrounds, but the outspoken women share much in common, not the least of which is giving voice to pertinent issues in their respective fields and attaining success in their careers against all odds.

Their primary connection, however, lies within their core principles. They are both Black women who have worked their way from poverty to pop culture prominence and then used their spheres of influence to create opportunities and make space for other Black women to follow.

As the intersection between entertainment and politics continues to meld, their mutual success has landed Davis and Abrams smack in the middle of Hollywoods film awards conversation. Davis, one of the industrys most celebrated actors, is being lauded for her performance in Ma Raineys Black Bottom and is considered a lead contender in this years Oscar race; Abrams produced the award-winning documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy, which was just shortlisted for an Academy Award, contending as a documentary feature.

Davis name has become synonymous with awards season, as evidenced by her mantelpiece, which boasts an Oscar, two Tonys, three Drama Desk Awards and an Emmy for her work on screen and stage. Her rousing remarks when accepting the supporting actress Oscar in 2017 for Fences underscore her unabashed honesty about the business she works in: People ask me all the time, What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, Exhume those bodies, exhume those stories the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams come to fruition.

Regarding the awards season maelstrom, Davis says, Its a platform. Its another microphone. Its another opportunity to open my mouth and speak a really fundamental truth about Hollywood and this business and, really, America.

Abrams is a game changer, credited with helping to turn her home state of Georgia blue in the 2020 presidential election, which was a major factor in Donald Trump losing the White House to Joe Biden, and earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Her All In documentary, which she produced with filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Corts, recounts Abrams own election story losing the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp, with fewer than 55,000 votes standing between the candidates amid claims of extensive voter suppression. The film also traces the history of voting rights in America and the nefarious maneuvers that have been deployed to deprive people of that right.

As she navigates her freshman awards season with All In, Abrams says: Its an extraordinary thing to know that the intent of the film has been recognized. The goal was to provide Americans with the tools they needed to identify and mitigate voter suppression and that constant attack on their citizenship.

Read the full article/interview in our press library and check the video in the video vault.

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