"If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone," the letter reads. "But, we will not be broken. We will not be silenced."

By Eliza Thompson
August 16, 2019 11:08 AM
Getty

A group of more than 150 actors, writers and activists have written a letter of solidarity in support of Latinxs in the United States following the devastating shooting in El Paso, Texas and the ICE raids in Mississippi. Published Friday in The New York Times, the letter was organized by actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Diane Guerrero, and Olga Segura, writer Alex Martinez Kondracke, and activist Mónica Ramírez.

“If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone,” the letter begins. “We have been smeared by political rhetoric and murdered in violent hate crimes. We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged. We have been targeted with mass shootings and mass ICE raids meant to terrify us, squash our hope, and break our spirits. But, we will not be broken. We will not be silenced.”

Olga Segura, one of the organizers, told People CHICA why working on the letter was so important to her, and says she hopes that it’s a “call to action” for the Latinx community in the United States and their allies. “As an immigrant myself, it felt incredibly important and urgent to do something that could express to the Latinx community that none of us are alone in this moment,” she says. “Now more than ever, we need to remember to lead with love and compassion for one another. I have hope that this nation will heal, but we must allow our common humanity unite us to do so.”

Other signees of the letter include Rita Moreno, Jennifer Lopez, Dolores Huerta, Rosie Perez, Sandra Cisneros, Rosario Dawson, Gina Rodriguez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dascha Polanco, Gina Torres, Becky G, Cristela Alonzo and Ricky Martin. “To our allies who feel our community’s pain, we need you,” the letter reads. “We cannot make change without your voices and action. We call on you to speak out loudly against hate, to contribute your resources to organizations that support our community, and to hold our leaders accountable. We ask you to join us in building a better country where we are all safe and valued.”

Mónica Ramírez, an activist and lawyer who’s been organizing for Latinx issues for more than two decades, says that the letter was put together in about a week, and that she and the other writers felt that it was important for Latinxs in the U.S. to “speak out with one voice” in the face of continued attacks against the community. “It’s very important that we continue to communicate with each other about what our shared values are,” she tells CHICA. “Right now as human beings, we’re spread out in different parts of the country, in different parts of the world, and even though we have technology that’s available to us, sometimes we’re still very isolated. … Every day, people can help in this moment by talking about what’s happening around them. That’s a very easy thing that we can all do. Speaking with our families, and people in our communities and our workplaces, etc.”

As for what the average person can do to feel a little less hopeless in a political moment like this one, Ramírez stresses the importance of calling your elected officials and expressing your thoughts on policy issues, but she also recommends simply talking. “Spread the message of tolerance and love,” she says. “In order for us to get past these dark moments, we’re really going to have to work together and be unified, and it’s our unity that is really what’s in the best interest of the nation.”

Advertisement


EDIT POST