Actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria organized “a letter of solidarity” published Friday in response to the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which leaders in the Latinx community urge others to “turn this time of despair into a time of action.”
The shooting earlier this month is considered the largest attack against Latinos in recent U.S. history, and many have linked it to President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric about Latinos.
The letter, which appeared Friday in The New York Times and Spanish-language newspapers El Nuevo Herald, La Opinión and El Diario, implores Latinos who “are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks” to “demand dignity and justice.”
“We have been smeared by political rhetoric and murdered in violent hate crimes. We have been separated from our families and have watched our children caged. We have been targeted with mass shootings and mass ICE raids meant to terrify us, squash our hope, and break our spirits,” the letter reads. “But, we will not be broken. We will not be silenced.”
Among the letter’s more than 200 signatories are chef and restaurateur José Andrés, “One Day at a Time” producer and writer Gloria Calderón Kellett, “The House on Mango Street” author Sandra Cisneros, labor rights activist Dolores Huerta, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, singer Ricky Martin, “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Stand and Deliver” and “Battlestar Galactica” star Edward James Olmos and “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez.
“We’re facing a moral crisis in our country, and we chose to use this moment to raise our voices, and speak up,” Longoria said in a statement. “Integrity starts with looking in the mirror and this letter calls on everyone, not just our community, to choose humanity and decency over hate and violence.”
The letter also urges allies of the Latinx community “to speak out loudly against hate, to contribute your resources to organizations that support our community, and to hold our leaders accountable.”
Read the full letter (in both English and Spanish) below.