Actor and activist, Rosario Dawson, has teamed up with award-winning Puerto Rican graphic novelist, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, on a brand-new graphic novel titled, La Borinqueña Guest Starring Rosario Dawson, that is intended to spread awareness about the climate crisis and the importance of a clean energy transition in Puerto Rico. It was produced with support from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), international environmental advocacy group, to continue help with their efforts on the island. “Rosario Dawson truly embodies social justice as an activist for voting rights and climate change. Her passion is in her work,” Miranda-Rodriguez told HipLatina. “We’re very honored to have her as an ally, as an hermana, and as a voice for our philanthropic work in Puerto Rico.”
Dawson’s image appears throughout the new graphic novel, which was written and created by Miranda-Rodriguez, and is set to come out on April 6. The book features cover art by Rita Fei and is illustrated by Will Rosado and colored by Chris Sotomayor. Additionally, there are eight limited edition variant covers by a diverse group of artists—all of whom donated their work to the project—that showcase different regions of Puerto Rico.
Dawson, who is of Puerto Rican descent, recently hosted an Instagram live with Miranda-Rodriguez and NRDC expert, Luis Martinez discussing the book.” [The graphic novel] aims to spread awareness about the impacts of climate change and the importance of a clean energy transition in Puerto Rico,” she captioned the post.
Her partnership with La Borinqueña started when she met Miranda-Rodriguez at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York Cit in 2016. She ended up contributing to the first La Borinqueña graphic novel, Ricanstruction Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico, and eventually had her own La Borinqueña costume commissioned, further raising awareness of the character.
“What I loved about it was the creativity,” she said during the chat. “It is going, ‘you know, there are so many people in the comic space that would really like to participate, and they are never asked,” she continued.
“And it was so beautiful to see, from DC Comics allowing Wonder Woman to be on the cover, to Frank Miller doing a variant kind of cover for my story that I wrote in there, to just you know allowing people to participate and engage, and reach out to their communities, and be a part of a movement that could make real change possible, that wasn’t asking permission from anyone else, but was just doing it with the means that they had and the resources they had, and knowing that that interest, that focus, that intention, would make a difference.” Dawson said. “And so, I just keep coming back to La Borinqueña.”
Proceeds from the book will go toward the La Borinqueña Grants Program, which was founded in 2018, to provide grants to non-profit organizations (NPOs) throughout Puerto Rico. “We’re working class artists who literally said from the beginning, ‘we should do something that’s dedicated to philanthropy,'” Miranda-Rodriguez said during the Instagram live. Since its founding they’ve awarded $165,000 to various NPOs.
“Puerto Rico has this opportunity to transition to clean energy, right. There’s all of these—right now the Federal Emergency Management Agecny, FEMA, has about $10 billion that they’re going to invest in rebuilding the system,” Martinez explained during the Instagram live chat. “And Puerto Rico’s at a crossroads. Right? There is a state-of-the-art clean energy distributed solar system, like communities are asking for, and really just building themselves, or back to imported fossil fuels,” he continued. With this partnership with La Borinqueña, what we wanted to do was just put a spotlight on this struggle to transition to clean energy, that’s not just happening in Puerto Rico. It’s happening everywhere. but Puerto Rico can be an example of, ‘aqui se hace mejor,’ we do it, we do it better.”
La Borinqueña Guest Starring Rosario Dawson, is currently available for pre-sale on the La Borinqueña website.