Viva la mujer! Latina celebrities love standing up for women's rights and dedicating their time to giving back. Here are 10 stars who have proven to have big hearts for the cause. How do you give back to your community?
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The Desperate Housewives star is determined to make a name for herself outside of Hollywood. Longoria, who recently earned her Master’s in Chicano Studies, is set to participate in a panel discussion today moderated by the one and only former President Bill Clinton at the annual gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative America in Chicago. The Mexican American actress will give her take on achieving economic and social mobility.
Just last month, Longoria also attended a Senate committee hearing in Washington, during which she encouraged more support for minority woman-owned businesses. The Mexican actress owns two restaurants named Beso and She.
“Latinas are one of our nation's greatest natural resources, and we have to treat them as such. If we invest in giving Latinas the tools to unlock their potential today, we can create a brighter economic future for our country,” she said. Go Eva!
The “Beautiful” singer has spoken openly about her experience with domestic abust in the past and now works closely with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In a previous interview with Glamour, Christina explained, “I work very closely with a shelter near Pittsburgh. One day I hope to open a shelter of my own. I think it's really important to share my own story with women who've been abused, because going through that experience has lead me to where I am today: It's given me the strength and motivation to be the best that I can be.”
As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and founder of Pies Descalzos, the Colombian pop star pays it forward anyway that she can. In 2011, she visited India to empower young women and encourage gender equality. “My interaction with these adolescent girls was energizing and inspiring,” said Shakira. “It only reminded me, once again, that girls are a precious resource of intellectual and physical ability – a resource that can help to further society. They need the chance to be educated and empowered.”
The 34-year-old actress represents for countless of organizations including, Amnesty International, Voto Latino, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Dawson also joined forces with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their Purple Purse campaign last summer. “As an advocate to end violence against women, I know that most people agree it is hard to talk about domestic violence,” she also added, “Resources like the Purple Purse are very important as they give victims, and those who want to help, the power to do something and speak up without shame or fear.”
The 20-year-old mogul loves giving back. As the ambassador for UNICEF and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, Gomez dedicates her time to helping women and children across the globe. During a charity concert for UNICEF in 2012, the Disney star said, “Giving back has always been important to me. This concert allows me to connect with my fans in person which is one of the best parts of my job and to raise money for important causes at the same time I can’t think of anything I would enjoy doing more.”
The “Jenny From The Block” singer and her sister Lynda Lopez launched The Lopez Family Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the health of women and children by providing access to quality healthcare. “We grew up in a neighborhood that was not privileged, with an awareness of what many must go without,” she said in a statement, “Our goal is to dramatically increase the availability of quality health care and health education for women and children, regardless of their ability to pay.”
The actress is committed to several organizations, but the one she holds closest to her heart is Girl Up. The charity helps grant access to education and pregnancy prevention to women worldwide. "I’m so excited to become a Champion for Girl Up and to help make a difference for girls who aren’t given the same opportunities that most of us take for granted. I know that there are plenty of girls throughout the country who are just like me—ready and motivated to stand up for the rights and well being of girls in the developing world. I am confident that, together, we will rise to the challenge,” said Justice after joining the campaign in 2010.
The Mexican activist and actress launched her own self-titled foundation to help battered women and help raise awareness about domestic violence. She is also the spokesperson for the Pampers 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign, which helps pregnant women in need gain access to tetanus vaccines.
The Ugly Betty star knows about the power of making a good impression. Ferrera, who supports a number of charities, has worked with the Dress for Success non-profit organization, which provides interview suits and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide. She has also traveled to India for the PBS documentary Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. She said a woman “can be at the bottom of the bottom and find a way not to just lift herself up but her family and her entire community. That made me really proud to be a woman.”
The Cuban actress has a passion for women’s rights. In the Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide documentary, the star traveled to Sierra Leone to empower women and fight domestic violence. "The book made such an impact on me," said Eva about why she joined part of the program. She also expressed, “I was really shocked at what still goes on in the world regarding women and little girls.”