Leading with their hearts and minds, these celebs inspire their millions of followers with their impassioned fight for justice, change and social reform.
Ricky Martin: Livin’ la Vida Political
He’s one of music’s biggest heartthrobs, but Ricky Martin has also emerged as a political influencer to be reckoned with. After Telegram conversations were leaked showing Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló openly mocking the pain of the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, Ricky Martin, along with fellow performers Bad Bunny and Residente, led massive demonstrations on the island that led Governor Ricardo Roselló to resign. But this is nothing new for the singer-actor, who calls himself “an activist for human rights.” And although his political involvement in the 2019 protests led to accusations of being an opportunist, he remains committed to the cause. “I believe that not being on the island has made me appreciate my culture more, appreciate my people more, my language, my music, where I come from,” he expressed.
Bad Bunny: Speaking Out
Benito Martínez Ocasio, the Reggaeton superstar internationally known as Bad Bunny, has never shied away from expressing his political views, damn the consequences. In 2019, along with Ricky Martin and other Boricuas, the multi Latin Grammy winner led protests asking for Gov. Ricardo Roselló to resign. And to call attention to the senseless killing of a homeless transgendered woman in Puerto Rico, during a presentation on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Puerto Rican artist wore a white T-shirt with the words “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt,” emblazoned in Spanish. To him, speaking out against injustice everywhere is important, but even more so when it comes to raising awareness about “la isla.”
Eva Longoria: For Latino Americanos
“My priority is advocating for democracy itself,” Mexican-American actress, producer and overall powerhouse Eva Longoria has said. With over 14 million followers in her social media accounts, the Desperate Housewives alum is one of today’s biggest Latino influencers. For the staunch Democrat who began her activism in high school, the 2020 presidential elections are decisive. So she has a clear message for the candidates: “For [those] who want to speak to issues that matter to Latinos, I would encourage them to remember they’re talking about issues that matter to Americans. Latinos are Americans, and we struggle in the same way.”
Buscabulla: They Walk the Talk
Raquel Berríos and Luis Alfredo Del Valle, aka Buscabulla, don’t just make sweet music with their fusion of indie dance-pop with Boricua beats like bomba, plena, and salsa. They literally walk the talk. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico in 2017, more than 160,000 Puerto Ricans left the island. But the Brooklyn based duo went in the opposite direction. They left New York and moved home to help with rebuilding. There, Berríos founded a non-profit organization called PRIMA to assist boricua artists and encourage them to remain on the island. In the summer of 2019, Buscabulla released “Vámono,” an homage to the strength, pride, and resistance, Puerto Rican style.
“We live in a time where anyone that has a platform must take action and help their community. It’s our responsibility as Puerto Ricans to help with the many challenges we face as a nation. Our grain of salt comes in helping independent artists (PRIMA) in the Island, supporting them in times of crisis and amplifying their voices beyond the limits of the island, Raquel told The Americano.
As for the lessons Hurricane Maria taught the couple, Luis shared: “we’ve learned that empathy goes a long way and that it can be contagious. And that through a network of individuals that really care, a lot can be achieved. We especially noticed this after all the amazing community efforts that came after Maria and the earthquakes.”
America Ferrera: A Passion for America
She’s been called Hollywood’s most ardent political activist, one who not only inspires her followers to fight for political change but other celebrities as well. Ferrera has enlisted an army of celebrities, everyone from Natalie Portman and Alicia Keys to Zoe Saldana, to join her in fighting for social justice. Harness, the nonprofit Ferrera and husband Ryan Piers Williams founded in 2016, gives artists different ways to connect with the public and make a create a strong political impact. For instance, in one Harness event, singer Katy Perry live-streamed a dinner she hosted with young political activists. What motivates and inspires her political passion? “People make decisions every single day that impact my life—the air I breathe, my ability to walk down the street and be safe…,” she says. “At every important social moment in our history, artists have played a role… At the end of the day, it’s about wielding that sword with awareness.”