Time magazine revealed its annual “100 Most Influential People” list for 2018 on Thursday celebrating pioneers, artists, icons, and leaders. Of the one hundred slots to fill, the news magazine only managed to recognize seven Latinas this year. Still, we’re beyond pumped to see this year’s most influential Latinas make the cut.
Here’s a look at the Latinas making waves in their industries and arenas.
Emma González’s strength and activism was praised by President Barack Obama.
— ProgressOhio (@ProgressOhio) April 19, 2018
For Time’s annual list, the 44th president of the United States celebrated and praised Emma González and her fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the activism that they have displayed in the wake of the February 14 shooting that terrorized their school.
“By bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency. The NRA’s favored candidates are starting to fear they might lose. Law-abiding gun owners are starting to speak out. As these young leaders make common cause with African Americans and Latinos—the disproportionate victims of gun violence—and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow,” the former president wrote in his piece for the magazine.
Carmen Yulín Cruz’s refusal to let her people be ignored put her in the category of leaders.
Last September, when Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico, Cruz rose up as an unwavering voice who refused to let the disenfranchised citizens of the territory be ignored. In a short essay written by Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro, the Oscar winner hailed Cruz for her uncompromising strength in fighting for the 3.4 million American citizens on the island who were at the time and have been historically ill-treated and ignored by their own country.
“Cruz’s legacy will be marked by her uncompromising refusal to let anyone ignore the lives of those affected by the hurricane. For this we are forever grateful,” Del Toro shared.
Jennifer Lopez is described as an iconic performer and activist by another artist the Bronx.
@jlo is one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018—and one of our six #TIME100 covers. "As a kid growing up in the Bronx," writes Emmy-nominated actor @kerrywashington, "I used to watch Jennifer Lopez from the wings. Several of us girls would hide in the folds of the curtains at the Boys & Girls Club to watch her perform. We were in awe of our neighborhood role model and phenom. When Jennifer left the Bronx to pursue her dreams, I would rush to finish my homework on Sunday to watch her on In Living Color. She made me believe that you could come from where we came from and achieve whatever you imagine is possible." Lopez became the first Latina actor to earn over $1 million for a film and the first woman to have a No. 1 album and a No. 1 movie in the same week. Adds Washington: "But she’s also a mother, an entrepreneur, an activist, a designer, a beauty icon, a philanthropist and a producer. She is an undeniable force and a powerful example—not just for women of color but for anyone who has been made to feel 'other' and for everyone who carries the burden and the privilege of being a first." See the full list at TIME.com/100. Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME
As “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington explains in the piece she penned about Jennifer Lopez, the singer has been inspiring Washington long before she reached fame as Selena. In her article, Washington described what it was like to be a kid growing up in the Bronx alongside Lopez. “I used to watch Jennifer Lopez from the wings. Several of us girls would hide in the folds of the curtains at the Boys & Girls Club to watch her perform. We were in awe of our neighborhood role model and phenom. When Jennifer left the Bronx to pursue her dreams, I would rush to finish my homework on Sunday to watch her on In Living Color. She made me believe that you could come from where we came from and achieve whatever you imagine is possible,” Washington said before speaking about Lopez’s accomplishment of becoming the “first Latina actor to earn over $1 million for a film and the first woman to have a No. 1 album and a No. 1 movie in the same week.”
Washington’s essay went on to celebrate Lopez for all the many roads that she has paved for the female artists of color that have followed her saying “She’s also a mother, an entrepreneur, an activist, a designer, a beauty icon, a philanthropist and a producer. She is an undeniable force and a powerful example—not just for women of color but for anyone who has been made to feel ‘other’ and for everyone who carries the burden and the privilege of being a first.”
Unconventional artist Cardi was honored for her ability to be outspoken.
Golden Globe-winning actress Taraji P. Henson described in her article the awe and satisfaction she has felt at seeing Cardi B’s rise in relationship to her own career success. “When I first came up, people said, “She’s too edgy.” But I can do Shakespeare in the Park! You can’t judge me based on where I come from or the colloquialisms that I speak with because that’s who I am.” Henson wrote. “I identify with Cardi B, because she knows that too. The first time I went on her Instagram page, she was so raw, coming at you, like, whoa! She used words like “shmoney” and “shmoves,” and she talked openly about being a former stripper. And she was proud of it—like, So what, I was on the pole, look what I parlayed that into?”
An advocate spoke to the importance of Cristina Jiménez’s work for Dreamers.
These 3 women demonstrate the power of voice, of persistent action, and of believing that meaningful and lasting change is possible in our democratic society. Meet the next 3 women trailblazers in our #WomensHistoryMonth series, honorees #JillMossGreenberg, #RomaGuy & #CristinaJiménez on the Nasty Talk blog. #linkinbio ⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ .⠀⠀ #nastywoman #nastywomen #nastywomanwines #intersectionalfeminism #intersectionality #feminist #womensrights #womenwhoinspire #inspiringwomen #feminisim #fightdiscrimination
In her essay for the Time’s, Selena Gomez wrote about the importance of seeing a Latina activist like Cristina Jiménez become the American dream. “She dreams big. She dreams because she wants there to be a future for the roughly 700,000 young people who, by no choice of their own, were brought to the U.S. as children by their undocumented immigrant parents. She dreams because she wants the fear and anxiety of the unknown to end. She dreams because she is one of the Dreamers who could be affected by the reversal of DACA.” Gomez explained. “As a nation of immigrants, the country is filled with those who believe in the American Dream: the ideal that everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination.”
A president shared her love for actress Daniela Vega.
Esta noche es la gran fiesta de queen @nomiruiz y estaré ahí junto a colegas a toda raja como otra reina, miss @javieramena y los reyes del tocadiscos Roman&Castro vamos a bailar y cantar todos juntos. nos vemos en la @blondiecl ? Para Galio foto: @pepo_fernandez producción (mi adorado ) @esteban_pomar maquillaje @raulflores
Chile’s former president, Michelle Bachelet recalled the importance of seeing “A Fantastic Woman” actress make history by being the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards for her country. “The movie shows the challenges we face not only as a country but also as human beings—that is, to accept and confront the reality of transgender people in our societies. It’s urgent, and a matter of human rights,” Bachelet explained. “When Daniela made history as the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards, she said this onstage: ‘I want to invite you to open your heart and your feelings, to feel the reality, to feel love.’ I also want to invite people to empathize with others and respect them, because diversity allows us to understand humanity even more”
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