Actor and activist America Ferrera named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year

America Ferrera in front of fists.
(Diana Ramirez / De Los; Photos by Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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Glamour has named actor and activist America Ferrera as one of this year’s global Women of the Year for her dedication to social justice advocacy.

Ferrera joins a list of other Latinx women who have been honored with this award, including Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Salma Hayek and Lupita Nyong’o.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to fight injustice to incite change in this world,” Ferrera said.

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Every year Glamour celebrates women who are game-changers in their field and who have had a positive impact on their communities. Ferrera will be honored in multiple ceremonies, including ones in the U.S., Germany, Mexico and Latin America, Spain and Britain.


“With so many incredible women who have stepped up, raised their voice and challenged the status quo in 2023, there is plenty to celebrate at this year’s Glamour Women of the Year,” said Deborah Joseph, European editorial director at Glamour. “We can’t wait to bring together the change-making women from all walks of life for our annual celebration of feminism in all its forms.”

Ferrera has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, including her recent role in the “Barbie” film. She explained how her humble beginnings of growing up with a single mother and five siblings in the San Fernando Valley, taught her important life lessons.

Her dreams as a child were to be a professional actor and become a human rights lawyer. When she was 17, she got the opportunity to start her acting career. She booked back-to-back movies and it seemed like she was achieving a dream that very few thought was possible.

In 2017, following Donald Trump’s election as president, Ferrera spoke at the Women’s March in Washington. After that, she felt motivated to take action and do more.

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Along with her husband, Ryan Piers William, and actor Wilmer Valderrama, she helped create “Harness,” a nonprofit aimed at building community between activists, artists and leaders.

In 2020, Ferrera also helped co-found, “Poderistas,” a nonprofit that serves as a digital community created by and for Latinas. Through events and networking, members build a positive community to support each other. She has also been a leading voice in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.


“I realize now that I helped build the kind of organizations that I wish I’d had when I was a young artist looking to use my platform for change,” Ferrera said.

Ferrera said that when she was younger it was easy to recognize that her family was different from others because they sometimes struggled to have money for food and bills.

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“When I was in fifth grade, we lost our assistance with meals at school,” Ferrera said. “Even at that age — and even without the wider context of the world’s inequalities — I understood that it wasn’t because of anything I did or deserved.”

She decided to pursue her education at USC while continuing her acting career. Ferrera felt that her acting career wasn’t having a significant impact until a beloved professor told her one of her movies helped another student.

She then realized the power that storytelling had, and how her platform could help advocate for change. In 2008, during the presidential primary election, Ferrera joined the Hillary Clinton campaign and that’s when her confidence grew.

“So I became very passionate about democracy and elections, and that’s how I got proximate to the issues of environmental racism and access to education, reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy,” Ferrera said. “My commitment is to keep fighting and showing up in beloved community where women find strength and courage in each other, to continue the work toward the change that we all deserve.”


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