When a queen speaks, people listen. And when that royalty is Queen Latifah, an Emmy and Grammy winner and Oscar nominee, her words are even more impactful.
Latifah was honored on Thursday at the Glasshouse NYC alongside Kim Cattrall, Drew Barrymore, Venus Williams, Camila Cabello and Amanda Seyfried at Variety’s Power of Women ceremony, presented by Lifetime. The event celebrates the accomplishments and philanthropy of women across the entertainment industry.
In her cover story, Latifah explained why events such as this are important.
“[Women are] not often celebrated and affirmed in the way we should be,” she commented. “We need to not only be affirmed, but to support one another, and to show that we support one another.”
Latifah, and her fellow honorees, acknowledged that it’s a turbulent time in America in the wake of the news that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade.
“This issue of Variety is celebrating the power of women, and it’s a strange time for us,” Latifah said on stage. “There’s a group of people who are trying to steal our power. Our power to decide what we want for our lives, our families, our future. My whole life, people have been trying to diminish my power. They’ve always tried to diminish the power of the woman. It’s like what I tell my friends who don’t want to vote sometimes. If the vote wasn’t worth something, they wouldn’t be trying to keep us from voting. I feel the same way about womanhood. If we weren’t so powerful, there wouldn’t be such a push to keep us in our place.”
She also called for male allies and women alike to band together in the face of political uncertainty, because there’s “nothing stronger.”
“I know what it looks like when women don’t get along. When we fight against each other. But I also know what it looks like when we do,” she said. “When we stand together, there’s nothing more potent. There’s nothing stronger. There’s no level higher, nothing greater, than when we lock arms and decide we want to do something.”
Latifah has many career achievements to be lauded for. Her hit CBS series “The Equalizer” was renewed Thursday morning for a third and fourth season, and she has three movies in the pipeline at Netflix — but her primary focus is on giving back.
At Thursday’s ceremony, she represented the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a tuition-free, open-enrollment, public charter high school in Northwest Detroit. Of her desire to give back to the community, Latifah said in her cover story, “I’m just very inspired by people, by kids and their innocence and their eyes on the world, that they can conquer and they can do anything.”
On her way to Hollywood domination, the multi-hyphenate entertainer grew up just across the Hudson River in Newark, N.J. Latifah recently visited her hometown last week to break ground on a multi-million housing development project.
Concluding her speech, Latifah said, “I pray for this planet. I pray for peace every night. Let’s spread that love around the world.”