Gorman at such a young age has established herself as a global phenomenon and a voice of change. In 2018 she was named one of Glamour’s College Women of the Year, since then, so much has changed.
The 23 year old in January, this year, made history as youngest known inaugural poet when she performed at the 59th Presidential Inauguration delivering her original composition, “The Hill We Climb,” at the Capitol in front of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris. In April the youth poet laureate made history once again as the first poet featured on the cover of Vogue Magazine.
“Don’t dream to be the next Amanda Gorman. Dream to be the first you,” Gorman said in her WOTY interview. “We need new, diverse, different voices, and the world isn’t served if people imitate me. The more that we have people who are excellent at doing what they do, I think the brighter and bolder we’ll all be for it.”
Gorman was honoured with her Women of the Year Awards, Monday, November 8, by trailblazing ballerina Misty Copeland.
“When I was just 16, I saw a Black ballerina on the cover of a magazine, and it changed the course of my life. Because I could see it, I believed that I could be it,” Copeland said in her introduction. “On January 20th of this year, when Kamala Harris took the oath of office, I pictured all kinds of women watching her and believing that we could shift from inequality to justice. And when I heard Amanda Gorman recite her poem ‘The Hill We Climb,’ I imagined all of the aspiring girls of color who saw themselves in her, and visualized their own potential.” “Amanda ushered in a new era of American letters that day. Through her epic Super Bowl performance, best-selling books, and influential social media presence, she shines optimism, patriotism, and light, and reminds us all that our voices and our words have the power to change the world.”
Amanda Gorman who wasn’t present at the 2021 Glamour Women of the Year Awards in person wrote a powerful speech in commemoration of the occasion:
“Thank you, everyone! I so wish I could be with you in person tonight–not only with the phenomenal honorees but the remarkable guests in the room. I want to give a huge thank you to Glamour for this award, and also for supporting me throughout the years. In 2018 I was named a Glamour College Woman of the Year, and I still remember being so excited to attend the Women of the Year Awards as an audience member. Little did I know that three years later, I’d come back as an honoree, and in the midst of a global pandemic.
“The issues that we see planet-wide just upped the stakes of fighting for gender equity and justice around the world. So tonight, I’m sharing my poem ‘Miracle of Morning’ because while I’m being honored, I in turn want to honor the incredible and necessary work that is being done on the front lines of the pandemic, especially by women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 76% of full-time health-care jobs are held by females. Our lives are literally in their hands. That is to say—if the future is female, then the world’s wellness dwells in women.
“The problems that we see around the globe are also interconnected, which also means that by uplifting women, we raise up us all. And so I hope that you can join in our cresting wave, using whatever instrument you have at hand, whether that be your intelligence, your ferocity, your voice, your heart.
“I wrote these words three years ago as a College Woman of the Year, and they still ring true:
Time and time again we’re shining, finding
That the glow of one woman is beautiful
But together our glamour is blinding.