Art Streiber—AUGUST

The knowledge possessed by Mónica Ramírez’s giant heart is just what makes her the breath of fresh air needed in a civil rights attorney. Her work through organizations like Justice for Migrant Women is only a fraction of proof of how hard she fights for the migrant worker; it has blown me away. Ranging from demanding equal pay for women and organizing against voter suppression to workplace sexual abuse and calling for COVID-19 relief for migrant families. Mónica’s compassion is built in the foundation of her life. She grew up in a rural community with deep family roots of migrant farmworkers before studying public administration at Harvard University. She used those accomplishments to raise more than $4 million in aid for farmworkers affected by the pandemic. She is kind, playful, truthful and whip-smart. The type of person you need fighting for your civil f-cking rights.

I admire her generosity; I remember wanting to speak to her when most inconvenient. She was in between flights, and we had lunch at a Colombian restaurant. Through this conversation and bonding, I experienced her value, her drive. When she talks about saving the world, it’s like she is personally delivering a secret message to you—that she believes in you, in people. She lives her life to create a positive change for others. She is a gift to those in her presence; I am glad to call her my friend.

Guerrero is an actor and author

More Must-Reads from TIME