A few days ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2017 People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles. I saw many amazing Hollywood Stars walk up on the stage and accept awards that our public had voted on.

Hollywood has been known for years as the white man’s club, and in many situations this club still exists. So at the start of the show I decided to count how many people of color and women I would see accept awards on stage that night. 

Out of the 17 who won on stage, 7 were people of color.

Out of the 17 who won on stage, 9 were women (!!!)

Out of those 9 women, 4 were women of color.

Now these are only for the ones I saw at the award show itself, but many won awards off stage that could change this statistic. But just sitting there and watching many amazing women and people of color make their mark in Hollywood, I remember my roommate (who was sitting right next to me) comment on how diverse even the nominees were this year. Although our entertainment industry still has a long way to go, it made me proud seeing the strides they were making. 

My favorite part of the show was when Tyler Perry was awarded 2017’s Favorite Humanitarian Award. I think it’s amazing that many influencers are making their way into contributing back to the society that has played a big role in their success. 

When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson went up to receive his award, he said a very valuable quote that I still remember; “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.” It was a wonderful point in the awards show, one that received a large applause and standing ovation. Often times when success reaches an individual, it’s easy to become self absorbed. Several actors/actresses have spoken about human and civil rights, and these two became one of the highlights of my night.

You might think that it’s easy for successful people like them to donate large amounts of money to these charities, and whereas I think that is true, I don’t think that’s the only way to help. These stars should definitely be doing their part with their financial privilege in ways an average American may not be able to.

But there is no age, class, wage, race, or gender requirement to be able to create change or give back to your community.

When I was an Entertainment Editor for my high school’s magazine, among the wonderful students I was able to teach and work with, a particular one has proven this to be true. Ananya Bhat who is now the new Entertainment Editor has been making some wonderful changes to our community. Her art inspires many, and her donation to Planned Parenthood is just a start to the things she’ll do in the future. I’m so proud of her for doing whatever she can as a 16 year old in a world that may not be doing the same for her. 

Check her out here!

On this day of the Inauguration of our 45th president, I hope we all find a way to thank the community that has helped us grow, and turn to each other in peace and respect for our country.  

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