The actor used her red carpet look to spotlight missing and murdered Indigenous women.
With tons of cameras and fans around, a glitzy movie or television premiere is certainly the perfect place to make a bold statement be seen and heard—whether it be a fashion one, or something much bigger. At the premiere of Amazon’s The Power in New York City earlier this week, series star Auli’i Cravalho did both: The actor used her red carpet look to spotlight the growing epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW).
Cravalho—who is a Hawaiian native, and also voiced Moana in the 2016 Disney film—punctuated her floral-print Naeem Khan dress with a red handprint painted across her face. The color red—and specifically, red handprints—has become a symbol within the Indigenous community to represent the MMIW movement, which aims to spotlight how Indigenous women are disproportionally affected by violence. “I’m representing No More Stolen sisters, and bringing light to murdered and Indigenous women,” Cravalho told Entertainment Tonight at the event.
It’s an alarming epidemic that deserves attention. According to the Centers for Disease Control, homicide is the third-leading cause of death for Indigenous women; More than 4 out of 5 Indigenous women have also experienced violence, reports the National Institute of Justice Report. Further, many of the cases surrounding murdered or missing Indigenous women are often neglected or not properly investigated by law enforcement as well—an issue that was recently spotlighted in the Showtime documentary Murder in Big Horn.
For Cravalho, this is the biggest issue that she wanted to highlight. “It is incredibly frustrating that there are not enough cases that are actually followed up with,” Cravalho said. “It points to police and how they are not using their funds correctly.” It was a poignant use of her moment in the spotlight that made for a powerful end result.
This article was originally published on Vogue.