The Handmaid's Tale Author Margaret Atwood and #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Join Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Filmmaker Ava DuVernay as "VH1 Trailblazer Honors" Recipients
Landmark Event to Air Friday, March 8th at 9PM on International Women's Day
(NEW YORK, NY - February 13, 2019) The author behind The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood and #MeToo founder and activist Tarana Burke will join previously announced Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Academy Award nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay on the list of vanguards whom "VH1 Trailblazer Honors" will celebrate to kick off Women's History Month. Global Superstar Rita Ora is also set to perform her personal anthem "Soul Survivor". The one-hour special will air on International Women's Day, Friday, March 8th at 9PM ET/PT, on VH1 and Logo.
Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. She is best-known for her modern classic The Handmaid's Tale, now a critically acclaimed television series. Her most recent novels include The Heart Goes Last and the MaddAddam trilogy - the Giller and Booker Prize-shortlisted Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood. In addition to her success as a writer, Atwood is also committed to being active through various philanthropic endeavors. In 2018, Equality Now honored Atwood as a longtime advocate of women's rights. She continues to use her platform to aid victims of sexual assault and advocates for gender equality and human rights. She was also one of seventeen authors to sell naming rights to characters from their works to raise money for the Freedom from Torture, a charity that provides therapy and support for torture victims.
For more than 25 years, activist and advocate Burke has worked at the intersection of racial justice, arts and culture and sexual violence. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly black women and girls, Burke has created and led various campaigns focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities, including the 'me too' movement. In 2003 she co-founded Just Be Inc., an organization committed to the leadership development and wellness of Black girls. In 2006 she began working with students in the Black Belt using 'me too' as a tool for healing, education and action. In the years following, the 'me too' movement quickly expanded beyond young people to include adult women and men, queer and trans folks and all marginalized groups. In October 2017 #metoo became a viral phenomenon that quickly spread around the world and Burke has emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence and the need for survivor-centered solutions. Her theory of using empathy to empower survivors is changing the way the nation and the world thinks about and engages with survivors. Burke was named Time Magazine 2017 Person of the Year along with the 'Silence Breakers', a group recognized for standing up against sexual harassment and violence. In 2018, she was featured on the covers of Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Variety Magazine's Power of Women issue. She is the recipient of the Ridenhour Prize, The Change Makers Award from Black Girls Rock and topped the 2018 The Root 100 list as the most influential African American.
"VH1 Trailblazer Honors" will celebrate today's most respected politicians, entertainers, artists, activists, allies and icons who have dedicated their time and steadfast commitments to the women's movement and beyond. Centered around this year's incredible breakthroughs in female empowerment and human rights, the annual event will feature the landmark achievements of its honorees. Additional talent to be announced.
"VH1 Trailblazer Honors" will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, a National Historic Landmark and extension of the Ebell of Los Angeles, a 125-year-old organization founded by women for women.
Previous Trailblazer Honorees include:
· Ryan Murphy, groundbreaking screenwriter, director and producer
· James Baldwin, author and activist
· Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, social activists and parents of Trayvon Martin
· The ACLU Organization
· Cyndi Lauper, prolific performer and equality activist
· Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, creators of Emmy award-winning "Will & Grace"
· Edie Windsor and Roberta Kaplan, DOMA challengers
· Jason Collins, first out professional male athlete in a major U.S. sport
· "Orange is the New Black," Emmy-award winning Netflix series
Official sponsors of the 2019 VH1 Trailblazer Honors include Boost Mobile and Ice Breakers.
For more updates, please visit Trailblazers.VH1.com. Follow @VH1 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and use #TrailblazerHonors to join the conversation.
"VH1 Trailblazer Honors" is executive produced by Amy Doyle, Vanessa WhiteWolf and Andria Parides. Wendy Plaut and Marcia Lansdown are the Executives in Charge of Celebrity Talent. Lisa Lauricella and Wanda Coriano are the Executives in Charge of Music Talent. Fonda Anita serves as Executive in Charge of Production. Lauren Quinn is directing.
VH1 is the dominant pop culture brand for adults 18-49. The network is available in 86 million U.S. households and has an array of digital channels and services including the VH1 App, VH1.com and @VH1. VH1 is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).