Why Our First CHANGEMAKER Award HAD to go to Yalitza Aparicio

Image credit:  Robson Müzel

Image credit: Robson Müzel

One of the most exciting and touching moments at #WeAllGrow Summit 2019 happened when our founder Ana Flores sat down to have a heartfelt chat with Academy Award nominee Yalitza Aparicio and then bestowed her with our inaugural #WeAllGrow CHANGEMAKER Award.

What is a changemaker?

A changemaker is someone who has realized what we are all capable of: Affecting change by stepping into the innate power that we all have but too few of us fully embrace. Guided by their power, instead of their fear, a changemaker steps into the unknown and turns a moment that most would say NO to into a moment of YES. These moments of yes change lives and history. We celebrate changemakers for helping us all realize that we too can embrace our power.

Why were we compelled to give this award to Yalitza?

Our inaugural #WeAllGrow CHANGEMAKER Award went to Yalitza Aparicio, who perfectly embodies what it’s like to be guided by our power instead of our fear. Aparicio had no background in acting when she was cast as Cleo in the film “Roma” and she certainly had no aspirations of becoming the first indigenous American woman to receive an Oscar nomination for best actress, but she said YES and her moment of YES has extended far beyond herself.

Her YES has helped spark conversations about the treatment of domestic workers, the lack of indigenous representation in the media and too-long-held notions of a supposed “standard” of beauty. Her YES makes her a CHANGEMAKER and at this moment in time we can’t think of someone that more perfectly embodies the spirit of this award.  

The award is a beautiful work of art made by another changemaker.

Image credit:  Robson Müzel

Image credit: Robson Müzel

Yalitza did not receive a trophy or plaque as a physical symbol of the award. Instead, she was presented with a beautiful portrait. A kind of portrait of the artist painted by another artist – Denise Cortes, who is changing the world through her art.

Image credit:  Robson Müzel

Image credit: Robson Müzel

And, then, the most touching part of all.

Silvia Suarez, Lucía Gutierrez, Alejandra Arce, Maydelli Mendoza, Esvayeli Oyervides and Mariana Cano, approached the stage and shared what seeing Yalitza on screen has meant to them. These messages were honest, raw, sometimes heartbreakingly painful and absolutely beautiful. It was hard to find a dry eye in the house at that point.

Yalitza, in all her graciousness said thank you and stayed long enough so that anyone who wanted to approach her and take a picture with her could.

Image credit:  Robson Müzel

Image credit: Robson Müzel

It was freakin’ amazing and we cannot wait to see what Yalitza does next.

To relive the experience or see it for the first time.

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