How Selena Gomez, Becky G and Other Latinx Celebs Are Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement
By Liz Calvario
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The Black Lives Matter movement isn't over just because the nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality have slowed down. The fight for justice continues every day with people heading to the polls in the coming months, signing petitions, donating, and speaking out on issues that are important to their communities.
Many Latin American and Afro-Latinx celebrities have shared words of solidarity for the Black community, which has been greatly impacted after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Whether it's taking to the streets in protest, lending their voices to organizations or sharing their personal experiences, here is how some of Hollywood's Latin American celebrities are helping push the narrative forward.
"Educating ourselves is the first step if we hope to make any progress in bringing an end to systemic racism," she expressed on her Instagram. "As much as one might want to believe things have gotten better we cannot deny any longer that they have not. We need to acknowledge that social, political and economic discrimination against Black communities continues to exist."
The 33-year-old Dominican American actress and singer tells ET that she's learned so much about the importance of giving back to the Latinx and Black communities. "I didn't even know my voice was important until I started using it," Cruz shares, noting that she's passionate about prison reform, diversity in Hollywood and raising awareness for Black Lives Matter.
Last month, Cruz attended a BLM protest in Washington Square Park in New York City. She's also having candid conversations about race, injustices and more on her Live With Jackie Instagram show.
"I feel like us, Latinos, and the Black community, work three times as hard just to get that opportunity," she explains. "We want to be the best and it's not like we're showing off, it's just what we have to do if we want to get ahead in life. I'm an example to my family. I am the one out of everyone who had this dream and didn't give up until I did it -- and no one can still believe it. And I'm still living it, I'm not there yet!"
The singer has been vocal about the need for change in the country. As an ally to the Black community, Becky expressed her emotions of seeing the injustices happening all around her. Through her platform, she continues to share petitions and useful resources to help the overall cause.
"As a Mexican American, I stand proudly with my Black brothers and sisters. This affects all of us and it should outrage you even if you’re not Black. When we know that something is terribly wrong and unjust, it is our responsibility, all of us, to acknowledge the problems and dedicate ourselves to the solutions to these problems," Becky tells ET exclusively. "Talking about these things shouldn’t be controversial. These are our realities."
"All lives can’t matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER. You can’t say ‘all lives matter’ if you are not outraged that Black men, women and children have been and are still being killed for the color of their skin. And as I reflect on my Latino community, it is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge that as we stand with our Black brothers and sisters, we also discriminate against our own of darker skin complexions," she continues. "It’s time to show up and be there for one another because this is our fight too! By speaking up, I hope it inspires conversations that we should be having amongst ourselves, with friends and in the workplace. Without them, nothing will change."
"I have vowed that my actions and the way I conduct myself as an artist moving forward will always align with my values as a human being," Becky adds. "It comes from a place in my heart that has always known deep down inside the responsibility that comes with the platform, which is something much bigger than just singing. I am determined to be a part of inspiring the change we need to see so badly and I know that along with each and every person that feels the same, we can create those opportunities for change."
The Grown-ish star has been an advocate for change and inclusivity throughout her career. Now, Raisa tells ET that she is creating a social media campaign that will further educate people on socio-cultural experiences and heath disparities amid the ongoing protests and COVID-19 pandemic.
"Black people are severely mistreated and systemically subjected to brutality and inequality. We all know the history and the narrative needs to change. Fighting for equality by standing with the BLM movement creates a ripple effect that will lead to equality for the Latinx community as well," Raisa tells ET. "By supporting our brothers and sisters in the Black community, it strengthens all people of color. When various communities come together, united in support of a common cause, that is what America is supposed to look like. It’s for all of us."
"I am currently developing a social media campaign. It aims to educate people on the health disparities and socio-cultural experiences faced by the Latinx community," she shares. "For example, our community has been hugely impacted by COVID-19, and there are several reasons for why the community is at risk. This campaign hopes to raise this awareness, talk about the issue and offer advice that is relatable and actionable."
"The campaign will focus on several topics, and the goal is to raise awareness and provide resources for support," she notes. "We are very much in the starting phases, but we have so many people who are excited to support the campaign, so keep an eye out!"
The singer, who will be making her acting debut in In the Heights, knows that silence is not an option for her. Aside from using her platforms to inform her fans and followers about BLM, the 25-year-old uses her art to educate others.
"I’ve learned influence is a privilege, and those of us who have it are called to use it for good. As an Afro-Latina, Dominican American woman though, I have my own experiences," Grace tells ET. "I answer that call by removing myself from the center and putting information and other rarely heard stories at the forefront instead. I believe our artistic gifts are just that -- gifts. And when you look at art in that sense, you realize that art is but a vehicle through which we have the opportunity to deliver the most important messages of our time."
"Through the art itself and through the influence it grants us. If we’re not using our platforms to not only bring joy, but also educate and bring awareness to matters that are emergent, I believe we may be missing the point of our purpose and not being the best stewards of our influence," she states.
"More than anything, I’ve been doing a lot of listening and learning of my own in this time, and sharing whatever is useful for our collective consciousness," she adds. "But most definitely, silence is not an option for me."
For the One Day at a Time actress, speaking out about causes that are important and help others is vital. Whether it's giving a call to action on her social media, noting the lack of diversity in Hollywood, or the societal problems in the U.S., Gomez tells ET that we need to "take care of each other."
"During this crucial time in the BLM movement I’ve been using my platform to amplify Black voices and information I, myself, have found helpful and educational. I think it’s really important we all hold each other accountable, continue to have uncomfortable conversations, stay informed on current events that may require our immediate action and remember that simply posting on socials does not an ally make," she expresses. "Don’t get me wrong, social media has been an incredible tool during all of this and we should absolutely continue posting resources, but engaging with those resources is also crucial."
"Let’s sign those petitions, let’s call and email our representatives, let's donate to as many causes as we can with our money and time, let's support Black-owned businesses, let’s watch content that educates us on what’s really been going on for decades," she continues. "Let’s watch media that has accurate and positive portrayals of the Black community, let’s keep protesting, let’s keep checking in on our Black loved ones, let’s listen way more than we speak."
"There’s a lot that we can do and I’m just hoping to make those action items a little more accessible through my platform," she notes. "At the time this is being written, there’s still a link in my bio that’s a great starter place. Take care of each other."
As a Puerto Rican, the 32-year-old model has opened up about the hardships she's faced throughout her career, specifically, her experiences when it comes to being a woman of color in the fashion industry. She's called out the fashion industry to do more when it comes to diversity and inclusivity instead of only speaking out when it's trendy.
"In every industry ... it's hard to break through and then once you're there, you kind of have to walk on eggshells because you're at the mercy of someone else, so I think I've earned my right to speak in this industry, to speak my truth," Smalls tells ET. "I am a professional. My resume speaks for itself, so at this point, it's like, how can I speak my truth and encourage others to do the same? .... If I come from a place of, you know, my personal experiences, you can't take that away from me. I'm not bashing anyone. I'm not attacking. I'm just saying what I lived through and what the industry has shown."
The supermodel is definitely doing her part to further the movement, pledging to donate half of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations supporting Black Lives Matter. She also launched donatemywage.org, which asks people for a one-time donation of a portion of their wages to go to Black Lives Matter organizations, and makes it easier to calculate a potential amount depending on one's salary. Smalls chose the 11 organizations the donations will go to, which include Black Women's Blueprint, The Marshall Project, Know Your Rights Camp and more.
"Our voice is who we are, and our vote is our voice. So to anyone watching, our hope depends on our vote and all of us coming together and using our voices and fighting for justice," Carson expresses. "I read a quote somewhere that really stuck with me that kind of really resonated with the movement that we're feeling and it said, 'The collective heartbeat of this movement is stronger than the fear that resists the inevitable change.' And that's precisely what we're witnessing. So use your voice. Fight for justice. Fight for what is right. Fight for our brothers and sisters, and most importantly, take your voice to the polls because that's our duty right now."
"We are in a time where we have so many people [that] are accepted, but also so many people are on the complete opposite spectrum of that," he said. "We need to be working to get everyone to be accepted just for who they are. Because it doesn’t really matter what your sexuality is, how you identify yourself as a person. You just need to be yourself authentically. I think that's the most important thing."
He's also a supporter of the We The Movement LA, an organization that protests against terrorism and killing of Black Americans.
The In the Heights star has been fighting for inclusion and diversity since stepping on the scene in Hamilton. The Puerto Rican actor has been supporting the Black community by participating in protests in New York with his fiancée, Jasmine Cephas Jones, raising awareness for organizations like Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign, and creating a master doc with nationwide charities people can donate to.
Most recently, Ramos teamed up with Storybooth to give kids the opportunity to express how they feel about the importance of the BLM movement.
"Now people in America are starting to feel what people in the hood have felt for years because now you can see it on a video," Ramos told The Guardian earlier this year. "But we’ve already been seeing this sh*t for years."
The "Havana" singer knows the importance of fighting for equality. She, along with boyfriend Shawn Mendes, took to the streets in protest, holding "Black Lives Matter" signs during the second day of the "Justice for George Floyd" protests in Miami.
From there, Cabello made sure to continue the fight online, sharing vital information on her social media platforms, raising awareness for LGBTQ people of all races, Dreamers, educating fans on the need to vote, what Juneteenth is all about, and more.
"Let’s keep marching together, keep standing together, keep making change together, keep speaking up for each other, step by step," she wrote on Instagram.
"I'm both heartbroken and inspired by recent events in our country. I won't be silent or stand still. Join me in taking action for racial justice, COVID-19 relief and getting ready to vote. Because we need change more than ever before," Lovato said in a video posted to her Instagram.
"The only way to win is to take action," she added. "Sign petitions, donate, educate yourself, learn to educate those around you. The more actions you take, the more chances you have to win, so please start now."
The Dominican American singer participated in the #TheShowMustBePaused and #BlackoutTuesday initiatives on social media, as a way of taking "an urgent step of action to help provoke accountability and change against racism, bigotry, and injustice."
"We must all band together, Latino, Black, White, Asian, to work for change. Our nation is tired of the racism, the division and the hate. We can only heal and move forward towards a better future by dealing with this head on, addressing it, educating ourselves and each other so that future generations never have to experience such injustices," he said in a statement given to Billboard. "This won’t bring any of the victims back but we must ensure they did not die in vain. Only in a nation free of racism will we all be able to breathe free again."
The Gentefied star is an activist on and off the screen. As a Dominican, Calderon has become a role model for many young girls who have never seen themselves represented on the screen. Calderon has been vocal about BLM, as well as sharing her own experiences of growing up as an Afro-Latina.
"I don't think growing up I saw anyone that looked like me. The only person I saw, that I continue to love, that always uplifts was Celia Cruz, a Black woman, Cuban, who was so proud of her Caribe, being from Latin Caribe and her roots and owning it," she told ET during a Gentefied set visit last year. "I didn't know that was going to be the trajectory I would take…And sure enough, I fell into that because I had to talk about things that were authentic to me and true to me. And obviously Afrolatinidad, talking about being a Dominican woman and coming from the Caribbean. I just immersed myself in it because it is who I am and I have to tell my truth."
Whether it's supporting immigrants from all over the world or showing support for the Black community, the On My Block star is vocal about the social justice issues he's passionate about. Amid the protests, Tinoco made his voice heard and advocated for change on his platform.
"An innocent man was murdered this week, clearly defenseless, clearly cooperating with the police, and begging for help, begging for them to let him breathe. Those officers couldn’t hear him then, I know for a fact they f**king hear him now. Corruption did this. Years of choosing to ignore the issue did this. Racism did this. Terrible leadership did this. Change needs to happen, not tomorrow, not in 10 years, but now," he wrote on Instagram. "Don’t ever let racism, corrupt cops, or an idiotic president ever make you think otherwise. The power lies in the hands of the people of the United States. The power is the hands of the colored. We are America. We want change. We want it now. We’ve done our part. Now do yours."
Additional reporting by Deidre Behar.
For more information and how to support the Black Lives Matter movement, see below.
Help the family of George Floyd HERE. Fight for Breonna Taylor HERE. Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery HERE.
Want to help protesters? Donate to one or more community bail funds HERE.