BY: AMANDA NYANG'ORO
You know her from "Being Mary Jane," "Think Like a Man" and "Bring It On." Now you can get to know her in real life.
The Kennedy Political Union has announced that actress and activist Gabrielle Union will be this year's All-American Weekend guest speaker. She'll be joining the annual festivities on Oct. 21 at 8:15 p.m. in Bender Arena.
There won't be any tickets for the event, but instead, students will be admitted on a first-come-first-serve basis with a valid American University student ID.
I know. We're shocked too.
Here are some (more) reasons why you should be excited:
You get to see Mary Jane Paul in the flesh.
Gabrielle Union currently stars in the critically acclaimed BET drama series, "Being Mary Jane." Union plays Mary Jane Paul, a successful TV news anchor trying to balance her complicated private and professional life, all while searching for "Mr. Right." She has also appeared in a number of films: "Two Can Play That Game" (2001), "Bad Boys II" (2003), "Deliver Us From Eva" (2003), "Daddy's Little Girls" (2007) and "The Birth of a Nation" (2016), just to name a few.
2. She's gives back to the community. Honestly, truly.
Not many people know that, in addition to acting, Union is an activist. The Omaha, Nebraska-native proudly supports the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), an organization that helps young women diagnosed with breast cancer. She is also a Susan G. Komen Foundation ambassador, and travels on behalf of both Komen and YSC to share her story of losing a friend to breast cancer.
In 2004, she helped to create A Step for Success, a program that raises money for low-income children in Los Angeles.
Union is also a sexual assault survivor, and is know for her work with the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at the University of California, Los Angeles.
3. She has a fashion line. That's right, you can dress like her too.
Union just released a collection for New York and Company, which consists of 21 pieces ranging from tops to dresses to outerwear. What's even better is that the line includes all sizes between 0 and 20 so that any woman can look "eclectic and fly," as Union describes the line, for an affordable price.
4. She has now added "author" to her resume.
Union's new book, "We're Going to Need More Wine," is set to be released this month. Her book features a collection of powerful essays that are funny, complicated and true as they explore topics of gender, sexuality, beauty, race, Hollywood and what it means to be a modern woman.
5. She is a true representation of âœ¨Black Girl Magicâœ¨
As an actress, an activist, a fashion designer and now an author, Union is truly represents #BlackGirlMagic.
We almost forgot to mention that Union is a living and breathing fountain of youth. At age 44, she doesn't look a day older than the Class of 2021. Just watch her 2013 speech at ESSENCE's annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon and you'll see what we're talking about. Amazing, right?