Before Sunday night’s Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio presented a different kind of honor to Brazil’s first-ever minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards.
Co-chairs of the environmental event at NeueHouse Hollywood over the weekend included Cate Blanchett, fashion designer Tom Ford, Marvel star Simu Liu and model Quannah Chasinghorse.
Ford unveiled a Plastic Innovation Prize and honorees included UK Vogue editor Edward Enninful, designer Gabriela Hearst and “Clueless” star Alicia Silverstone, among others.
DiCaprio’s organization, Re:wild, created an Amazon Forest Fund in 2019 — and DiCaprio said in his remarks that the Amazon’s impact is felt well beyond South America.
Said the “Shutter Island” star, 48, “The simple fact is, the Amazon rainforest depends primarily on those who have the most experience at protecting its ecosystems. The stewards of this vital rainforest that sustains us all. And that is, without question, its indigenous defenders. Not only is the Amazon one of the most important places for wildlife – it is also key to sustaining life far beyond its borders. Helping to drive both global water cycles and weather patterns, that affect rainfall, even in California.”
DiCaprio went on to share, “Minister Guajajara has been a fierce environmental activist for many years, under often difficult and dangerous circumstances. During the former administration’s disastrous reign, she was a consistent beacon of hope. In the face of grave threats to Indigenous Peoples, she has been a powerful force, defending Brazil’s population of over 900,000 Indigenous Peoples and their more than 300 different cultures.”
Earlier this year, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil’s president, taking over from the country’s former far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro.
The new president has promised a drastic change in Brazil, saying at the time of his election, “Democracy was the great victor in this election, [overcoming] the most violent threats to freedom to vote, and the most abject campaign of lies and hate plotted to manipulate and embarrass the electorate.”
Board members of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards include Amber Valletta, Christopher Bevans, Bethann Hardison and Tonne Goodman.
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