Viola Davis Gives Moving Speech on Growing Up Hungry

by Rosalyn Oshmyansky 2:35 PM PDT, October 11, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Viola Davis' is not just bringing awareness to hungry children and families, it's a cause that hits her close to home.

How To Get Away with Murder's Viola Davis was honored at Variety's Power of Women event on Friday in Los Angeles for her work with the Hunger Is campaign.

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When she received the award, she opened up about how she was one of the 17 million kids who didn't know where she would get her next meal.

In tears, she said, "Although my childhood was filled with many happy memories, it was also spent in abject poverty."

She describes what she went through as a child, "I did everything to get food. I have stolen for food. I have jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food. I have befriended people in the neighborhood, who I knew had mothers who cooked three meals a day for food, and I sacrificed a childhood for food and grew up in immense shame."

The Hunger Is campaign raises awareness and funds to help hungry children and families in the United States. She says, "I didn't decide to join the Hunger Is campaign to save the world. I didn't. I set out to save myself."

At 49, she says she's beginning to heal, but there's one word she wants to get rid of still.

"The word I would like to eradicate today is 'unspeakable,' because I think everything should be spoken...I think shame should be spoken."

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Inspiring others with both her words and her actions, she asks to be joined on "this service train."

To feel even more inspired, watch the video below to see who inspires the women in Hollywood.

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