Last night, at the People’s Choice Awards, Jennifer Hudson took the stage with her older sister Julia to accept the Favorite Humanitarian Award for her work with the Julian D. King Foundation. The two sisters founded the charity in 2008, in memory of Julia’s 7-year-old son, who was murdered by her ex-husband; today, the Foundation works to provide stability and support for children of all backgrounds.
Accepting the award, Hudson spoke to the importance of providing kids with inspiration and role models: “For me as a kid, all it took — I don’t even know what star it was who came to my school, but I looked and said, ‘Wow, if they did it, then that means I can do it, too,’” she said.
“Where we come from, all you hear about is who shot who, who went to jail … They’re only exposed to negativity,” Hudson reflected. “It’s one thing to be a celebrity and have power — there’s only so much we can have — but it means nothing if we’re not making a difference, trying to help someone else, trying to change a life,” she said, to resounding applause. Watch the full video of her acceptance speech below.