Ferrera to host ‘Texas for All’

By Juliette Coulter

Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF) announces the keynote speaker for its 35h Annual Luncheon, America Ferrera, award-winning actress, director, producer, The New York Times best-selling author and activist. Themed “Texas for All,” this year’s event will take place virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. In honor of the 35th anniversary, tickets are $35 each. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit txwfluncheon.org.

Business and community leaders Bonnie Clinton and Cynt Marshall are co-chairs of the luncheon. Clinton is vice president and chief procurement officer for Toyota North America, serves on Texas Women’s Foundation board and is a member of TXWF’s Economic Leadership Council. Marshall is chief executive officer of The Dallas Mavericks; she also serves as a Foundation board member and is an Economic Leadership Council member. Both women are diversity and inclusion champions and role models in their workplaces and in the community.  

Ferrera is an award-winning actress, director and producer known for her breakthrough role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s hit comedy, “Ugly Betty.”
Photo courtesy of Texas Womens Foundation

“We are thrilled to assemble this ‘dream team’ – our keynote speaker, America Ferrera, who is passionate about strength in diversity and the importance of creating opportunities for everyone to participate fully in our society and economy, and our co-chairs, Bonnie Clinton and Cynt Marshall, who share the same passion and make it a reality through their exemplary leadership,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer. 

Others participating in the virtual event include A. Shonn Brown, Texas Women’s Foundation board chair and Kimberly-Clark vice president and deputy general counsel, and Laysha Ward, Target executive vice president and chief external engagement officer. Target is the keynote speaker sponsor.

Dawson Thompson added, “We’re inviting old friends and new friends from across the state to take their places at our virtual table for exceptional conversation and connection. For 35 years, we’ve empowered Texas women and girls to build strong and inclusive communities, and that work is more important today than ever before. We look forward to welcoming everyone to be a part of this work and the vision that we share— Texas for all.” 

Ferrera is an award-winning actress, director and producer known for her breakthrough role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s hit comedy, “Ugly Betty.” For her performance, Ferrera was recognized with a Golden Globe, EMMY and Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards. She most recently produced and starred in the NBC workplace comedy, Superstore, and she directed several of the series’ episodes. She executive produced and directed episodes of NETFLIX’s new Latinx Dramedy, “Gentefied,” a Spanglish series that follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream. The show debuted in February 2020. 

In 2018, Ferrera released her first book: “American Like Me,” a vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures in America that quickly became a best seller. In 2017, she worked alongside other powerful Hollywood women to establish the TIME’S UP movement to address systemic inequality and injustice. She has also spoken at several key political and women’s events. 

In 2016, Ferrera joined forces with her husband, Ryan Piers Williams, and fellow actor Wilmer Valderrama to co-found HARNESS, a group that provides education and engagement opportunities for those working on behalf of social justice. Her activism has also been seen in several television documentaries. In 2006, she founded her own television and film production company, Take Fountain. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ferrera is the youngest of six children. As a graduate of the University of Southern California, she studied International Relations while pursuing her career in film and television. 

The Annual Luncheon is the Foundation’s principal fundraiser in support of its work to advance women’s economic security, leadership, education, health and safety in Texas through research, advocacy, programs and grantmaking. For those interested in supporting the event through sponsorship, contact alindsay@txwf.org or call 214-525-5311.