Eva-Longoria-Bastón "This is a movement, and we want it to become a movement for the Latinx community," she said.
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With COVID-19 severely impacting Latino communities in the U.S., the actor and philanthropist says now is the time to create systematic change in health, education, immigration reform, and the economy.  

Leave it to Eva Longoria Bastón to find the silver lining even in the darkest cloud. Together with a coalition of activists, leaders, and artists, the Mexican-American actor, producer, and philanthropist has launched Momento Latino, a movement working to erase longstanding inequalities towards Latinos, a group severely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at a moment in time that the country is listening and engaging in social activism. We want to capitalize on that momentum,” Longoria Bastón said. “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we could really use that energy and momentum to speak up for our community because we felt like nobody was really doing that. This is a time to unite and if we could unite and move forward together, we can not only amplify the issues but amplify the solutions that are positively going to affect our community.”

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Also headed by Democratic National Committee former finance Chairman Henry R. Muñoz III, the coalition will work to rally for the nation’s estimated 60 million Latinos, parts of which have long been underserved, and to create systematic change in the key areas in which they have been impacted the most since the pandemic began, such as health, education, immigration reform, and the economy.  

Latinos Hardest Hit by the Pandemic

“COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the Latino community’s health, education, and economic stability, including a lack of Spanish-language resources. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated long-standing inequalities,” Momento Latino posted on its website.

In California,  for example, Latinos make up almost 40% of the state’s population, but according to the Wall Street Journal, that also makes up more than half, or 55%, of all people infected with COVID-19. And because testing information on undocumented immigrants may not be accurate, that number could be even higher.

Latinos also have the highest rate of people who lack health insurance, with Texas having the greatest share of uninsured Latinos.

Muñoz, who co-founded Latino Victory Project with Longoria in 2014, said the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community calls for “unprecedented unity of voice and lifting of our voice.” 

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Latinos also have the highest rate of people who lack health insurance, with Texas having the greatest share of uninsured Latinos.

Muñoz, who co-founded Latino Victory Project with Longoria in 2014, said the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community calls for “unprecedented unity of voice and lifting of our voice.” 

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But the inequities that permeate the Latino communities were not caused by COVID-19, Longoria Baston pointed out; they have always been there, mostly unacknowledged or unaddressed. “It took a pandemic to tell us that farmworkers were essential,” she said.

A Call Out to Young Latinx

The coalition also includes co-founder Chef José Andrés and actors Jessica Garza and Johnathan Nieves. The “Penny Dreadful” actors encouraged young Latinos to join the movement.

“It isn’t enough to see what is going on and to recognize it and see inequalities and to just move on with our day,” Nieves said, adding that taking action “gives us a foundation to invest power into ourselves.”

“When we do that… we have the power to rewrite history, we have the power to fight against the negative narratives that can go in our own minds against ourselves, against our own community,” he said.

Longoria Baston agrees. “Momento Latino” is not about setting up a single fundraiser and walking away,” she promises.”It’s a movement and we want it to become a movement for the Latinx community.”