Kerry Washington has gone from gladiator to guiding light.
The star of ABC’s Scandal has been named the next recipient of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Actors Inspiration Award, which honors a performer who has given back to fellow actors and the community at large, EW and PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.
Washington will become the third person to receive the accolade, following Sofia Vergara and Leonardo DiCaprio.
On screen, Washington is best known for playing Olivia Pope, the unflappable political fixer and self-described “gladiator in a suit” on Scandal; she also portrayed Anita Hill in the recent HBO drama Confirmation.
Off screen, Washington has been a longtime champion of civil rights and public service. She served on President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009 and has been recognized with the NAACP President’s Award, the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award, and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award.
“Kerry’s continuous support for our programs and her fellow actors, and her dedication to countless social and political causes exemplify the essence of this award,” SAG-AFTRA Foundation President JoBeth Williams said in a statement.
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports members of the SAG-AFTRA performers union and also serves the public through children’s literacy programs.
Washington’s award will be presented at the foundation’s Los Angeles Golf Classic on June 13.