Lorena Chambers, CEO, Chambers Lopez Strategies LLC, left, actress, activist and philanthropist Eva Longoria, center, and moderator Campbell Brown during a panel discussion at the Women in the World Conference on Friday in New York.
(Photo: Marc Bryan-Brown AP)
(USA TODAY) -- Eva Longoria, looking stunning in a blue dress, was the star of the Latina Power panel at the Women in the World Summit in New York on Friday. She had the audience laughing as she talked about being a "Texican."
Longoria says her family has been in the U.S. for nine generations. "We never crossed the border, the border crossed us," she said as the audience erupted in laughter and applause. It wasn't until she left Texas that she realized "Wait! I am the Mexican?"
Longoria recalls getting on the school bus as a child and pulling out her tortilla while the kids around her were eating Pop Tarts.
She says she didn't grow up speaking Spanish, but learned it later in life out of necessity.
"We are the only country in the world that promotes monolingualism. Why not speak Spanish, French, Chinese?" Longoria says. "The xenophobia is that there is going to be a Taco Bell in every corner."
Longoria's main point was that it is important to expose Latina girls to science, technology, engineering and math, "and to focus on a career, not a job."
The Eva Longoria Foundation strives to help Latina girls better themselves through education and entrepreneurship.
"My life's work is education," Longoria says.
Longoria, who worked on Obama's campaign says she will never work onanother campaign -- "Unless Hillary runs."