Social media has become part of our daily life. There are millions of users, and even more content being shared on a regular basis. Even though sometimes our feeds are saturated with ads, sponsored posts, highlight reels and sometimes altered realities, there are people who are using their platforms and voices in a more beneficial way.
In the past two years, there has been a shift in the way content is both consumed and created. People are becoming more conscious and aware of the effects social media has on the well-being of others, themselves and their communities
There have been countless social movements that have been started and strengthened thanks to apps like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Even though some people argue that posting about a social issue doesn't do much to invoke change, I believe that sharing and advocating for causes that will positively impact our life, even through a digital platform, is a step in the right direction and is helping create a sense of community and commitment that is very much needed in our society.
Today, I wanted to feature six women who are using their platforms to advocate for different causes, but who all share one same goal: bring change and create equal opportunities for everyone.
1. Yara Shahidi
Actress, model and activist, Yara Shahidi is one of the biggest voices in Hollywood, who is using her platform to create and encourage change.
Photo via Instagram/ @yarashahidi
She advocates for many different causes like diversity in Hollywood, inclusivity in fashion, social justice, and youth political participation.
2. Marley Dias
There's no better testament to President Obama's famous quote: "We are the change that we seek" than Marley Dias. With only eleven years old, she noticed the lack of diversity in children literature and decided to launch the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign with the goal of collecting and donating books that featured stories with black females as protagonists.
Photo via Instagram/ @iammarleydias
She has collected over 10,000 books and continues to advocate for literary diversity. She is also the author of the book Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!
3. Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist and the original founder of the Me Too Movement, which she started in 2006. The movement gained attention in 2017, after actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women on Twitter to respond with #MeToo if they had experienced sexual harassment, abuse, or assault.
The #MeToo movement has created a safe and open space for victims to find support and pathways to healing.
Photo via Instagram/ @taranajaneen
With more than 25 years of experience, Tarana Burke continues to actively advocate for racial justice, housing inequality, economic justice, as well as supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse. She works as the senior director at Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, NY.
4. Emma Watson
The British actress has used her voice to advocate for gender equality, the empowerment of young women and the promotion of girls’ education.
Photo via Instagram/ @emmawatson
In 2014, she was appointed a United Nations Women Goodwill ambassador, dedicating her efforts to promoting the HeForShe campaign. In 2019, she established, in partnership with Time's Up UK, a free legal advice helpline for women who suffer from workplace sexual harassment.
5. Megan Rapinoe
The United States Women's National Team captain uses her platform and voice to advocate for equal pay for female athletes, social justice and LGBTQ+ rights.
Photo via Instagram/ @mrapinoe
Rapinoe is not afraid to share her views on the current political situation in the United States, and has taken an active role by encouraging change and kindness.
6. Jess Quinn
Jess Quinn is a model and activist from New Zealand. After battling cancer as a child, Quinn lost a leg to the disease when she was 9 years old. Now, she uses her social platforms to fight for diversity, inclusivity and body positivity.
After and incident in 2018, when a magazine published Photoshopped images of her, she launched a petition with the hopes of garnering attention so there can be a law that holds advertisers and brands accountable for altering and editing pictures of models.
Photo via Instagram/ @jessicaemilyquinn
Quinn is sharing a message of self-love and self-acceptance and wants to teach young girls that it's okay to be yourself and that what is sometimes posted on social media and advertisements is not always real.
I really hope this list inspires you to connect to a cause that means something to you. Remember that we can use the tools and technologies we possess to encourage and motivate change and transformation.
Please, share in the comments below who are some social change advocates and what are some social causes that are important to you. I would love to hear what you're passionate about.
Thank you so much for reading.
Until next time.