Bryna Subherwal, Global Head of Advocacy Communications, celebrates Paola Mendoza as part of Equality Now’s 30 for 30, featuring 30 women and changemakers who have played a key role in making equality reality as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations.
Many people have heard of Paola Mendoza as one of the co-founders of The Women’s March, or they may have seen her films or seen her name on the New York Times bestseller list.
But what stands out about Paola for me is how seamlessly and effectively she can merge her art, her feminism, and her activism. Not only does she bring her own creativity and energy to her work, but she knows how to recognize talent and inspiration when she sees them, no matter where they come from.
When Harvey Weinstein was tried for sex crimes in New York in January 2020, for many women, it represented a story of sexual violence that far too many have experienced, even if the perpetrators were not always so well-known.
I was privileged to be able to take part in a protest performance of “A Rapist In Your Path,” which Paola was instrumental in organizing. She found inspiration in the message of the performance, created by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis. Paola knew that the piece would resonate with women in the US upset about sexual violence in general and Harvey Weinstein in particular. She also knew that channeling our collective energy into such a visually powerful performance would attract public and media attention in a way that another form of activism wouldn’t.
I keep this in mind when, in my own work, I am looking for the best advocacy communications strategies. I always try to look for those moments and tactics that bring together creativity, powerful messages, and the energy of the feminist community – just as Paola does.”