In exactly two months Texas Women’s Foundation will hold its 35th Annual Luncheon virtually co-chaired by Bonnie Clinton and Cynt Marshall and presented by Toyota and powered by The Dallas Mavericks. That means anyone anywhere can attend without having to budge from their keyboard. TWF CEO/President Ros Dawson Thompson just announced the Target-sponsored guest speaker for the event on Tuesday, September 29, will be America Ferrera.
According to Ros, “We are thrilled to assemble this ‘dream team’ – our keynote speaker, America Ferrera, who is passionate about strength in diversity and the importance of creating opportunities for everyone to participate fully in our society and economy, and our co-chairs, who share the same passion and make it a reality through their exemplary leadership.”
While America may have popped up on the radar screen thanks to her award-winning role in “Ugly Betty” from 2006-2010, she has expanded her reach by directing, producing and becoming a “The New York Times” best-selling author (“American Like Me”) and an activist.
Tickets are just $35 which means a lot more people can attend than if it were a sit-down luncheon in a ballroom.
BTW, America’s full bio follows the jump.
* Photo provided by Texas Women's Foundation
America Ferrera is an award-winning actress, director and producer known for her breakthrough role as “Betty Suarez” on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty. For her performance, Ferrera was recognized with a Golden Globe®, Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award®, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards.
Ferrera most recently produced and starred in the NBC workplace comedy, Superstore. She also directed episodes 218 “Mateo’s Last Day,” 313 “Video Game Release,” 421 “Sandra’s Fight” and 711 “Lady Boss” for the series.
She executive produced and directed episodes of NETFLIX’s new Latinx Dramedy, Gentefied. Described as a badass Spanglish series about family, community, brown love and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear. The show debuted on the platform February 21st.
In 2018, Ferrera released her first book landing on the New York Times best-seller list, American Like Me, a vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures in America. Curated and edited by Ferrera, the anthology also includes essays by Ferrera, sharing her own perspective of growing up the daughter of Honduran immigrants in Los Angeles. Contributors to the book include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Roxane Gay, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Kal Penn, Uzo Aduba, Jenny Zhang, Michelle Kwan, Padma Lakshmi and many others.
A longtime activist, Ferrera most recently organized the ‘Letter of Solidarity’ with Eva Longoria in response to the El Paso, Texas shooting. Over 200 Latinx community leaders signed, urging others to turn this time of despair into a time of action.
In 2017, she worked as one of the driving forces alongside other powerful women in Hollywood to establish the TIME’S UP movement which addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. Ferrera also co-founded HARNESS, with her husband Ryan Piers Williams and Wilmer Valderrama, in 2016. HARNESS is a community of artists, influencers and grassroots leaders that provides education and engagement opportunities to amplify the work of organizations and individuals working on behalf of social justice.
Ferrera spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on behalf of women’s rights and immigration in support of Hillary Clinton. She was a chair for the Artists’ Committee for the Women’s March on Washington and spoke at the historic Women’s March the day after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Her activism has even extended on screen in several television documentaries including the EPIX TV mini-series, America Divided, Showtime’s groundbreaking documentary, The Years of Living Dangerously, and Nicholas Kristof’s series for PBS Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
Some of Ferrera’s television and film credits include a memorable arc on the CBS hit The Good Wife; Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents; Ryan Piers Williams’ drama X/Y, which she co-produced and starred in; Diego Luna’s biopic, Cesar Chavez, (ALMA Award Special achievement in Film); David Ayer’s crime thriller End of Watch; Ryan Piers Williams’ The Dry Land, (Best International Film Edinburgh Film Festival); It’s a Disaster; Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (parts 1 and 2); Real Women Have Curves; Lords of Dogtown; How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer, among many others. She lends her vocal talents to the Oscar® nominated franchise films How to Train Your Dragon as Astrid.
On stage, she has appeared off-Broadway in Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Laura Marks’ Bethany; and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, directed by Trip Cullman. She graced the stage as Roxie Hart in the West End production of the hit musical, Chicago.
In 2006, Ferrera founded her own television and film production company, Take Fountain.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ferrera is the youngest of six children. As a graduate of the University of Southern California, Ferrera studied International Relations while pursuing her career in film and television.