If there’s one thing we’ve learned every time Viola Davis
opens her mouth, it’s that when the queen has something to say, we’d better listen.
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Known for giving uplifting, moving speeches at every event where she’s asked to speak, the Time
100 Gala was no exception. Davis gave a toast
that will make you feel like you deserve a spot on that 100 Most Influential People list, even if you’re just a regular old Davis superfan like the rest of us.
During her toast, Davis told stories about studying at Juilliard, about losing her voice as an artist and then finding it again when she went on a cultural safari in Gambia. There, she met women of the Mandinka tribe. It was their sense of community that brought back her focus and her drive, she said. Davis urged the honorees in the room at the Time 100 Gala to have a similar sense of community.
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“Everybody in this room, I’m sure, at some point has gone through something in their lives, and you survived it,” she said. “But not only did you survive it, you took that trauma, that hurt, that revelation, that whatever it was and you used it to connect, to give, to influence… to help. And that is the beauty and the purpose of what we are here on this Earth to do.”
She continued, “I lift the glass to everyone in this room, everyone who has decided to live a life bigger than yourself. Everyone who decided to slay those dragons and say, it’s not just about me. And I applaud you. And I am honored to be in this room with you.”
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Thanks for exactly the pep talk we needed to finish this week strong, Viola.