Considering she's been an outspoken advocate in the past, America Ferrera's presence at the Women's March on Washington shouldn't come as a surprise. The Ugly Betty actor has vocalized her support of immigration reform, as well as women's rights, on numerous occasions. She also was a major proponent of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, penning a powerful essay on Medium. If you read that essay, this next sentence probably won't shock you either: Ferrera's speech at the Women's March was incredibly inspiring. In fact, it may even give you chills. When helping kick off the rally in D.C., she shared her own story — and stood up for others in the process. Ferrera told the crowd,
"As a woman and as a proud first-generation American born to Honduran immigrants, it’s been a heartbreaking time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack."
While she admitted a "platform of hate and division" won, she followed that up and said, "But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay." As if that wasn't powerful enough, perhaps the most noteworthy quote from the entire speech was this: "We will not go from being a nation of immigrants to a nation of ignorance." Can someone please print that on a t-shirt immediately? (And donate the proceeds to the ACLU, of course.)
Considering President Trump has promised to build a wall against Mexico and stated he wants to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., he's sent a message of keeping others out. Meanwhile, Ferrera's speech promotes inclusion and solidarity. Furthering that message, Ferrera explained in her speech why she's marching, "We march today for our families and our neighbors, for our future, for the causes we claim, and the causes that claim us.” If that doesn't motivate you to take action, I have no idea what will.
If, like me, you're not able to make it to D.C. or an accompanying march, you can luckily still experience the energy from a distance via the Women's March on Washington livestream over on ABC's YouTube page. While Ferrera's empowering speech was one that kicked off the day, it surely won't be the last.