Zoe Saldana talks about migrant families, immigrant grandmother

Zoe Saldana opens up about migrants at the border and Latinos being ‘mischaracterized’

The Marvel star visited migrant families at the border

Zoe Saldana is shining a light on migrant families. The Marvel star is working with the organization This is About Humanity, which provides humanitarian support to families on both sides of the border. The Avengers actress opened up to People magazine about why she decided to support the cause that hits close to home.

Zoe Saldana opened up about her late grandmother who immigrated from the Dominican Republic

“My grandmother arrived from the Dominican Republic in 1961, running away from a dictatorship that she was born into, and she landed in New York,” Zoe, 41, shared. “At that time she felt invited. She felt seen. She felt that America also was handing her all these tools, facilitating all these tools because they wanted her to win.” Sadly the actress’ grandmother passed away two months ago and was “extremely disappointed” with the current state of America today, because it’s not the America she knew.

MORE: Read Eva, America and Salma's open letter to the Latinx community

In August, Zoe was one of over 200 actors, musicians, artists, activists and labor and civil rights leaders who signed the  "Querida Familia Latina” letter in support of Latinos in the country.  Now, Zoe recently visited the border with This is About Humanity, where she met families who are being detained there. “The migrants are teachers, engineers, nurses,” she told People. “You sit down with 12-year-olds who left with the 8-year-old siblings, running away from sexual or domestic abuse,” adding, “We have to understand the human side of all of this.”

The Marvel star wants to shine a light on migrant families

While she noted that Latinos “are often overlooked or mischaracterized,” she said, “I think it’s important that we tell our own stories.” Zoe is doing her part to share positive Latinx stories with her Latinx digital media brand BESE, which she launched in 2017. In a statement at the time she told The Hollywood Reporter, "Latinos are a growing community in America, but Latino stories have remained historically marginalized.” 

Zoe continued, "I'm so excited to be leading BESE, a truly uplifting brand that fills a niche for young audiences craving positive portrayals of the modern Latino experience in America. I'm grateful to partner with Daniel, Monica and Plus Foundry so that more voices can be heard and empower others to actively create their own futures." 

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