I don’t always know the right thing to say when trying to stand up for what I believe in. I’m not the best at knowing exactly how to help those in need. I don’t have thousands of followers on social media to spread the word on a topic I am passionate about. That said, I find it comforting that there are people that can do these things when I am unable. For that reason, I thank the following people for taking a stand, raising positive awareness, and fighting back during these troubling times.
On January 29, 2017, Starbucks CEO and chairman, Howard Schultz, issued a statement regarding multiple issues we are currently facing; the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, refugees, the wall, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The issue that got the most press was regarding Schultz stating, “…we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of [refugees] over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business.” Of course, people then took to social media with #StarbucksBoycott because many do not want a “terrorist” making their coffee. Regardless of a boycott, Starbucks made its priorities clear when making this commitment.
David K. Harbour (and all other celebrities who stood up against injustice at the SAG Awards)
Barely a month ago, Meryl Streep made one of the most crucial, controversial statements a celebrity has made during an award show regarding a president. While she got a lot of backlash for being too outspoken and that the Golden Globes wasn’t the place or time to discuss such matters, David K. Harbour from Stranger Things made a statement that riled up the crowd in the best way possible. This proves the ripple effect. It took a lot of guts by Streep to be the first to speak out about these issues during an award show, but it shows that once one person has made the first step, others will follow. (Check out more celebrities who made a statement at the SAG Awards here.)
One of the hardest thing to do as an average American without the means of a large social platform is to make change. Kal Penn was told over social media “you don’t belong in this country” by a stranger. So Penn started a crowdfunding campaign to be the loud voice others do not have. Donations of more than $760,000 will being going to the International Rescue Committee, supporting humanitarian crises across the world, with the refugee crisis in America being the one currently front and center.
Boy Scouts of America
For the past however-many years, Boy Scouts of America has been infamous for not always accepting LGBT youth. Now, a spokesperson for the group made a statement that the application process will now be based on the gender identity chosen instead of what is on the child’s birth certificate. This is huge for the LGBT community and young transgender boys, as they will now have a chance to feel included.
Halsey was one of the many celebrities that participated in the Women’s March. After the march, she took it a step further. She tweeted the following tweet and is now donating $100,000 to Planned Parenthood. Although the five hours are over, the tweet now has over 140,000 retweets. Hopefully the giving does not end with her tweet and people continue to donate on their own.
— h (@halsey) January 21, 2017
Brie Larson isn’t new to fighting injustice. She is an amazing inspiration when it comes to a variety of topics and speaks out in a peace-loving, eloquent way. I will let her Instagram post speak for itself.
From her moving speech at the Women’s March to her beautifully-worded letter to Donald Trump, America Ferrera reminds us all that you can raise awareness by bringing in your personal feelings, and also keep it professional with statistics (not alternative facts) that back up your beliefs. It is easy to spew your personal beliefs to hurt someone who believes something different, but it takes real skill to defend your beliefs in a non- “This is what I think and it is the only right way to think” manner.
While there are dozens more, these are some of my favorites. I heard a speech from Jillian Michaels once who said that inspiration comes from the outside and motivation comes from within yourself. While this quote can apply to many things, I find it comforting even more now. So here is your inspiration. These are people and groups that should inspire you based on the changes they have made in their lives and the changes they hope to see in this country. Now it’s your turn. Find the motivation they have found and fight back along side them in anyway you know how.
Feature image by kconners