A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, Insecure creator-star Issa Rae, and Daughters of the Dust helmer Julie Dash are supporting a powerful initiative for gender equality that took center stage during the Oscars telecast.
All three women appeared Sunday night in a moving Twitter commercial for the #HereWeAre movement, a hashtag aimed at spotlighting women’s voices across multiple industries and platforms.
“I heard a woman becomes herself the first time she speaks without permission,” poet Denice Frohman reads as black-and-white images of a diverse group of women—including DuVernay, Rae, and Dash— flash onscreen. “Say hero, and cast yourself in lead roles. When a girl pronounces her own name, there is glory. When a woman tells her own story, she lives forever.”
She continues: “If this poem is the only thing that survives me, tell them this is how I happened. Tell them I built me a throne. Tell them when we discovered life on another planet, and she built a bridge, not a border. I heard this is how you make history. This is how you create a new world.”
The #HereWeAre hashtag was created by Twitter CMO Leslie Berland, who first used it in a Dec. 3 tweet spotlighting the lack of female speakers at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show.
Since Berland’s initial tweet, the hashtag has been adopted by other influential female voices to champion women, some of whom tweeted their support for the movement during the Oscars ceremony, including Jennifer Brea, Laura Dern, Karlie Kloss, and Beth Behrs.
The ad also marks Twitter’s “biggest single ad spot buy yet,” according to a press release from the social media giant.
Watch the full #HereWeAre Oscars ad above.