Celebrities are increasingly using award show ceremonies to raise awareness on issues that are close to their heart, and at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Latina actress Shakira Barrera followed suit.
The GLOW actress attended the ceremony in a white gown with a blue-and-white cape. When she lifted her arms, the cloak turned into the Nicaraguan flag. Barrera’s bedazzled purse also had the words “Free Nicaragua” written on it, a rallying cry as the country nears one year of mass protests.
Last April, after President Daniel Ortega increased pension contributions from employers and reduced the pensions of retirees by 5 percent, the people, long angry with his administration, took to the streets, with protests exploding throughout the nation. The massive response, including the international attention demonstrators received, forced Ortega to reverse his pension reforms, but the people remain disappointed in the leader and raged at the way the state has attempted to suppress dissenters.
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“Silence supports the dictator. Speaking out loud and doing something is supporting the victims and that is what I’m doing today…supporting the victims.” Gracias @tntlatam for sharing your mic with me. Nicaragua, I am with you. #sosnicaragua #nicaragua #gritopornicaragua #sagawards2019
With her red carpet outfit, Barrera, a New Jersey-raised actress of Nicaraguan descent, used the the spotlight to bring attention to a fight that many have since forgotten about. And it’s not the only way she’s attempting to keep her people’s struggle at the forefront. According to Remezcla, the 28-year-old actress also uses her Instagram account to share messages to her followers about protests occurring in the Central American country and sends monthly donations to a Nicaraguan charity that helps their disabled community.
Even Sunday’s look intentionally helped out her people, as her attention-grabbing dress was made by Nicaraguan designer Germain Renner.
Catch Barrera playing Yo-Yo on the Netflix series GLOW.