The video opens with the back of Meryl Streep’s head, then moves on to clips of Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey, Laverne Cox, Kerry Washington and most of the female cast of Shonda Rhimes’s hit political drama “Scandal.”
The women, 27 in all, riff on togetherness, pay equity, workplace leadership, and, as Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards introduces, the right of women to take charge of their own bodies. At one point in the video, which is set to a percussive soundtrack, the women explain it’s their choice when to say yes — and when to say no.
“Because, duh,” comedian Jessica Williams says in the video. “Literally, duh.”
This collection of famous, diverse women — actresses, writers, activists and CEOs — joined together in a promotional film posted online Monday to publicize the first ever “United State of Women” summit, a June 14 event held at the White House and hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
The two will sit down at the summit for a conversation about how far women have come during their lifetimes, the first lady’s office wrote on Medium, and they’ll discuss the challenges they’ve faced in their own careers. Registration for the conference closed at the end of May, after 5,000 people signed up, but those interested can watch a live stream on the summit’s website.
The conference will focus on six topics: equal pay; women’s health care; education; violence against women; entrepreneurship and leadership, and civic engagement.
A more detailed schedule will be released later this week, according to the Medium post, with a list of panelists, speakers and breakout sessions.
The summit is a collaboration of the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Department of State, Department of Labor, the Aspen Institute and Civic Nation. Women from around the world applied to attend the conference, posting videos on social media making a case for why they deserved an invitation.
After the promotional video launched Monday, fans of the movement and women featured in the film posted support on social media and #StateOfWomen was a trending topic on Facebook.
The promotional video also included spots from Jen Welter, the first female NFL coach and first woman to play running back in men’s professional football; Aidy Bryant, an actress, comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member; Megan Smith, the United States’ first female chief technology officer; Adepero Oduye, an actress known for her roles in “Pariah” and “12 Years a Slave”; and Indra Nooyi, the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
The video and Medium post were both published on the same day that former first lady and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton made history by securing enough delegates, according to the Associated Press, to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination and become the first woman to win a major political party’s nod.