Zoe Saldana-Perego and Marco Perego-Saldana to receive global humanitarian award

Jhpiego, an international health nonprofit and Johns Hopkins University affiliate, will honor actress Zoe Saldana-Perego and her husband, artist Marco Perego-Saldana, with the 2019 Visionary Award in recognition of the couple’s outstanding philanthropic efforts to support mothers and newborns.

Ms. Saldana-Perego, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek and Avatar, and Mr. Perego-Saldana, an internationally recognized artist whose work has appeared in shows from London to Miami, will be honored April 29, 2019, at Jhpiego’s Los Angeles gala, Laughter Is the Best Medicine. The couple, parents to three boys, has championed a community of diverse, artistic voices through BESE, a media platform they co-founded in 2018 to celebrate “the untold stories of today’s changing America.”

Ms. Saldana-Perego and Mr. Perego-Saldana were chosen to receive the Visionary Award, which recognizes significant humanitarian work and an abiding commitment to improving the lives of women and children globally, based on their joint commitment to tackle tough issues, pursue their convictions fearlessly, and advocate powerfully for a better future for women and families.

Ms. Saldana-Perego, who has spoken about the premature birth of her twins, has said, “My wish for every child and every global citizen is that they have medical aid accessible to them. That’s what I wish for children and people all over the world.”

Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Jhpiego event showcases the organization’s global achievements and impact in the delivery of lifesaving, high-quality health care to women and families worldwide. Ms. Saldana-Perego and Mr. Perego-Saldana will be honored along with Wyck Godfrey, president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group, and Mary Kerr, MD, MPH.

Mr. Godfrey, acclaimed producer of the recently released First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, and the two hit series The Maze Runner and Twilight, and Dr. Kerr, a prominent Los Angeles obstetrician-gynecologist, will receive the Elyse Bila Ouedraogo Award, named for a nurse in Burkina Faso who worked passionately to ensure that women had access to screening for cervical cancer—the disease that ultimately took her life. The couple was chosen to receive this award because of their commitment to giving back and improving inequities and disparities in people’s most basic needs, such as access to health care and clean water.

Ms. Saldana-Perego, who has worked with Shot@Life and Brave Beginnings to ensure babies have access to lifesaving immunizations and quality newborn care, and Mr. Perego-Saldana, a parent who defies traditional gender norms and stereotypes, have shown that they understand the inequity and challenges women and children face, whether they live in Johannesburg or Baltimore.

Ms. Saldana-Perego’s breakthrough in film came in 2009 with her appearance as Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek film series and as Neytiri in the Avatar film series. Mr. Perego-Saldana has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Museo Tuscolano in Rome, Art Basel Miami and Zurich’s Galerie Gmurzynska.

SOURCE Jhpiego

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Zoe Saldana’s Gamora Could Play ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ Role In ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Zoe Saldana’s Gamora is expected to play an important part in “Avengers: Endgame.” In fact, one theory suggests that she will be the key to defeating Thanos.

Thanos obviously has a soft spot for his daughter Gamora. So if anyone’s going to be instrumental in undoing the snap, it’s going to be her. Thanos ditched his throne after Gamora said she hated it. Clearly, Saldana’s character still has a hold of her old man.

However, the plan is not all about appealing to Thanos’ emotional side. Gamora is not technically dead. She’s just trapped in the Soul Stone. Theories posit that Gamora can come back in “Avengers: Endgame” by traveling between two dimensions using the Soul Stone. This is exactly what Thanos did to reunite himself with a younger version of Gamora in the Soul World in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

In the original “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline, Nebula somehow got a hold of the gauntlet and proceeded to wreak havoc. Adam Warlock ultimately stopped her by entering the Soul Stone and hacking the gauntlet from there like a computer virus.

In the timeline of the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” Gamora will already be inside the Soul Stone, so it’s possible for Gamora to also hack into the Soul Stone and decrease the power of the gauntlet and ultimately stop Thanos’ reign of terror.

On Instagram, Saldana has been sharing clips from the set of the “Avengers: Endgame.” So this is a confirmation that she will be back in the highly anticipated Marvel film, which will be shown in cinemas on April 24.

Meanwhile, the actress, together with husband Marco Perego-Saldana, has received recognition for her global humanitarian work. The “Guardians Of the Galaxy” star was awarded the Visionary Award by the international nonprofit health organization Jhpiego for her work in helping women and children around the world to live better lives. Saldana has partnered with Shot@Life and Brave Beginnings to provide babies access to crucial immunizations and quality newborn care.

“My wish for every child and every global citizen is that they have medical aid accessible to them. That’s what I wish for children and people all over the world,” the actress said in an official press release.

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Women’s Health June 2018

“Oh my God! Where are the stunt people?”

That’s what Zoe Saldana wants to know, as she surveys a cannon-like contraption designed to shoot her from atop a platform all the way down to the bottom of a 30-foot water container on the set of the sequel to the 2009 sci-fi phenomenon Avatar. She’s been well prepped by her stunt coordinator (“I trust him with my life”), and James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director, has no intention of calling for a stand-in. “Nope,” he says. “You are going to do this.”

“I was like, ‘Okay, suuuure,’” Zoe recalls a week later with nervous laughter. But the tough-talking actress from Queens, New York, didn’t become the female face of this and two other testosterone-fueled franchises (Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Trek) by shying away from such challenges. So she summoned the courage to allow herself to be launched into that “big-ass tank”—and ended up enjoying it.

“We often equate success with our physical beauty. It’s so f-cked up!”

“The moment he says, ‘Action!’ you forget you’re from this planet and you really believe you have superpowers,” she says. “I was bummed when he told me, ‘I got it, that’s it.’”

It’s a rainy early-spring day, and Zoe’s in a car heading back to the set in Manhattan Beach, California. On the way, the former ballet dancer reflects on her journey from a rising star of teen classics (think Center Stage, Drumline, Crossroads) to internationally recognized kick-ass action heroine, with legions of fangirls and fanboys.
“There’s this sense of responsibility to keep growing,” explains the actress, who turns 40 on June 19 and is currently onscreen as lime-skinned ex-assassin Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War. “You sort of go, ‘I can’t drop the ball.’ So I’m always pushing really hard.” And that applies whether she’s training for a new film or raising her sons (1-year-old Zen and 3-year-old twins Cy and Bowie).

Indeed, because Zoe is often doing crazy-awesome stunts (which in the past have involved martial arts, archery, and horseback riding) or chasing her kids, keeping physically and mentally fit is just a way of life.

“I like feeling that I’m giving myself—my body, my spirit, my mind—the attention it needs.” She’s not only about adrenaline-boosting activities, either. When she has time, she’ll hit up a yoga class. “I often take for granted how helpful stretching and breathing exercises are,” she says. “Yoga reminds me to breathe and slow down.” The key for her is being intentional and pushing her body in some way.
Zoe got hooked on the intensity of movement during her days as a dancer. “I love having that kind of intimacy with my body and getting my body to do things I never thought I could do.” And she happily admits that she takes pleasure in food as well (especially Italian), though she opts for gluten-free and organic as often as possible.

“When I was younger, I was more strict,” recalls Zoe. “I felt I needed to control that part of my life in order to feel I was going to be successful at something—because we often equate success with our physical beauty. It’s so f-cked up!”

“That ‘Mom’s the boss’ thing is not going to happen in our family.”

These days, she finds validation in other ways. “My boys are a constant source of strength for me,” says Zoe. “They keep me on my toes, reminding me how much I still have to learn and grow as a person.” (Her sons even appear with her in Drake’s “Nice for What” video.)

It was the birth of her twins, she says, that inspired her to launch BESE (pronounced bee-say), her new digital media company that aims to provide millennials and Generation Z’ers with positive portrayals of their Latin peers. “I’ve been a victim of exclusion, of being considered ‘other,’” she says. “And that sucks.”

Lending support to all of her pursuits: her artist-husband of five years, 39-year-old Marco Perego Saldana. (Yep, he took her last name and she took his; she’s Zoe Saldana Perego.) “I have the most perfect partner in my life,” she gushes. “I’ve never met a male like my husband, who [believes] any woman is naturally his equal.”

The equality theme is big in her family, as Zoe and Marco are intent on raising their sons in a gender-neutral household. “That ‘Mom’s the boss’ thing is not going to happen in our family, because that means he’s the fun one, the good guy, while I’m the disciplinarian,” says the actress, who was brought up by a single mom in the Dominican Republic after Zoe’s dad was killed in a car accident when she was 9. “I don’t want my kids to look at women like, ‘Oh, god, they’re so annoying! They always come with structure.’”
Shortly before arriving at the Avatar set, Zoe reveals a major car confession: She hopes to soon star in an all-female superhero film. The girl-power plan was hatched on a recent Marvel Studios photo shoot that assembled the current female members of the Marvel universe, including Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Brie Larson (Captain
Marvel), and Scarlett Johansson (she reprises her role as Black Widow in an as-yet-untitled movie).

Though the actresses are part of the Marvel family, some of them met only that day. “We were getting to know each other, and it became this lovefest,” Zoe says. “We started feeling bolder, braver, and super inspired, and it was decided: Marvel should have all-female-cast movies!”

As if on cue, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige entered, and the women seized their moment. “He was very overwhelmed, because we were all talking at the same time, with all this energy. We wouldn’t let him leave!”

Climbing out of the car, Zoe reflects on the real force that united them. “The energy came from connecting with each other, from being fearless and saying, ‘You know, we’re going to talk about what we truly feel,’ versus just staring each other down like we’ve always been encouraged to do as women.”

“And it is important that we have an all-female movie,” she adds. “Our girls need it. Our boys need it. We need it!”


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