Amanda Gorman presented a new poem at Variety’s Power of Women event presented by Lifetime, in which the 23-year-old encouraged women to rise up and speak their truth and strength into power.
The National Youth Poet Laureate — who is one of Variety‘s Power of Women cover stars — delivered a strong message about visibility and allowing others the space to use their voices to speak out. In an industry that is still dominated by white men, Gorman explained that it is time for women and people of color to have a seat at the table. She then transitioned into reading the poem, titled “We Rise.”
“What I want to do is what I typically do when I feel inspired, and that is reading a poem,” Gorman said, revealing that she wrote the poem on the way to the event.
Watch Gorman perform “We Rise” above, and read the poem in full below.
Today, everyone’s eyes
Are on us as we rise.
Today is the day women
Are paving the way,
Speaking our truth to power.
In this hour, it is our duty
to find the brave beauty
In rooting for other women
So they too know we are not victims,
We are victors, the greatest predictors
of progress. We press for change,
A new dawn drawn into the open
By women whose silence is broken.
We push on and act on
Our responsibility to bring visibility
To the most vulnerable:
To bring freedom to those who didn’t have a choice,
To bring volume to those who are using their voice.
We clear a woman’s way,
We don’t fear the day
She steps into the light
Because we are with her
Every step of the fight.
There’s a lot at stake, but making
A difference always takes great courage.
So we encourage women who dare to stare
Fear square in its face,
Women who’ve always shown
That when one woman stands up
She is never alone.
We know that when she steps up to right a wrong,
She will fight to bring others along
To the network, into the conversation,
Working together to change communities
And nations for generations, our world
Made all the stronger the longer
Women are able to sit at the table.
It is her strength, her story, and her spirit
Which inspires other vital voices
to speak up when they hear it.
So let it be said that light will be shed
When our world is led by leaders ahead
of the headlines, the voices
Who are first on the frontline,
These women who stand up,
knowing the wind
Not by where it is, but where it is blowing,
Leading worlds not by how society is
But where change is going.
We all leap forward when one woman tries,
When she defies with her rallying cries.
Here lies, but does not rest, the best
Of tested women who call us all to rise,
Speaking the truth in this finest hour:
That to their own power,
every single woman is entitled.
But it’s how they empower others
That makes women’s voices so vital