TheWrap’s fourth annual Power Women Summit welcomed media personality Ashlee Marie Preston, actresses Piper Perabo and Meagan Good and podcast host Siffat Haider to discuss the ins and outs of activism in the panel titled “Activism: Finding Your Cause.”
Haider, who hosts “The Dream Bigger Podcast,” kicked off the discussion, asking if there was a specific event or moment that got them interested in the issues that they were all working on.
“What got me activated in the last two years was Ahmaud Arbery, and then obviously after that, George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and just the things that, you know, continue to happen,” said Good — who works with the Compton school district through her organization, For the Greater Good. “I try not to make it about an event, but I try to make it a consistent lifestyle to be active and to be involved and to be proactive instead of reactive.”
Perabo, spurred by former President Donald Trump’s comments about grabbing women, works with the International Rescue Committee, as well as with Vote Run Lead, an organization that prepares women to run for public office.
“As I called all these people, and then I started showing up at all these different events, what I realized was that these issues are all intersectional and we need each other to solve them. Trans rights has to do with voting rights and health care and civil rights. So even though it was these two jerks on the bus…” Perabo said, referring to Trump and Billy Bush’s infamous “Access Hollywood” conversation, “that sort of woke me up. It was the leadership in all these different movements and seeing how it was all connected, seeing how everything is connected and how the solutions are connected, that that really got me started.”
Although the entertainment industry does reflect the world in some aspects, the women agreed that it could do more to parallel reality in other ways. Preston, a media personality and champion for trans rights, got her start after realizing the C-suite concept for many organizations or companies didn’t always represent the diversity of the world.
“I believe that joy is an act of resistance. When you think about what oppression’s meant to do — it’s meant to shatter you from the inside out,” Preston said. “It’s meant to destroy your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations, your capacity to imagine yourself a larger than your post in life. I would just say, use your passion, use the things that come natural to you, because if you don’t, it will feel too heavy and you will burn out quickly.”
“We all have our individual superpowers. Tapping into that,” Haider said, “it’s a beautiful sentiment.”
Other topics discussed in this panel include getting involved and navigating how to help, balancing activism with personal life, movements vs. moments and more.
You can watch the full panel here.
The Power Women Summit is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provides three days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote this year’s theme, “Represent.”