“If art is to imitate real life, why not release art that is positive, empowering, uplifting, and inclusive no matter race, gender, body type, or economic background?”
You might recognize Gina Rodriguez from the hit CW show Jane the Virgin, where she plays a hard-working idealist just trying to graduate college. After her life gets an unexpected upheaval, she has to contend with a plethora of hilarious and emotional challenges. As the success of the show skyrocketed, audiences loved tuning in to see how young Jane balanced her absurd ‘new normal’ with college, love interests, and waitressing at the “Marbella.”
“I had never read a script before that was such a breath of fresh air when it came to telling a humanistic story and tapping into a [Latino] culture in a very authentic way.”
Taking this role has paid off big time, earning the Chicago-born actress a Golden Globe nomination and subsequent win. But her career began long before she walked down fancy red carpets at award events. After nearly ten years of struggling to make it in the industry, Gina decided to pursue roles with a message she could get behind. Around the same time, she came across a script written by a woman about the life of a courageous Venezuelan-American girl.
“This award is so much more than me; it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes. My father used to tell us to say, every morning, “today is a great day I can, and I will.” Gina’s Golden Globes acceptance speech.
Alongside her rise to fame, Rodriguez has consistently raised awareness for women’s issues by giving back. This year, the actress was recognized for her work with the We Will Foundation, by unite4humanity–an organization she co-founded that supports women pursuing the arts. Since its inception, We Will has donated $10,000 to the Mar Vista School Enrichment Group, financing art, and dance classes. In February of this year, unite4humanity honored Rodriguez with the Young Humanitarian Award.
In recent years, the actress has aligned herself with many philanthropic and charitable organizations. Her partnership with Naja Lingerie, for example, supports single mothers in spending at home while earning money. Naja is a vertically integrated business, which means that manufacturing costs are cut by 80 percent. Thereby donating proceeds to children, schools, and Gina’s most passionate audience, women.
Gina has accomplished her heart’s message through action. Her humanitarian work is an inspiration to anyone seeking to make a difference in their community.