15 Latinas Caught on Camera Organizing for Social Justice

Hermanas, it’s International Women’s Day, and we are celebrating Latina activistas making moves for la comunidad. But instead of discussing why these muchachas are so badass, we are going to let some photos do the talking. After all, isn’t a picture worth a thousand words?

Whether they are protesting against police violence and deportation or organizing for environmental justice, reproductive health or transgender rights, these are some of the mujeres whose change-making was captured on camera.

MORE: 10 Feminist Lessons, As Taught By Latinas

1. Carmen Perez

Chicana Carmen Perez – co-founder of Justice League NYC, a task force focusing on issues relating to juvenile justice – is arrested at a protest against the non-indictment of police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the man responsible for the death of Eric Garner

2. Jessica González-Rojas

Puertorriqueña-Paraguayan Jessica González-Rojas, who heads the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, rallies at the Supreme Court with other Latinx activists as far as Texas in support of Whole Women's Health and abortion access in the U.S.

3. Bamby Salcedo

Here, trans Latina activist Bamby Salcedo demonstrates against the killings of transgender women of color. 

4. Lolita Lebrón

Puerto Rican revolutionary Lolita Lebrón is arrested after leading an armed attack at the United States Capitol in an effort to liberate her country from U.S. colonialism in 1954.

5. Rigoberta Menchú

Guatemalan indigenous leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú is photographed with burning oil on her hands found in the Ecuadorian Amazon to give evidence to the willful destruction of the natural environment.

6. Zapatistas

Indigenous women play a crucial role in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a revolutionary group in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico, that in 1994 declared war "against the Mexican state" as well as military, paramilitary and corporate invasions of their land.

7. Rosie Perez

Puerto Rican actress Rosie Perez, a long-time activist for Puerto Rican rights and AIDS awareness, speaks at a protest against former President George W. Bush

8. Angy Rivera

Here, colombiana Angy Rivera declares she is undocumented and unafraid at an action against deportations in New York.

9. Isa Noyola

Mexicana activista Isa Noyola was one of five trans and gender non-conforming people arrested at this action last year against the violence LGBTQ+ immigrants detained in the Santa Ana City Jail experience.

10. Kimberly Inez McGuire

Boricua reproductive justice activist Kimberly Inez McGuire demonstrates as the Supreme Court considers a case that will determine abortion access for millions of Latinxs. “I wanted to bring some Latina sabor to the rally, along with one of my heroes, Frida Kahlo,” she says. “Plus, who doesn't love puns?"

11. Dolores Huerta

Even in her older years, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta continues to demonstrate for the rights of workers, immigrants and women.

12. Young Lords

The women of the Young Lords supported independence for Puerto Rico, justice for people of color across Chicago and New York ‘hoods, and reproductive rights, among so much more. 

13. Rosario Dawson

Puerto Rican-Cuban actress and activist Rosario Dawson joined 2013 protests against the mass arrests of undocumented immigrants.

14. Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez

Long-time Chicana feminist, author and community organizer Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez speaks at a march in San Francisco against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s abuse of power and violence against immigrant communities.

15. Sylvia Rivera

While not photographed here marching in one of the many rallies the Puerto Rican-Venezuelan Sylvia Rivera led and participated in, this trans Latina organized for LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, anti-war movements, Puerto Rican justice and the eradication of homelessness, among so much more.