Latinos in general are known for their fire and passion, especially when those two personality traits are funneled into characters on the big screen. Some Latino and Latina celebrities take it one step further and let their fiery personalities guide them to become activists in social and political issues of all types. Here are four of the most notable Latino celebrities with political souls:
Edward James Olmos
Olmos has long involved himself in social activism, and is especially interested in issues that directly affect the Hispanic community in the United States. His long list of television and movie roles include:
Montoya Santana in American Me
Juror #11 in 12 Angry Men
Stan Navarro, Sr. in Hollywood Confidential
Michael Axford in The Green Hornet
Luther Devarro in CSI: NY
Professor Gellar in Dexter
Robert Gonzales in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
His successful acting career has been peppered with involvement in political and social matters as well. Back in 1992, when the Rodney King Riots were happening in full force in Los Angeles, Olmos set to work helping communities rebuild by literally sweeping up the city streets with a broom. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty if it meant restoring order and peace to a torn community.
In 1997, when the memory of the riots was still fresh, Olmos became a co-founder of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. His desire was to give a strong voice to Latino actors who might not have been given the recognition they deserved had it not been for the Latino International Film Festival. During the same year, he also co-founded Latino Literacy Now, which is a non-profit organization that has produced heavily-attended Latino Festivals throughout the United States.
Yet another of his accomplishments is the founding of the Latino Public Broadcasting system, where he now serves as chairman. The broadcasting system focuses on key issues that affect the Latino community. Olmos keeps himself busy by frequently appearing at detention centers and juvenile halls in order to speak with teenagers who are considered at-risk. You won’t find many Latino celebrities who are as passionate about social issues as Edward James Olmos.