Tracee Ellis Ross Thinks Politics Makes Perfect Dinner Conversation

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Tracee Ellis Ross has a message for anyone who says women can’t be badasses and love fashion and getting dressed up at the same time. “How we clothe our bodies can very much be part of the story we tell the world,” she delivered to a room full of powerful women while wearing a gorgeous, ruffled Marc Jacobs top and sequined pants. Amen to that.

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Ross was speaking as the host of InStyle’s second Badass Women dinner, held at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles Saturday night and sponsored by Brahmin. She kicked off the night with a rousing speech about voting, encouraging attendees to acknowledge their privilege and to use their celebrity for good. “Posting on social media isn’t enough,” she said. “We have to get out there.” Tracee noted how she recently went door-to-door in Florida, and said canvassing neighborhoods can have a stronger impact than you might think. “This is not about the White House. This is about YOUR house. I want you to go out, vote early, and vote for those people who make you feel empowered and not afraid. And then go get your friends to vote. Get your family to vote. Go get that one person to vote who you know thinks that their vote doesn’t matter, because guess what. It REALLY matters,” she said.

VIDEO: Badass Women Dinner: Get Out and Vote

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Guests like Laverne Cox, Yaya DaCosta, Karla Welch, Tarana Burke, Nina Shaw, Channing Dungey, Katherine Langford, Aja Naomi King, and Ashlee Simpson Ross cheered the speech, and spoke about the candidates they’re supporting and the issues most important to them.

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After exchanging numbers, admiring their new Brahmin bags, pausing for many hugs between courses, and of course, taking some selfies, the night ended with the group singing “Happy Birthday” to Tracee, who turns 46 Monday.

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