The Cuban-American star said it had been an “honor” to meet her mother and sisters, and supported the bill that carries her name.
The family of Vanessa Guillén is on a promotional tour meeting with high-profile celebrities in order to bring awareness to the #IamVanessaGuillenbill. Earlier this week, Vanessa’s mother Gloria Guillén, and her two sisters, Mayra and Lupe, met with actress and activist Jada Pinkett Smith. Yesterday, they met with Gloria Estefan and her daughter Emily. The Guillén family will be featured on Estefan’s new Facebook talk show “Red Table Talk: The Estefans”—which is part of Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk” program.
“We were honored and privileged to interview for @redtabletalkestefans, Gloria Guillen, the mother of VanessaGuillen, daughter of immigrants & an American soldier who felt an early calling to defend our great nation in the military,” Estefan wrote on social media. “Her life was brutally taken & her mother, sisters, @mayrisssguillen & @xolupe and their fierce defender, @attorneynataliekhawam are trying to pass the #IamVanessaGuillenbill that would put into law much-needed protections for our heroes in the armed forces. Please contact your congressional representatives & demand they vote YES on the #IamVanessaGuillenBill.”
In late July, Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Speier, and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) issued their support for the #IamVanessaGuillenbill. The bill would allow military service members to file harassment and assault claims to a third-party agency instead of their command chain.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Vanessa Guillén’s mother Gloria Guillén and her two sisters @mayrisssguillen and @xolupe as well as their lawyer @attorneynataliekhawam who drafted the #IAmVanessaGuillenBill,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Instagram. “Please contact your congressional representatives and ask them to vote yes on the #IAmVanessaGuillenBill that will help protect the women and men that serve our country.”
On Sept. 2, the Guillén family issued a statement regarding the changes made by top officials at Fort Hood, which called to replace Major General Scott Efflandt. Efflandt will no longer oversee the Guillén investigation. In a statement to ABC11, the family said: “First, I would like to thank the Army and DOD for recognizing the seriousness of the matter at hand. Fort Hood and the Command structure is in much need of restructuring. While this is a small step in the direction for justice, this does not and will not address the issue of accountability. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, retaliation and other issues still plague our military. During these tumultuous times, we must enact strong effective policies that promote a safe environment for our service members. We owe it to our service members for all they sacrifice daily. We now call on Congress to provide an in-depth congressional investigation in order to provide correct and detailed accountability. We will seek to use the strength and support we received from our steadfast efforts to pass the #IamVanessaGuillen bill into a law. We will forever preserve her legacy by protecting those who honorably serve to protect us.”