#ShePersisted: 6 Latinas Who Fought Back Despite Everything Thrown at Them

On Tuesday night, Senator Elizabeth Warren went head-to-head with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who silenced the Massachusetts Democrat with words that have sparked a new feminist rallying cry: #ShePersisted.

Here's what went down: During debates over President Donald Trump's nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Warren attempted to read a letter written in 1986 by the late Coretta Scott King, which criticized the then-U.S. attorney Sessions, who had been nominated for a federal judgeship. In the letter, King argued that during Sessions' time as a prosecutor in Alabama, he "used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens."

As Warren was reading, McConnell used a little-known rule against her that said: "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator." 

"She was warned. She was given an explanation," McConnell said. "Nevertheless, she persisted." 

Warren is now forbidden from speaking on the Senate floor as the body considers Sessions' nomination for U.S. attorney general. The unexpected outcome: McConnell started a glorious new hashtag,  #ShePersisted, for outspoken, daring women everywhere. Using Warren's tenacity as inspiration, here's a list of some Latinas who also persisted for the better of humanity.  

PLUS: 'I Am Not Afraid': Jackie Cruz, America Ferrera & More on the Importance of Women Taking Back Their Power

1. LWSP: Linda Sanchez

Linda Sanchez

Congresswoman Sanchez, head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was the first woman of color elected to a leadership position in a caucus in the U.S. Congress. She has always tried to emphasize diversity and has spoken out against President Trump in the past. 

"Donald Trump believes that Mexican immigrants are murderers and rapists," she said. "But what about my parents, Donald? Let me tell you what my parents are. They are the only parents in our nation's 265-year history to send not one but two daughters to the United States Congress!"

2. LWSP: Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

This actress and activista shows up for any and every progressive cause. Through every action, she has persisted, whether the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Flint water crisis or racial and immigrant justice.

"We cannot stick to the status quo," she said. "It's killing us."

3. LWSP: Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera

As a trans woman, Rivera was a leader in the Gay Liberation Movement in the '60s and '70s. She was a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists Alliance and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. When the white gay activists tried to drown out the voices of their trans and POC siblings, she always made sure to stand up and put them in check.

"We were determined that we were going to be a liberated, free community, which we did acquire that," she said. "I will struggle til the day I die, and my main struggle right now is that my community will seek the rights that are justly ours. I am tired of seeing my homeless transgender children, young gay, youth children. I am tired of seeing the lack of interest that this rich community has."

4. LWSP: Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta

The strong-willed activista has dedicated more than 40 years to being persistent on behalf of Latinos. As a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, she was at the forefront of the civil rights and labor movements. To this day, she is fighting on behalf of workers, Latinxs and women everywhere who are being unfairly treated.

"We're not a footnote in American history," she said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. "We are actually helping to write this history!"

5. LWSP: Juana Matias

Juana Matias

Juana Matias is the first Latina woman to ever be elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The 29-year-old, who emigrated from the Dominican Republic, has never served in office before this and says her experiences have helped her relate to the community she is serving

"I know what it is to have a job that pays minimum wage," she said. "I know what it is to have parents who don't understand English, who are trying to navigate the system. I've seen many families go through those similar challenges, and a lot of those experiences were really what inspired me to be involved in public service."

6. LWSP: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

Throughout her career, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has been anything but soft-spoken. She continually stands up for the rights of people of color and other marginalized populations. While discussing a traffic stop case, Sotomayor made it a point to discuss how racial profiling and illegal stops directly impact minorities. 

"We must not pretend that the countless people targeted by the police are 'isolated,'" she said. "They are canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives."