Lizzo brought 17 powerful women activists on stage with her and introduced each one.
At Tuesday night’s People’s Choice Awards, multi-hyphenate superstar Lizzo accepted the People’s Champion honor “for her contributions to music and TV, as well as her commitment to championing diversity and inclusion for people of all races, genders, sexualities and sizes.”
The Detroit rapper had her mother, Shari Johnson-Jefferson, present the award.
“When I think of Lizzo the word champion comes to mind,” she said. “She’s a champion of others, she builds you up and she’s always in your corner. I should know because I’m her mother. Melissa has always been herself, 100% that chic and she has shown us all that we don’t have to conform to anyone’s standards in order to be happy, to be creative and to feel worthy. I know that Lizzo has literally saved lives. No one is more deserving of this honor and I’m so proud of her.”
However, Lizzo said she nearly didn’t accept the award “because if I’m the people’s champ, I don’t need a trophy for championing people.”
“To be an icon is not about how long you’ve had your platform,” she continued. “Being an icon is what you do with that platform. And ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve used my platform to amplify marginalized voices.”
View this post on Instagram
Lizzo Brings 17 Activists on Stage With Her During Acceptance Speech
Doing just that, Lizzo wowed the audience and viewers at home when she brought 17 women activists who collectively fight to amplify marginalized voices including Indigenous, transgender, Asian-American, and Iranian women.
“These are all activists and people that I think deserve this spotlight. Make some noise for them right now.”
The “Good As Hell” singer went on to speak about each women sharing the stage with her and why they deserve this honor. Scroll down to meet the activists. This is why we love you, Lizzo!
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) December 7, 2022
Meet the Activists
Amariyanna Copeny: “Better known as Little Miss Flint. She spent the past eight years fighting to ensure everyone in Flint [Mich.,] and in communities across the nation has access to safe drinking water. She’s only 15-years-old.”
Shirley Raines: “Through her organization Beauty 2 the Streetz she makes the human connection with the unhoused people of Los Angeles and makes them feel loved and love what they see in the mirror.”
Yasmine Aker: She’s an Iranian American grassroots activist. She is a voice for the voiceless and works with various organization supporting the Iranian women and the people’s fight for freedom and democracy.”
Emiliana Guereca: “If you’ve been to a Women’s March, she’s probably behind it. As the founder of the Women’s March Foundation, she helps amplify our voices.”
Esther Young Lim: “She’s the author of the booklet ‘How to Report a Hate Crime’ and seeks to eradicate barriers and empower the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.”
Felicia “Fe” Montes: “She is a Chicana Indigenous artist and activist, co-founder of the groundbreaking women’s collective Mujeres de Maiz. She has created a safe platform for Indigenous women of color to express themselves.”
Jayla Rose Sullivan: “A professionally trained dancer who is making sure there is space for transgender and nonbinary performers in the dance community. Watch out for that big girl!”
Sullivan also competed on Lizzo’s Emmy-winning reality competition series, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.
Kara Roselle Smith: “She is a member of the Chappaquiddick Wampanoag Tribe. She works tirelessly to seek justice for Black and Indigenous communities and is fighting for Land Back and reparations.”
Maggie Mireles: “Her sister Eva Mireles was a teacher and a hero who lost her life protecting her students during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Maggie is continuing her fight against senseless and despicable gun violence that has become far too common. Make some noise.”
Amelia Bonow: “Co-founder of Shout Your Abortion, who is working to normalize abortion, increase awareness of abortion pills and motivate people to work and support abortion access in their communities.”
Odilia Romero: “An advocate and translator for the Indigenous peoples from Mexico and Central America who are now living in the United States. Her woman-led organization CIELO brings daily relief to her community in Los Angeles.”
Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh: “Who is committed to building a bridge between Jewish people of all colors and backgrounds and, as an Iranian American, she is fighting to amplify the plight of the Iranian people.” Rabizadeh is the director of student life at UCLA and VP of Jewish engagement at American Jewish University.
Sahar Pirzada: “Who is working on behalf of Muslim women in America to advance reproductive justice and protect the community from gendered violence and oppressive systems.” Pirzada works with The Heart to Grow.
Chandi Moore: “Who is a community health educator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, giving trans and gender-nonconforming youth the tools they need to live their lives as their authentic selves.” She is an HIV and trans rights activist.
Crystal Echo Hawk: “A member of the Pawnee nation of Oklahoma who seeks to amplify Native voices through her organization IllumiNative. She disrupts the invisibility of Native peoples here in America.”
Reshma Saujani: “She is advocating for the moms. As a founder of the Marshall Plan for Moms, she fights for paid family leave, affordable childcare and equal pay for all.” Saujani is also the author and CEO of Girls Who Code.
Tamika Palmer: “She fights in honor of the memory of her daughter, Breonna Taylor — Say her name! — who was killed in an act of police violence. The Breonna Taylor Foundation has and will continue to focus on pursuing justice for Breonna.”