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Kerry Washington

2013 Speaker

Kerry Washington is a versatile and fearless actress who continues to shine on both the big screen and small. A native of The Bronx, Washington has received a high acclaim for her work on stage, on television and on film.

Washington debuted in 2000 in the highly acclaimed independent film Our Song and later in the film Save The Last Dance, for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance. In the years following her debut, Washington starred in several films including Bad Company, The United States of Leland, The Human Stain, Sin, Against The Rope and She Hate Me.

In 2004, Washington starred alongside Jamie Foxx in the Academy Award nominated Ray. Her performance earned her the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. In the years to follow, Washington was seen in several other films including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Miracle at St. Anna, just to name a few. Washington received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland and the 2010 film Night Catches Us.

In 2010, Washington starred in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls alongside Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. That year Washington also made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s Race, starring James Spader and David Alan Grier. In 2012, Washington was seen in The Details with Tobey Maquire as well as A Thousand Words alongside Eddie Murphy.

Washington was recently seen in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained alongside Jamies Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture. Washington can next be seen in the comedy Peeples with Craig Robinson.

In television, Washington currently stars in the hit ABC drama Scandal. For this role, Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to headline a network TV show since the short-lived series Get Christie Love. In 2013, Washington was awarded an NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Olivia Pope and the show won for Best Drama. The NAACP also honored Washington with the President’s Award, recognizing special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service.

An activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities of 2009. She also is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Washington is currently a brand ambassador for Movado.