The 26th Annual Environmental Media Association (EMA) Awards were held on Saturday. Actress and activist Shailene Woodley was honored with one of the top honors in the Film and Television category. She used the ceremony as an opportunity to speak out about an environmental issue close to her heart — and it left her in tears.
Woodley has been vocal about her disapproval of the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being constructed on Standing Rock Sioux ground in North Dakota and could potentially damage the land and water supply of the tribe that lives on the reservation. Woodley was recently arrested for trespassing on the project’s construction site during a protest and in her speech, she explained why fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline was so vital to not only the tribe’s survival, but all of ours. With tears in her eyes, Woodley told the crowd:
“108 of our brothers and sisters got arrested today for protecting clean water for not only those of us who are alive right now, but those of us who are to come…I want to make sure that my grand-babies won’t have to buy a bottle of water for $20, because clean water is impossible to find…our water isn’t being contaminated, it is contaminated.”
The actress then implored the guests at the EMA Awards to fight alongside her and her fellow protestors:
“What’s really important is standing up and making our voices so loud that they have no choice to ignore us. Go to Standing Rock…the time is now. We don’t have any more time.”
Woodley’s inspiring words were met with a standing ovation, and hopefully, she inspired the journalists, Hollywood elite, and viewers at home to fight for the issues close to their hearts.
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