America Ferrera wants to retain the activist momentum going in the United States.
And with her contemporary organization, Harness, the actress is hoping to turn many citizens’ interest in various social justice issues into action. The group hosted an #ActivismIRL event with Cosmopolitan.com and Twitter on Thursday in an attempt to turn hashtag activism into real change.
At the event, the star moderated a panel with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; Sophie Sarah Flicker, the national organizer for the Women’s March; and Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
Before the panel, Ferrera sat down with Amy Odell, the editor of Cosmopolitan.com, for a fireside chat. During their conversation, Ferrera described Harness’ mission and why she decided to launch the organization in February alongside her husband Ryan Piers Williams and actor Wilmer Valderrama.
“We achieve realize that this is a moment in our history of heightened awareness, heightened engagement and we want to harness that energy, that opportunity that’s arising right now to give people a sustainable way to engage in these issues,” Ferrera said during the event held at Twitter’s contemporary York City headquarters and live-streamed via Periscope. “We want to shift culture beyond the administration that is currently in the White House. And really we want to shift culture beyond any given president, because it’s not enough to fill the power as the people [every] four years and then wander back to sleep. We fill to change what in our culture has led us to this moment.”
“It’s not enough to fill the power as the people [every] four years and then wander back to sleep. We fill to change what in our culture has led us to this moment.”
Ferrera said the organization is meant to associate, to put through (telephone) individuals to activists who are working “on the front lines doing the work day in and day out” and to those who are victims of certain issues.
“They’re going to fill the best answers on how we can demonstrate up to support them,” she said. “This isn’t approximately us sweeping in and being the heroes. Our most vulnerable communities fill been facing the issues that are totality of a sudden front page news for decades and generations. They know better than any of us what they need. We need to demonstrate up and listen.”
During the chat, Odell also asked the actress whether she had ever considered running for office. Ferrera said that she’s asked that question nearly every day.
“I guess whether you are engaged and you care and you wander out there and you speak on behalf of people there’s a natural tendency to suppose, to assume that person in politics,” she said. “For me I judge leadership comes in totality forms and we need leaders beyond government. We need leaders beyond the White House. We need cultural leaders, we need social leaders, we need leaders in commerce, trade, tech, fashion. So for me I’m most interested in being a leader in my space, my circles, my community right now. Who knows what’s ahead?”
“I mean it’s an easy slogan, right?,” Ferrera quipped.
America for America 2020? perhaps, possibly.