2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala
Changemakers

Zoe Saldaña

After experiencing firsthand the importance of life-saving care, the actress decided to use her celebrity status to support children‘s charities

Zoe Saldaña began her film career in Center Stage (2000), portraying a ballet dancer, not knowing that she would become the face behind one of the American comic books’ most recognizable fictional characters.

Premiere Of Marvel's "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Arrivals©GettyImages
Zoe Saldaña is known for playing the role of Gamora for Marvel’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy”

Although Saldaña has mastered the art of science fiction and she is the second-highest-grossing film actress of all time and the only actress to be in three of the top five grossing movies of all time, her most fulfilling job is being able to extend a helping hand to those in need.

Actress Zoe Saldana attends The Childres's Defense Fund - California 18th Annual Los Angeles Beat the Odd on December 4, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)©GettyImages
Zoe speaks at The Children’s Defense Fund 18th Annual Beat the Odds Awards

The Dominican and Puerto Rican descent actress won a Global Humanitarian Award for her work with JhPiego, an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University dedicated to improving the health of women and families.

“I want every mom and every child to have access to the same life-saving care that we did,” she said during her acceptance speech, referring to her experience of giving birth to her twins prematurely in 2014. “I was acutely aware of the fact that their lives were not in our hands,” she recalled while accepting the award. “They needed assistance just to breathe. My husband and I were at the mercy of the professionals and their advanced medical equipment.”“Not every story has a happy ending like ours,” Saldana continued.

“Too many women lack access to adequate medical care before, during, and after pregnancy. Too many children are born in places that don’t have the life-saving tech to keep a premature baby breathing. And too many children fall ill to diseases because they did not receive vaccinations.”

After the scare, Cy and Bowie recovered, and the star decided to use her celebrity status to support children‘s charities, including Brave Beginnings and Shot@Life. Zoe has also supported Baby2Baby, Children’s Defense Fund, EB Medical Research Foundation, H.E.L.P. Malawi, Los Angeles Mission, and The Trevor Project.

Zoe has also been involved in initiatives to encourage latino communities to get out and vote. Recently she partnered with SOMOS Community Care and Benicio Del Toro in a campaign to inform latinos about vaccinations and dispel the myths and misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

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