On March 4th, Rolling Stone hosted its second annual Women Shaping the Future event, celebrating, raising, and honoring the influential female voices in culture. The event was the first to take place at the new Edge venue in Hudson Yards, which overlooks New York City.
To kick of the intimate conversations for the audience in attendance, Rolling Stone‘s entertainment editor Maria Fontoura invited actress Uzo Aduba to the stage to discuss her achievements (she won two Emmys for her role as “Crazy Eyes” on Orange Is the New Black) and the hurdles she had to overcome as a black woman in Hollywood.
“Growing up I never thought that there was a seat for me so I’ve decided to build my own table, come pull up a chair,” the Emmy-winning actress said, later adding: “Those things that make me unique make me different are actually the things that are most beautiful and exceptional about me.”
Aduba is set to star opposite Lupita Nyong’o in HBO Max’s Americanah, the limited series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. She’s also portraying trailblazing politician Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America, starring alongside Cate Blanchett who is portraying infamous conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. The star-studded movie also includes Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus, and Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan as trailblazing second-wave feminists.
The day also included Grammy-winning artist Jennifer Nettles, Lauren Jauregui, actress and comedian Retta, CAN-AM’s Senior VP Josée Perreault, and playwright Katori Hall. who also all spoke throughout the event about their distinct experiences as women breaking barriers in their respective industries. Performances included Grammy-nominated artist Grace Potter, Overcoats, Diana Gordon, and S.G. Goodman.