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Once best known for his role as Fez on That ‘70s Show, 40-year-old Wilmer Valderrama has more recently become very politically and socially active. Drawing on his own experience of living in Venezuela as a child and seeing how the narrative against immigrants and people of color was something he has the platform to potentially change, Wilmer has founded, participated and backs various organizations. Speaking about his new-found passion, Wilmer tells HOLA! USA: “You look at a lot of these organizations, and they do such incredible work on the ground and work that all of us won’t even comprehend. The way they organize; the way they mobilize, but also the lives they touch and the stories that they can tell. Diane [Guerrero] and I work on a multiple of them.”
Fellow actor and activist Diane Guerrero also has a personal connection with the plight of immigrants. She has written about her own story of her parents deportation back to Colombia when she was 14 and has been vested in using her platform to speak out on issues of injustice. “The reason why I gravitate toward these organizations is because they are not afraid to tell me the truth and how hard it is for a lot of marginalized groups out there, including some of the groups that I’m from,” she says of the highlighted organizations. “I just wanted to highlight them because I think that if more people paid attention to the people who are doing work that is valuable out there, then the better off we would be. These organizations continue to hold a place for me, hold the place for us where I can ask questions, and they are willing to educate freely. I appreciate that. These organizations are really doing the groundwork. If it weren’t for them, I don’t even know where we would be.”
Scroll through to learn more about the 10 people and philanthropies putting in the work to make this world a better place.