Last night, actresses America Ferrera and Lena Dunham delivered a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that took aim at Donald Trump while also exposing personal truths.
The notable stars, who have been passionately campaigning for Hillary Clinton, began their joint speech by taking a huge stab at Trump's most vicious claims.
"Lena: Hi, I'm Lena Dunham and according to Donald Trump, my body is probably a two.
America: And I'm America Ferrera and according to Donald Trump, I'm probably a rapist.
Lena: You're not Mexican.
America: And president Obama isn't Kenyan, but that hasn't stopped Donald.
Lena: Now I know what you're all thinking: Why should I care what some television celebrity has to say about politics?
America: We feel the same way. But he is the Republican nominee, so we need to talk about him.
Lena: The un-funny fact is, this man would have you believe that our differences are more important than what unites us.
America: The truth is that this country was founded on the belief that what sets us apart — race, language, religion, sexual orientation – should not dissolve what binds us.
Lena: Which is why we're proud to say, 'we're with Hillary!'"
But for Latinos across the country, Ferrera's decision to speak about her upbringing resonated the most:
"As a child of Honduran immigrants, I am profoundly grateful for the access and opportunity that exists in this extraordinary nation. I was educated in public schools; my talents were nurtured through public arts programs and occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day.
Not everyone looks at the millions of young people like me — children born into struggling families, children born to immigrant parents, children who are immigrants themselves — and sees an investment. But Hillary has spent the last 30 years proving what she sees in us. Not our color, gender, or economic status, but our capacity to grow into thriving adults able to contribute great things to this country."
The truth is the public school system has a growing number of not only children of immigrants, but struggling families, to help as well. In California alone, which is where Ferrera was born and raised, 59% of children accept free lunch at school.
This graph shows a steady increase in the participation of free or reduced lunch.
According to a 2015 report by the Southern Education Foundation "for the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of public school students across the country are considered low-income. While poor children are spread across the country, concentrations are highest in the South and in the West."
When it comes to arts program in public schools, Ferrera's experience now seems like a luxury as Latinos seem less likely to receive an arts education.
The data by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), conducted in 2008 showed that only 26% Latinos ages 18-24 said that they got any kind of arts education, compared to 28% of Blacks and 59% of whites. "Further, 3.9 million public elementary school students do not have access to visual arts classes and 1.3 million public elementary school students have no access to music classes."
Ferrera's best line was: "Donald’s not making America great again, he’s making America hate again."
And hopefully our country will continue to help children reach heights like Ferrera's no matter what their economic or citizenship status is.