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Ava DuVernay, Sarah Paulson and Wilmer Valderrama were just a few of the luminaries on hand on Sunday night at the Skirball Cultural Center to honor the volunteers and students who made the foundation’s work possible.
DuVernay spoke about the importance of inclusiveness in both entertainment and education as she introduced honoree Susan Rovner, executive vp development at Warner Bros. TV, who was a champion for DuVernay’s OWN show Queen Sugar.
“And now more than ever, at times when it feels like we’re in dark days, when divisiveness is more the rule of the day than togetherness, I think that it’s important to have images like this that speak to who we are regardless or skin color, class, sexuality, gender identification, age or weight,” DuVernay said.
After expressing her disappointment in the outcome of the presidential election, Rovner made a stirring case for optimism about America’s future.
“I see in front of me the leaders of tomorrow, and despite the outcome of the election I actually now feel more hope, love and promise than ever before, and I look at my beautiful children and I know that their presence has already made the world a better place,” Rovner said in a speech that garnered a sustained standing ovation.
Honoree Marcia Clark was introduced by Sarah Paulson, whom Clark described as a “great friend.” She also made an impassioned case for the foundation.
“The work you do has never been more necessary, never been more critical, and not only because of the difference that you make in so many young lives but also because of the example that you set for others. An example of how to care, how to commit and how to support the next generation.” the former prosecutor told the audience.
The I Have A Dream Foundation has chapters all over the country and has helped thousands of underprivileged children achieve their dream of receiving a higher education.
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