Suite 16: Gabrielle Union
By: Sasha Rose

Gabrielle Union was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She the daughter of Theresa and Sylvester Union, both worked as managers for the telecommunications company and her father also served in the military as a sergeant. Gabrielle is the middle child of the three daughters. Later, her father was transferred and moved the family from Omaha, Nebraska to Pleasanton, California, a predominantly white suburban neighborhood in northern California.

Union attended FootHill High school. She was very athletic, she played soccer, ran track and played basketball (all-star point-guard). Union had a father-figure in her life, which tons of young girls would love to have. Her father encouraged her to improve in what she is weak at. She recalled to Clarissa Cruz of Entertainment Weekly the type of lecture she often heard from her father: “You are the only black person in your whole class. You’re gonna have to prove to them everyday that you’re just as smart, if not smarter. Just as good, if not better. Just as fast, if not faster.” Union graduated from FootHill High School and attend to University of Nebraska for one semester before moving to Cuesta College, she later attended University of California in Los Angeles majoring in Sociology.

In 1992, Union started working for Payless Shoes Store. A horrifying incident occurred at her job. That evening she was held at gunpoint, beaten, and raped. Traumatized by the attack, she began meeting with a group of other sexual assault survivors, and for many years she gave talks in support of other victims. She is currently a advocate for victims of sexual assault.

Union graduated in 1996 from UCLA. She was later asked to signed a modeling contract with the model agency, where she interned her senior year of college. Saved by the Bell: The New Class was her first appearance. Over the next few years, Union guest roles on popular television shows such as Moesha, Sister Sister, Smart Guy and ER. She had a recurring role on Seventh Heaven, and in 2001 made a landmark appearance on the long-running sitcom Friends.

After making a few appearances in numerous of television shows, later she had minor roles in movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Love And Basketball. In 2000, Union was gained more exposure from her role of Isis as a cheerleader in Bring It On. She later received her first leading role in film, Deliver Us From Eva and played the leading lady in Bad Boys 2 and Breaking All Rules. Union did a lot of other successful films and also was awarded mostly for being Best Actress and Supporting Actress.

Gabrielle Union is one hard-working woman. She stands for more than what we actually think she stands for. Union carry herself with respect and class, regardless of previous rumor of being the “other woman” in NBA’s Dwayne Wade’s previous marriage to ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches. We all should idolize Union dues to the fact that she have came along way from her traumatize and abusive past to the Hollywood’s Red Carpet. She not only acting on her daily schedule, she take time to support and give back to those who are victims in sexual assault and being a positive role model.

Cited: Wikipedia, Starpulse, and Notablebiographies

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