Celebrities are using their platform for good as they join the fight against racial injustice in America. As the protests against racially motivated police brutality continues, celebs are finding a groundbreaking way to shine some light and spread information during this time, by highlighting the Black community. Selena Gomez gave her Instagram account to Black leaders, and so did some other celebs, in an effort to promote the Black Lives Matter movement through their extensive number of followers.
Following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, Americans across the country have been protesting police brutality and systemic racism. Celebrities like Gomez have been looking for ways to support the Black community and make a change using their wide-reaching platforms. On Thursday, June 4, Gomez announced on Instagram that she would be turning over her account to highlight influential leaders of the Black community. "I have been struggling to know the right things to say to get the word out about this important moment in history. After thinking about how best to use my social media, I decided that we all need to hear more from Black voices," she wrote alongside an image of a painting by Black artist Charly Palmer.
"Over the next few days I will be highlighting influential leaders and giving them a chance to take over my Instagram so that they can speak directly to all of us," Gomez continuted. "We all have an obligation to do better and we can start by listening with an open heart and mind," she wrote.
The first post in her installment highlighted Alicia Garza, a co-creator of Black Lives Matter who also runs the Black Futures Lab organization, which works to transform Black communities by building Black political power. "Taking a minute here to talk about what’s going on, explain why people are protesting, and provide ways for you to get involved. Thank you to Selena for giving us this platform! And thanks to you all for listening," Garza wrote. "Check out my story for resources and ways to get involved in this moment, and after."
Other celebrities making a similar move include Shawn Mendes, Lizzo, and Lady Gaga.
On Friday, June 5, Mendes announced his decision to take action by handing over his Instagram to Black organizers. "I’ve decided to hand over my platform on Instagram & give my stories for the next few days to some incredible young Black changemakers on the frontlines in the fight against systemic racism," he wrote. "Please receive them with love and solidarity. The first is @zysaidso. You can also head over to @shawnfoundation‘s IG for more information on her efforts."
Zyahna Bryant, an activist responsible for the removal of Confederate monuments, took over Mendes' Instagram Story with a powerful message, telling others, "Now is the time to move to action, now is the time to educate ourselves and do the reading, find the local people in your community who are doing anti-racist work." Bryant continued, "Beyond just talking and posting on social media, I think we all have a responsibility to do our part to actually promote change."
Lizzo announced on Thursday, June 4 she'd be speaking the the Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis, Minnesota on her Instagram Live. "I believe in using my platform to give others the chance to speak. Join me tomorrow at 1pm PST/3pm CT to talk with @blackvisionscollective in Minneapolis to learn more about what’s happening in the heart of the protest, and how we can help," she wrote alongside her announcement video.
Joining the cause, Lady Gaga brought her followers the news she'd be dedicating her Instagram account to Black voices. "Starting tomorrow, I’m giving over my Instagram account to each of the organizations I’ve recently donated to, in an effort to amplify their important voices," she wrote on Thursday, June 4. Gaga continued, "And after I vow to regularly, in perpetuity, across all of my social media platforms, post stories, content, and otherwise lift up the voices of the countless inspiring members and groups within the Black community." Her first Instagram Story takeover featured the Community Justice Action Fund and its founder, Amber Goodwin.
Keep up to date with Gomez and other celebrities' posts by checking their Instagram Stories and updates for more Black voices in activism, leadership, and anti-racism education.