‘Handmaids Tale’ Author Margret Atwood And MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Will Receive VH1’s Trailblazer Award

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Margret Atwood and Tarana Burke will join Academy Award-nominated director Ava Duvernay as recipients of the VH1 Trailblazer Honors in March. The annual ceremony kicks off Women’s History Month by honoring women who are currently making history in their own way. According to VH1, the ceremony will also include a performance by Rita Ora of her hit song “Soul Survivor.”

Atwood is a Canadian poet and author who has more than 50 published books which include fiction, poetry, and critical essays. She is best known for her book The Handmaid’s Tale, which she released in 1985. The dystopian novel was turned into a television series by Hulu in 2017, starring Elisabeth Moss as the leading character Offred. The series’ upcoming third season is set to premiere in June.

In November 2018, Atwood announced on her Twitter account that a sequel to the book is in the works. She said the book, titled The Testaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene in the novel and is narrated by three women.

“Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book,” she said via a Twitter video. “Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.”

Burke has worked as both an advocate and an activist for more than 25 years. She has worked in the intersection of racial justice, arts and culture, and sexual violence. She has created multiple campaigns surrounding these issues to increase resources and support for communities.

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She created the MeToo movement in 2006 as a way of supporting survivors of sexual violence. The movement gained notoriety in 2018 as women in Hollywood like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan shared their stories of abuse within the industry. Since then, Burke has continued her work by appearing on documentaries like Surviving R. Kelly and Vh1’s Love & Hip Hop Miami. On Monday’s episode of Love & Hip Hop, Burke spoke with stars Trina and Jessie Woo about their experiences with sexual abuse in the music industry. Burke said on her Instagram account that she hopes the episode will “resonate deeply with Black women and other survivors and their allies across the spectrum.”

VH1 Trailblazer Honors will also celebrate the most respected politicians, entertainers, artists, activists, allies, and icons for women empowerment within the last year, Deadline reports. The event will take place at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles and will be executive produced by Amy Doyle, Vanessa WhiteWolf, and Andria Parides.

Mark your calendars for the ceremony on March 8 at 9 p.m. EST.