Laura Dern, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television for her portrayal of Renata Klein in Big Little Lies, has been super outspoken about race and gender inequality. But she took her activism to the next level by bringing Mónica Ramirez, daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. Ramirez is also a civil rights attorney and has been an activist for more than two decades.
It was a match made in heaven since back in November 2017, Ramirez wrote a letter of solidarity with the women in Hollywood on behalf of the over 700,000 farmworkers her organization represents. Inspired by that act, actresses reached out to activists across the country and together, they started the Time’s Up Legal Defense fund which has raised more than $16 million since it’s inception just a week ago.
“Farm Worker women pick, plant and pack the food we eat and have a long history of combatting workplace sexual violence. When we learned about what was happening in Hollywood, the farmworkers felt very strongly that they wanted to send a message to the women in this industry and to all people experiencing sexual violence in the workplace that they’re not alone,” said Ramirez. “We stand beside them and we lend them our power and out strength as they move through this difficult time. Part of our work as an organization is to fight for gender equality along all lines. We fight for equal pay, we fight against sexual harassment, we fight for equity so that every person’s voice will be valued and every person will have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Added Dern: “We need the powers that be and all the industries and all the networks, including E!, to help us with closing this pay gender gap. 50/50 by 2020.”
When asked about her excitement about being at a big time Hollywood awards ceremony, Ramirez said of course she was thrilled, saying, “I’m so grateful to Laura for giving this opportunity to represent my community and farmworkers across the country.”
Before anything else, Dern, who is quickly becoming my favorite celebrity, chimed in: “They’re the ones who actually put the food on the table that we’re going to eat tonight!” Damn straight right Laura! It’s wonderful to see women coming together across all socio-economic backgrounds to fight an issues that effects us all, no matter what what career you find yourself working in.