Actress Rosario Dawson last appeared in the pages of Fast Company in the role of founder of Voto Latino. Dawson was named to FC‘s Most Creative People list in 2012 for her work on the political advocacy group that takes a creative, mobile- and social-savvy approach to mobilizing Hispanic-Americans to vote.
She’s back to her dramatic roots with her latest project, but there’s still an activist message involved. Dawson stars as Dolores Huerta in Cesar Chavez a new film from director Diego Luna about the Arizona-born farm worker-turned labor rights organizer. Chavez (played by Michael Peña) worked to bring better wages and living conditions to migrant farm workers and, with Huerta, founded the National Farm Workers Association (later called United Farm Workers). During the ’60s and ’70s, the organization led strikes and peaceful protests, starting in Delano, California, that inspired union movements throughout the country and led to policy changes on farmworkers’ rights.
Fast Company caught up with Dawson at SXSW earlier this month, to talk about Voto Latino and, in the clip above, she talks about Cesar Chavez, the farm union movement that spread from one group to the world, and the power, then and now, of contagious ideas.