• Ana de Armas
  • Laurie Hernandez
  • La Borinqueña
  • Diane Guerrero
  • Rosario Dawson
  • Mónica Puig
  • Eiza González Reyna
  • Julissa Arce
  • Melissa Villaseñor
  • Alexa Moreno
  • Alicia Machado
  • America Ferrera
Julissa
Arce

Another Latina to burst on to the scene in 2016 was Julissa Arce. The political commentator, speaker, author and activist for immigrant rights and education came to national attention when she was featured on the HBO Latino series Habla y Vota. The show interviewed Latinos from all walks of life as they shared their experiences and opinions regarding politics, social activism and the importance of voting in the 2016 presidential election. However, for Arce, the 2016 election wasn’t politics as usual, because despite being a former corporate titan, it marked the first time she would be able to vote in a presidential election.

A back-story that she shares in her memoirs which she also published in 2016. The tome is entitled My Underground American Dream and it chronicles Arce's rise up the corporate ladder at one of the world’s most prestigious investment banks - Goldman Sachs. What is unique about her story is that she climbed to the top of corporate America, all the while hiding the fact that she was an undocumented immigrant. One would think that in itself is the victory. Not for Arce, she shares how the wealth, prestige and acclaim, while providing a sense of satisfaction, was ultimately unfulfilling. Today Arce is the chairman, and co-founder of the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF), a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, and now uses her success and platform to help shift the conversation around immigration and other social justice issues.
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She spoke with ‘LLERO and stated that “for me to be able to cast a vote and encouraging other Latinos to get involved, to register to vote, and go and vote is so important to me…[like] everyday people just trying to make a difference.” Trust us Julissa, with your grit, determination and activism, your far from an everyday person.

Image Credits:
© HBO Latino
© Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images