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Kerry Washington hosts 3rd night of DNC: 'We are fighting for the soul of this country'

The Democratic National Convention will be hosted by four celebrities this week: Eva Longoria, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Kerry Washington hosted the third night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Kerry Washington hosted the third night of the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention.
/ Source: TODAY

Kerry Washington is serving as the host on Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention, which also features speeches from vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

To kick off Wednesday night, Washington said, "We are fighting for the soul of this country and for our lives. And right now that fight is real. A more equal, more just future."

A different actor-slash-activist is emceeing each night of the convention. On Monday, Eva Longoria hosted, followed by Tracee Ellis Ross on Tuesday. The final night of the DNC will be hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

“The voices we’re including are the perfect messengers to lift up our theme of unity and help us engage with more Americans than ever before,” 2020 DNC program executive Stephanie Cutter said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about each of the Democratic National Convention celebrity hosts.

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria host DNC
Eva Longoria as host of the DNC on Monday night.DNCC via Getty Images

The actor and model, 45, best known for her leading role in “Desperate Housewives," has been politically active for years, speaking at both the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions. She also co-founded Latino Victory, a political action committee that works to increase Latino representation at every level of government.

The Mexican-American star earned a master’s degree in Chicano studies in 2013 and wrote her thesis on “the value of Latinas in STEM careers,” according to the LA Times. She has talked in the past about her commitment to securing better representation in government for women and people of color.

“You can’t give up,” she told The Guardian in November. “So when the midterms came along, I participated in helping people get elected to change the way our government looks. It should reflect reality, which is people of color and women. Making sure it reflects society is going to be my lifelong struggle.”

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross host DNC
Tracee Ellis Ross will host the DNC on Tuesday night.Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Ross, known for her role in “Black-ish,” emceed the second night of the convention. The evening’s theme, “Leadership Matters,” focused “on the leaders and the experts, the veterans and the activists, all those who seek to unite and not divide, and who step up — not back down — from a fight over what’s right,” the DNC said in a release.

Ross, 47, has been a leading voice in the Time’s Up movement, which supports women affected by sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. She also speaks frequently about the importance of rethinking beauty norms.

Her hair-care line, Pattern, tailored to women with textured, curly hair, is “inherently political,” she told InStyle this month. “The celebration of Blackness in the face of racism in and of itself is a political act of resistance.”

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington host DNC
Kerry Washington will host the DNC on Wednesday night.John Shearer / Getty Images

The “Scandal” star, 43, will host the third night of the convention under the theme “A More Perfect Union.” Washington spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in support of Barack Obama’s reelection, and she has since been active in multiple progressive causes.

She is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and the Black Lives Matter Movement, and she's also on the board of V-Day, an organization that fights to end violence against women and girls worldwide.

“My deepest desire is to create a world where there’s room for all of us, where no matter who you are, you get to wake up in the morning and know that you are worthwhile and deserving,” she told Glamour in 2017.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus host DNC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus will host the DNC on Thursday, the final night of the convention.Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

The “Seinfeld” star will moderate the final night of the convention, which will include Joe Biden’s acceptance speech.

Louis-Dreyfus, 59, has supported Democratic candidates for decades, campaigning for Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, supporting Barack Obama during both of his campaigns and announcing her endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Emmy winner, who played a fictional vice president (and later president) on “Veep,” has said she feel it’s her responsibility as someone in the public eye to speak about causes she values.

“As I’ve become more of a well-known actress, I’ve felt a certain responsibility. As something (writer and producer) Norman Lear once said, ‘Celebrity is something you spend,’” she said at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, according to Entertainment Weekly. “And, so, I thought, ‘Well, I need to spend this on something of worth.’”