First to speak in this semester’s University Lecture Series (ULS) is actress Rosario Dawson, who will discuss issues facing students in the upcoming presidential election in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom at 8 p.m.
Dawson is known for her career as an actress in movies such as “Sin City” and “RENT,” and won the NAACP Image Award for Best Actress for “Seven Pounds” in 2008. She has also been nominated for other awards, including the MTV Movie Awards and Teen Choice Awards.
Tonight’s lecture, however, will focus on Dawson’s political experience and advice. As an avid participant in the political process, in 2004, Dawson helped found Voto Latino, a non-partisan group that is now the country’s leading organization in registering and engaging young Latino voters.
Sarah Smith, graduate adviser on the ULS board, said the ULS board thinks the event will be impactful, as it takes place during Hispanic Heritage month shortly before the presidential elections.
Dawson was previously scheduled to speak on campus last month during the Republican National Convention. Her visit was canceled due to delays caused by Tropical Storm Isaac.
“El Voto Latino can change the future of this country,” Masiel Pelegrino, a sophomore majoring in political science and president of the Cuban American Student Association, said. “It can make a difference and is the first step in raising awareness and educating our Hispanic community. Rosario Dawson will, unquestionably, be very influential in this event resulting in a positive impact in our USF and Latino
According to Voto Latino’s website, the organization has reached an estimated 55 million Latino households nationwide and registered more than 120,000 young Latino voters. The program encourages Latinos to speak out and take action on policies impacting their lives.
On Sept. 14, Dawson sent out an email through VotoLatino.org encouraging people to register for National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25.
“Some folks just don’t know that their voice is their vote and don’t understand the impact they can have just by the simple act of registering,” she said in the email.