America Ferrera is a powerful public speaker. From her passionate address at the Democratic National Convention to a rallying cry against hate and injustice at the Women's March, time after time, the 32-year-old actress uses her platform to affect change. Her recent acceptance speech at the Human Right Campaign (HRC) gala dinner was no exception.
Ferrera was being honored and presented with the HRC Ally for Equality Award.
She's been a vocal advocate for equality and continues to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
She began her heartfelt speech by highlighting the importance of representation.
Ferrera called out the need for representation beyond the media — in schools, hospitals, and boardrooms. She reminded the audience of the impact and long-term effects of being able to have one's true, authentic self be portrayed across all areas of life.
"We know that it makes all the difference to see ourselves reflected by culture with dignity, with humor, with compassion. It is how most of us learn what is possible for us, what our place in the world is. Too often we have to spend so many years unlearning what culture has taught us about who we are or ought to be, but It doesn’t have to be that way. We can change that. Every single one of us, we can leave the next generation with a better reflection of their innate worth and their inherent power simply by claiming and living in our own power," she said.
If that didn't light a fire in your soul, what she had to say about inclusion will.
"Anything I've ever done on behalf of the LGBTQ community, I did in service to myself. Anything I ever did for the rights of this community I did because I believe — with every fiber of my being — that my liberation is bound up in the liberation of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and in the liberation of my black brothers and sisters, and in the liberation of immigrants, and refugees, and Muslims, and sikhs, and women all over the world, and the incarcerated, and the criminalized, and the uneducated, and the poor, and the hungry, and, and, and, and, and."*mic drop*