The Smithsonian on Wednesday night honored American innovators with their 7th annual American Ingenuity Awards.

Among the honorees was Jaclyn Corin, one of the survivors of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., and an activist against gun violence.

In her acceptance speech on behalf of March for Our Lives and the Parkland Survivors in Youth, Corin said the recent midterm elections showed that the issue of gun violence is resonating with American voters


“I think people are definitely relating more and it’s definitely going to be a hot topic moving forward in our political system, as it should be,” Corin said.

The awards gala, held at the National Portrait Gallery, honored “groundbreaking innovators” who are at the forefront of arts, culture and politics.

Actor John Leguizamo was among the recipients, winning the award for history.

“They ‘built a wall’ around our historical contributions," Leguizamo said of Latino history.

He also spoke to the importance of voting and reaching out to Latinos

“I think the problem for Latin voter turnout is that no one talks to them directly. Nobody knocks on their door directly, and until you do that, you can’t expect that vote to be yours. You have to earn it. You have to work for it,” he said.

In addition to Leguizamo and Corin, other recipients included Dr. Albert Maguire and Dr. Jean Bennett for their work to help the visually impaired; John Krafcik and Dmitri Dolgov for their self-driving vehicle company Waymo; Mónica Ramírez and Mily Treviño-Sauceda for their work combating sexual misconduct against female farmworkers; Scott Bolton for his work on Juno, NASA’s probe to Jupiter; and Tracy K. Smith for her service as the 52nd United States Poet Laureate.

John Krasinski received the award for Visual Arts for his work in the movie “A Quiet Place” and singer Janelle Monáe was honored for her album “Dirty Computer.”

Legendary singer Stevie Wonder surprised the audience by presenting Monáe with her award, bringing the artist to tears.

After her performance, Monáe brought Wonder back on stage.

“Let’s make love great again," he said.

Krasinski spoke about national unity and shared his experiences with Navy SEALs while filming the movie "13 Hours" about the deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“They just said, ‘politics and politicians come and go, and we go out every day on the front lines to fight for the soul of our country, to fight for the fabric of this country,’ ” Krasinski said. “That kind of made me think that’s what we are all after. That the political game seems to be a little bit of a removal from the reality of what we should be talking about.”

Krasinski also encouraged people to stay involved in politics.

“I think it’s everyone’s civic duty, and also it’s a privilege so you should get out there and do it. I have never been one to sway people on their political feelings, but certainly to get out and participate, that’s something everyone should do,” he said.