Selena Gomez chatted one-on-one with former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams about empowering the Latina population during this election season.
Their livestream Spotlight Conversation on Friday (Oct. 23) was one of the last stops on the weeklong She Se Puede Latinas Make a Difference Tour 2020, which galvanizes Latinas to vote in the Nov. 3 presidential election, less than two weeks away. Gomez proudly wore her “I Voted” sticker on her sweater, which she first showed off in a patriotic Instagram post on Thursday while filling out her ballot.
Abrams, who is the first Black woman to become a gubernatorial nominee of a major party in the U.S., told Gomez about her historic 2018 run and how she recruited Latinos for her team when she was elected as Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives.
“I picked up the phone and called the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and said, ‘I want to hire someone Latino. I want to make certain that my office actually looks like Georgia. I need to make certain that I’m not trying to speak for a community I’m not apart of, but that I know is incredibly important,'” she told Gomez. “…I may start out standing as a Black woman, but if I’m doing my job right, every woman of color knows that she should be standing right there with me, especially the Latina population.”
The Rare artist spoke to the politician’s point about the younger generation stepping up this year, and why she used her voice to speak on this issue. “A part of why I wanted to do so much around voting and around getting my generation going is because I believe that my generation specifically gets distracted and there’s so much going on in the world,” Gomez said. “This is the one time that we can make a difference.”
According to a recent study by The New York Times, the Latino population has a significantly larger gender gap, with the women leading by 26 percentage points, compared to Black, white and Asian voters. But Gomez read out another statistic about how the voter turnout rate for Latinas was 14-20% lower than non-Latina Black women.
“When you look around, sometimes you despair when you see intergenerational poverty, when you see persistence of prejudice and bigotry, when you see these artificial barriers to your success, it is absolutely understandable that you decide the system just doesn’t work,” Abrams said about why women of color can feel reluctant to cast their ballots. “But then, we’ve got to have a conversation about what’s possible if we can suspend that suspicion for just one day, for just one vote.”
In June, Gomez handed over her coveted Instagram handle, which was once the most-followed account on the social media platform, to Abrams as part of the singer’s effort to give her platform to activists fighting for change on the front lines.
Watch Gomez and Abrams’ Spotlight Conversation in full here.