Rosario Dawson: I See Racism 'Everywhere, Every Day'

The Cesar Chavez actress on prejudice, gentrification and her new film.

Posted: 03/24/2014 10:00 AM EDT

Rosario Dawson is much more than just an incredibly pretty face. The multi-racial actress, a longtime advocate for causes like homeless rights, is as outspoken as she is gorgeous. We caught up with Dawson, who stars in the upcoming political biopic Cesar Chavez, to talk about all the changes happening in her home town of New York.

"The reality is, New York is a very transient city," Dawson says, responding to Spike Lee's recent rant against gentrification. "It's a melting pot. The city changes all the time. I think it's the reason people like Woody Allen and Spike Lee keep making films here."

Dawson, a self-proclaimed "brown girl from New York" also opens up to us about experiencing racism in her daily life. Saying she sees it "everywhere, every day," the actress points out that prejudice is not a uniquely American problem. "It's something I've definitely experienced around the world as well," she says, but adds that she's encouraged by a new generation of millennials who "not only tolerate, but accept" people of different races and backgrounds.

To hear more of Rosario Dawson talk about social issues, New York and, of course, her new film, Cesar Chavez, check out our exclusive interview below. Cesar Chavez opens nationwide on March 28.

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