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Rosario Dawson: Preventing another Michael Brown or Eric Garner starts at the ballot box

Rosario Dawson is a Hollywood heavy-hitter. She’s starred in box office hits like “Rent,” “Seven Pounds,” and “Sin City,” and is now starring alongside Chris Rock in “Top Five,” where she plays a New York Times journalist on a mission to get a story.

But Dawson’s own story is about more than just acting. She’s an activist, an eternal optimist, and a true believer that change is possible if we seek it out.

She believes that the key to accomplishing that substantive, lasting change is by voting on election day. Dawson serves as the chairwoman for Voto Latino, which aims at galvanizing and enfranchising American Latinos.

“It has to be something that starts early,” Dawson told Fusion’s Alicia Menendez. “We have to share that [desire to vote] with our kids… so that when they’re hitting 18, that’s the rite of passage. They want to go get their driver’s license, they want to get their own cell phone, they want to get a car, they want to get their own home, they want to register to vote.”

The “Top Five” actress also talked about the power of voting when it comes to preventing tragedies like those in Ferguson and Staten Island with Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively.

“If you’re not marching to the polls, you’re not going to make the critical difference to prevent this from happening to someone else’s child,” Dawson told Menendez. “Unfortunately the things that we’re angry about have been happening for a very long time and they’re going to continue to happen unless they change the laws.”

When Menendez asked Dawson if she thinks she has paid a professional price for her activism, Dawson merely responded “maybe.” The actress wasn’t concerned about potential blowback and told Menendez that both acting and activism make her feel like a full person — one who’s not only invested in her work but in the world around her.

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