Not only did Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful Festival bring the jams, the eats and the art, but there were equally exciting panels that got the noggin pumping. The #LearningIsBeautiful speakers boasted a wide spectrum of talents, from Bill Nye (yup, the Science Guy) to Kat Graham to Jane The Virgin star, Justin Baldoni. Each panelist contributed to one of three talk categories: “A Force For Good,” “Shaping The Future” and “Challenging The Game.”
The final speaker was Rosario Dawson. The Hollywood leading lady oozed cool and comfy in laceless black loafers, rolled up jeans and a blue top from her own brand, Studio One Eighty Nine, co-founded by her bestie, Abrima Erwiah.
Dawson wasn’t there to discuss her acting debut on Kids (which just turned 20) or the countless acting hurdles she’s had to overcome. Instead, Dawson spoke at length about the importance of creating change as a joint founder of Voto Latino, while gifting the audience with timeless life gems.
Peep the invaluable crop of jewels that the part Puerto Rican, part Cuban firecracker shared with attendees…
“I’m fascinated by people. I’m fascinated by being alive. And that’s what I want to be.”
“You really gotta go with your instincts. I’m reading this book called Follow Your Gut and [we are] really 10 percent human cells. We’re composited of a lot of bacteria and things. As earthlings, we need to be much more aware of the fact that earthlings aren’t just humans. There’s a lot of other being parts and things in life that are out there and we are all a part of that. I was raised in activism. It’s kinda hard to not be so aware of it when you were raised in a swaddle in a sublet in Manhattan during the crack cocaine and heroine and AIDs epidemics, so I had a lot of people that I grew up with who were organizers…so now it’s a part of me. I licked stamps on the envelopes with my mom. She encouraged me to do my first campaign to save the trees when I was 10 in San Francisco. I made posters. Didn’t do anything. I was trying.”
“I think the problem is in the philanthropic system in that we’re not encouraged to just give … People who want to give need to give.”
“You want it to be genuine. I’ve seen a lot of organizations suffer because they try to bring in a celebrity at some time to help amplify their message but then they get someone on their red carpet, blue carpet, green carpet, to talk about something they don’t know what they’re talking about. It hurts more than it helps so it’s really about following your heart and going with that. That’s generosity. That’s smiling at the people as you walk out of here, not stepping on a homeless person as you’re making your way into a farmer’s market. That’s the everyday-ness of it.”
“When you see an injustice, when you read about it, when you get that fire, that’s what you need.”