Camila Cabello hails therapy and calls for ‘reproductive justice’ in powerful speech

Camila Cabello was honored today at Variety‘s Power of Women event, presented by Lifetime, for her work with the Movement Voter Fund to launch the Healing Justice Project.

Alongside fellow honorees Drew Barrymore, Kim Cattrall, Queen Latifah and Amanda Seyfried, Cabello took to the white carpet ahead of the event and took the opportunity to speak about the ongoing abortion rights debate – ​​it was revealed earlier this week that the United States Supreme Court voted privately to overturn Roe v. Wadeinvalidating the case that had guaranteed basic abortion rights in the United States since 1973.

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“It’s excruciating,” Cabello said. “Obviously this will affect poor women the most, because women who have resources – even like me – will be able to manage things if they are needed. The idea that a moment transforms the course of a woman’s life a woman is tragic. And it is tragic [that] the people concerned have no say.

Cabello encouraged women to “get involved…voting locally so that we have state and local legislators who represent our interests is really important. Of course, making a donation can make a difference. And also be loud and angry about it.

Later that evening, actor and entertainer Billy Porter, who starred alongside Cabello in “Cinderella,” took the stage to introduce the 25-year-old. He described Cabello as “bright” and “filled with passion”, noting her diligence and conviction, despite being nervous about her first starring role in “Cinderella”. (Porter played the fairy godmother.) “She takes everything she does very seriously, including removing the stigma of mental health awareness and activism,” he said. “I find myself so moved that someone so young is so present. It’s time to honor and embrace those behind us, who are ready to change the world.

Wearing a dress by Maria Lucia Hohan, Cabello thanked Porter, recalling, “It’s true; I was shaking in my boots, and he got me. What a gigantic soul Billy has. I am truly grateful to him. »

She then used her remarks to espouse the benefits of therapy for her own mental health and to shine a light on the “great mothers of the world,” she said, reciting poems by Alice Walker.

Read Cabello’s speech in full below, and head here for her Variety Women’s Power Cover.

Thanks, Variety, for bringing us here at a time when the rights of women in America are under greater threat than at any time in the past 50 years. We are here tonight not only to celebrate the power of women, but to strengthen it for the many fights to come.

Venus, Kim, Queen Latifah, Amanda, Drew: it’s really surreal to be here with you. I knew I would have the feeling I have right now. Listening to these amazing women, I feel so excited and hopeful for the world. And it just feels like getting out of here, we can change the world. We can’t do it all in one day, but we can do a little at a time.

So many of my generation have been blessed to have you as role models who embody the generous, intelligent, and powerful women we want to be.

And when I think of “women’s power”, I think of all of you, of course, all of the compassion and creativity and possibility that exists in this room – yeah! — but I also think of the women in my family who have been a great inspiration to me all my life:

My mother who has started over in her life so many times. To leave his architecture degree and his life in Cuba, to move to Mexico, then to move to the United States and start from scratch – again. She always had this unwavering sense of courage, in people and in life. Despite everything she went through, she lived by the rule of generosity. Not just literally sharing food or money when she barely had her own, but the generosity of her time, energy and kindness. This quality goes back generations in my family. My mother always said that my great-grandmother, Yeya, had taught her this same generosity of spirit. … That same compassion and care for others. I am so lucky to have been surrounded by generations of women who have taught me so much and gone through so much to get us to where we are today.

When I think of female power, I also think of how women care about the world and everyone in it.

I think of the poet Alice Walker, who wrote in one of my favorite poems:

I call on all the Great Mothers of the Earth and each person

who own

the Grandmother spirit of respect for life

& protection of youth to stand up & lead.

I see the spirit of Grandmothers – it’s big, space, mothers, as Walker so aptly put it – in so many faces of my friends and so many of you.

I see it in everyone fighting for equality, opportunity and justice – and, yes, reproductive justice – on the front lines.

I see it in our history: in the countless women, remembered and forgotten, who fought for their families, their communities and our world.

When Alice Walker wrote “Calling All Grand Mothers” I was only 13. At the time, I couldn’t imagine singing on a stage in front of people – or speaking in front of people – let alone the world.

I was super shy about singing in front of people back then. In my teens and early twenties, I struggled with anxiety that at times felt paralyzing. My sanity was at rock bottom. I don’t know how I could have made it without my mother. She helped me find the therapist and the treatment that changed my life, and my manager too, who is there (hey Roger [Gold]).

Through it all, it was hard for me to socialize and just be a human. I had no room for anything else because my own struggle to be good was consuming everything. I needed all the tools I could get and with the resources I had, I was able to not only survive, but now thrive. Throughout my treatment, many of which happened during the pandemic and after, I found I suddenly had space for creativity again, for close friendships, for new hobbies, for activism. And those things made me feel more connected, grounded, and more myself than ever.

I realized that I can’t pour from an empty cup – I can’t be there for my career or my family or my community if I can’t find the space to heal myself. It was a hard lesson to learn, because as women we are often expected to be everything, to everyone, all the time.

This is one of the reasons I started working with the Movement Voter Fund to create the Healing Justice Project.

Just as women often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders, every day frontline organizers — especially women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and others with marginalized identities — are there to give their all. what they have to make our world a better place.

It’s often thankless and unrecognized work, which comes with long hours, too few resources and tons of emotional – and often traumatic – experiences. The cost of supporting these organizers is too high. We cannot afford to continue to lose passionate, experienced and effective leaders at the forefront of our nation’s justice movements – and they should not be forced to lose because we are not creating the space , time or resources for them to thrive as well.

Through the Healing Justice Project, we empower organizers to focus on their own healing while addressing the systemic, generational violence and oppression felt by so many communities. They constantly give of themselves but rarely have the support to fill their own cup.

My mental health journey has shown me that no matter who you are, no matter how much you love what you do, you can’t keep going if you don’t have the resources, the time, the space and the tools to heal.

I realized the importance of taking care of myself, but even more, I realized that I had to help others to do the same, to make the grassroots organizers who carry our world on their shoulders and make us move forward, have access to resources that changed everything for me.

In the end, the idea is both simple and powerful:

To heal the world, we must be able to heal ourselves, together. And vice versa, to heal ourselves, we must help heal the trauma, oppression and grief that is ever present in our world.

To my mother. To all the women who help me heal – who help heal the world;

To all the women who have supported me, loved me and brought me here;

To all those who pass on this same “Grandmother spirit” to the next generation: thank you.

As Alice Walker wrote:

Step forward and assume the role

for which you were created:

lead humanity

to health, happiness and reason.

Let’s all take this responsibility – for the communities we serve and the future we share. Thank you so much. What a beautiful event.

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