Not All Heroes Wear Capes!
When you get to know Sally Colón-Petree, you get a sense that every morning she wakes up, the injustices and evil of the world say, “oh crap she’s up!” This marvelous woman has made such strides in raising awareness for those who are unable to or are too scared to speak for themselves. Colón-Petree draws inspiration from her late mother: Carmen Alicea, who for many years worked as a social worker to special needs children. For the past few years, she has worked on a documentary that sheds light on the cruel practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) throughout countries in Africa. The movie also examines the tragic acts of human trafficking and the few organizations that come out to help in the fight against it.
Colón-Petree along with a small film crew and a group of some notable women such as award winning writer and philanthropist, Linda Rendleman and E! News Weekend co-anchor Catt Sadler, traveled to several tribes and schools to interview young women who have been a victims of the putrid acts of FGM. Over the several weeks of their journey, they would meet young girls full of desire and yearning for a better future. Although these young women and children live in a place where being a female, one is treated as property or excluded from vital things such as education, they still have hope, and aspire to be more then their circumstance. The project continues by educating viewers on the horrid acts of human trafficking and teen suicide right here in Los Angeles. Colón-Petree enlisted the help of famous actors and actresses such as Sherri Shepherd (who was a victim of domestic violence herself) to talk about their story. The documentary brings in key organizations such as The Los Angeles Dream Center, founded by Matthew and Caroline Barnett, to help families and individuals who are going through tough times. Colón-Petree, who was also a victim of trafficking at an early age, will in the near future conduct another full-length feature solely delving into this atrocious operation and organizations that combat it. For their efforts, Women Like Us was an official selection at the 2017 Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival.
Recently, Colón-Petree headed back to her native country of Puerto Rico to compose another documentary on the effects of “Hurricane Maria” that hit late last year. She exposes the subpar living conditions that the people have endured. For one week she shot the experiences of people sleeping on the dirty floor on a twin sized mattress, living without running water and power. Some people have lost everything! The film is set to release at the one-year anniversary of Women Like Us. Her original plan was to shoot, but her giving heart could not stand to see so many in need of help. By the end of the trip she would adopt five families where she would personally make sure they were well taken care of. Her efforts continued when she came back, where she raised funds to help more in need. She also planned a fundraiser just last month to raise even more funds and will return to Puerto Rico to film more with the former Miss Puerto Rico, Joyce Giraud by her side.
Her most recent project included starting her very own small business called MantraSox. Along with a friend, she started this company to empower herself after her divorce. She also wanted to show her two daughters how to be an entrepreneur which later turned into a humanitarian cause. For every pair of MantraSox purchased the company will send a pair to a homeless shelter.
There is so much we will see from Sally Colón-Petree, she is the true definition of a good person, and her efforts have created impact all over the world, and will continue to grow from right here in the Santa Clarita Valley, where she resides, because sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors and fights battles that nobody knows about.
Join Sally Colón-Petree and élite Magazine in a viewing of Women Like Us on March 29th at 7:30 p.m. The film will be showed at Valencia Stadium 12 & IMAX, located at 24435 Town Center Drive Valencia, CA. Tickets are on sale at the following website: gathr.us/s/22125.
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