Paras Griffin—WireImage/Getty Images
April 7, 2016 12:53 PM EDT

Shonda Rhimes says she was thrilled to attend the 2016 Black Girls Rock! celebration Tuesday, not only because she was being honored with the Shot Caller award, but also because she was able to bring her daughter, Harper.

“I wanted her to see not just the women on the stage, but I wanted her to see all of you in the audience, all of her peers,” Rhimes said while accepting the honor. “To sit in a room with you and feel the energy that’s here because she and you are the ones who count. The ones who matter.”

Rhimes went on to say that, while the people accepting awards may have already chosen their paths, she wanted the young people in the audience to think about theirs—and how they could use them to change the world.

“You have a right to the universe,” she said. “You were given that right simply by being born, so you already rock. You know you do, and if you don’t know after watching this night, I hope now you know. So mostly I ask, ‘What are you going to do with that, about that, because of that? Don’t look up here to us. Put us in your rearview mirror. Be someone extraordinary. Accomplish things that we could never imagine in our wildest dreams. Change the world, and when you’ve done that, change it again.”

Watch the entire speech:

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