Spanish actress’s campaign aims to empower girls

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

Tatiana Calderon is a Spanish actor, model and creative director. In 2012, Calderon partnered with advertising agency JWT Spain to launch the “Beacon of Light, an extraordinary and crucial project.”

The project aims to enable every 13- to 30-year-old girl — regardless of economic, social, and cultural background — to get help if they need it.

CNN spoke to the 34-year-old about the inspirational stories behind these seven solutions, as well as the challenges for bringing them to fruition.

‘White girls learn to hide’

CNN: What was the most difficult aspect of this particular project?

Tatiana Calderon: The white girls in the program have to change their ways…we talk about the pain they have to bear; very important are the emotions we have to go through. The pain is to overcome discrimination in public spaces. We have to go through racism; we have to go through ‘normal’ discrimination when they go out at night. It’s very difficult because in our culture there is a lot of discrimination against people of color.

This project is not just about raising awareness: I want people to invest in the next generation. We are already having the effects of the project, but our goal is to keep things growing.

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CNN: How do you work in a team?

T.C.: I tell the people I work with that I just show up. I show up until the last minute of work, then I leave. We only have a small team, so I’m really present in the process. It’s not necessary to work with the team to reach my goal.

CNN: What inspired you to do this particular project?

T.C.: A long time ago I saw a picture of a girl who was painting on the street when there were those men who were beating her because she was a girl. I am a woman, and I couldn’t imagine hitting a girl like that. I saw her trying to paint on the street, and I thought that’s what all the money spent to beat her should have been spent on. I was trying to highlight her story because she wasn’t in the media, that’s how I discovered that there is a lot of discrimination against her. We keep seeing the victims, and it’s not always by men. That motivated me to show other girls that they can be heroes and that, yes, they can go to the Oscars.

CNN: Who has inspired you in your life?

T.C.: My grandfather is a very emotional person. He is a very kind, loving man, and he never thought he was something great in life. If I can even symbolize my grandfather, that I made a difference, it’s very important to me. I try to emulate him and to raise my son and make them want to make a difference in their lives.

CNN: What other projects do you have going on?

T.C.: I have other projects with JWT in Barcelona. We are working on programs for non-profit organizations working in equality. When I finished this campaign, I wanted to make a conscious change — not in my life but in the world — and I wanted to highlight the everyday work and determination of female staff.

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