Growing up, Gina Rodriguez was always encouraged to be the change she wanted to see. “I was raised by a man that was like, ‘Don’t complain, go do it yourself. Why are you worrying about them; you do it,’” she told HOLA! USA at the second LatinX House Heritage Month event that took place in Los Angeles in collaboration with Time's Up.” And he’s like, ‘Go make it happen. Why are you waiting for somebody else to do it?’ And he couldn’t have been more correct.” It is that strong-willed mentality that has lead America Ferrera, Diane Guerrero, Karla Souza, Olga Segura, Alex Martinez Kondracke and activist Monica Ramirez, to name a few, to band together and change the narrative of the LatinX community in the United States.
Keep reading for the Diary of a Female President producer’s take on the inspiring day and what the future holds.
HOLA! USA: Seeing all these women put their voices together, how great does that make you feel?
Gina Rodriguez: “It is like my 15-year-old self is exploding. When I was younger, and I saw the lack of representation on film and TV, I would ask my mom, ‘Where are we? Where have we been? Did we just come about?’ And she'd be like, ‘No, we've always been here.’ This room, this collection, this unification, this desire to create abundance for the LatinX community and desire for us to come together to not only feel, embrace, but tell others about our positive power in this country and all over the world.”
And there are so many stories to be told…
“There are so many stories. Do you know how many beautiful cultures are under the Latinx community, under the Latinx umbrella? There are so many heroes; there are so many adventures. And we just need to combat [the negativity] with the positivity we feel in this room; we feel in our communities; we feel in our countries, and we're going to bring it. And we're going to show everybody how incredibly contributing we are and how loving, kind, generous and positive. We're creating this, the Latinx House, we're creating the Latina togetherness, the unification of the Latinx community all over the world for the positivity of our community. All positive, it's all love, and it's incredibly empowering.”
You have found your voice and can ban together and not wait for anybody else.
“And I think that's the whole point. In the past two years… this is the second annual lunch gathering of Latinx women. In the past two years we've seen that the statistics of visibility of Latinx on screen has not risen at all. It has always been my motivation before those stats even came out to create content for the Latinx community in front of, behind the camera. I mean I started my production company almost four years ago now. We just did our first straight to series with Disney Plus, Diary of a Female President. They are a positive Latinx family on screen with Disney Plus. America [Ferrera]'s company, Eva Longoria's company, we're all just not waiting. We’re making it ourselves, and there's no complaint; there's action.”
What do you envision for the future generations of Latinas?
“Oh, I'm hoping that they aren’t even going to have these kinds of discussions. They're going to look back, and they're going to be like, ‘Oh, because those women did it. Oh my god, there's opportunity galore all around me.”