It’s a well-known fact that Zendaya can do know wrong. The Spider-Man actress can sing, dance, make fun of old videos of herself on YouTube—the list goes on and on. She’s also an advocate for individuality and social justice and has no problem saying exactly what’s on her mind. That’s what happened at the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, where Zendaya went up on the stage to accept her surfboard for Choice Movie Actress; she took the opportunity and the platform to remind the young audiences who voted for her about their responsibility—and power—to effect change, in light of recent events.
Whether she’s shutting down body shamers on Twitter or making sure K.C. Undercover stays progressive, Zendaya isn’t afraid to stick her neck out for things that matter—and she wants all young people to be this way. So, when she stepped up to the mic on Sunday evening, the actress made a plea to millennials to use their voices when they see problems in the world.
Check out her full speech transcript, below:
“With all the injustice and the hatred and everything that ishappening not only in the world but in our country, I need for youyoung people to be educated. I need you to listen. I need you to payattention. I need you to understand that you have a voice and it’s OKto use it when you see something bad happening. Make sure that youstay educated, and do not let people tell you what you think youshould feel. You’re the leaders. You’re the future leaders of theworld. You’re future presidents. You’re future senators. You guys arethe ones who will make this world better. I’m just letting you know,right now, that you are the future. So take that very seriously.”
Though she didn’t call it out explicitly, Zendaya’s speech was no doubt prompted by the events transpiring in Charlottesville right now—not to mention the state of American politics in general.
She could’ve kept her speech short, sweet, and safe—so the fact she used her time onstage to relay such an important message is very admirable. It’s also, well, very Zendaya. Right on.
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