America Ferrera Hits Auraria Campus

LATINA ACTRESS URGES STUDENTS TO VOTE

Actress and political activist America Ferrera stopped by Auraria Campus on Oct. 26th to encourage students to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Ferrera founded the organization “Voto Latino,” which educates members of the Latin@ community on voting and democracy. The campus event drew a crowd of hundreds of students from all three schools, eager to hear Ferrera speak in the Tivoli Quad.

“We are American because of our diversity”

Ferrera born in Los Angeles, CA, and is a first generation American. She understands the struggle that many immigrants face when coming to America. “I’m not standing here as a celebrity,” Ferrera said. “I might have this platform because of my career, but I’m here because I am one of you. I come from very humble beginnings and I am deeply impacted today by the issues I grew up with.”

 

She went to school with students from various cultural backgrounds, where the language they spoke at home was different from the language they were taught at school. “We were American because of our diversity—not in spite of it,” Ferrera said.

In this election cycle, many people have been the target of hate speech. Ferrera addressed that tension felt. “If you have not been attacked or offended in this election cycle then you need to get out, because that means you or someone you know is not Latino, is not a woman, is not Arab, is not gay, is not transgender,” Ferrera said. “We or someone we love has been attacked in the last 15 to 18 months. What this election is about is whether or not we stand up to that kind of speech toward us and the people that we love.”

Ferrera wasn’t speaking on campus to endorse one candidate over the other. She was speaking about voting and the power that voters have. “Doing nothing and sitting it out is not an option,” Ferrera said. “Rest assured—if you don’t use your vote, you are leaving a vacuum for somebody else to make the decision for you.”

She stressed the importance of being politically active in this presidential election. “This is not the election to not vote,” Ferrera said. “Also on the ballot is our dignity and our humanity, and if we don’t show up we allow the type of rhetoric that has been spoken about us and our communities to go uncontested.”

Ferrera encouraged students to exercise their political power on Nov. 8 through voting.

Morgan Mackey
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