Hollywood Heavyweights Join Together To Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
By Nicole Goesseringer Muj
The week, actress/model Eugenia Kuzmina will host a reception for the women’s rights organization Equal Means Equal www.equalmeansequal.org to raise awareness about the need for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The event will create a think tank, composed of some of Hollywood’s most influential people, to dramatically raise awareness on the issue.
Kuzmina comments, “As a woman who emigrated from Russia and became a US citizen, it’s a very important time to be able to use my voice for gender progress. My mother was unable to pursue a career after raising children because of economic gender bias and it had a profound effect on her life. I feel that sexual discrimination is an international Human Rights issue. I’ve been working since the age of fifteen and continue to, after having kids. I live in the house where John Lennon wrote “Imagine” and it feels like the perfect place and time to raise the consciousness and awareness of influencers on a human level about the unfinished business of equality for all Americans under the Constitution.”
Actress, filmmaker, activist and president of Heroica Films Kamala Lopez launched the movement and film Equal Means Equal to educate Americans about the importance of equal rights under federal law for women. The film ‘Equal Means Equal’ is executive produced by Liz Lopez and Patricia Arquette, and received Best US Documentary Audience Award in 2016 at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.
Equal Means Equal is a labor of love that Lopez embarked on over eight years ago when she first realized that women still did not have Constitutional protections in the United States and that most Americans did not know that.
The Equal Means Equal initiative supports the ratification of the ERA in its current form with the objective of educating individuals and engaging communities regarding the role of the Amendment in eradicating inequities facing women across the country.
The ERA, which simply reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” was first introduced in 1923 and passed by Congress for States’ ratification in 1972.
The ERA would guarantee constitutional rights equally to all persons regardless of their sex. To date, thirty-six states have ratified the ERA, however two more states are required to ratify in order to amend the Constitution.
Lopez began the ERA Education Project in 2009, creating multi-media PSAs, video FAQs, social media campaigns, educational videos and sites, piloting curriculum and travelling around the country speaking to groups, as well as students in colleges and high schools. She believes the ERA should be universally embraced across all race, class, and gender lines, and has been the Keynote or Featured Speaker in venues as disparate as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, the United Nations, The National Arts Club, at the Yale Women Global Conference as well as to “at-risk” girls and other children in L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles schools.