Photo: lalo Hernandez on Unsplash
With so many people cultivating an online persona, there are those that use sites like Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram to create a base to spread information or call awareness to something happening. It's not just celebrities using these sites to promote themselves though, as activists are taking to social media to communicate. There are various types of posts, and each deliver information differently. If Instagram is your platform of choice, here are five activists to follow:
Layla F Saad
Saad is a giving activist, creating an entire workbook dedicated to helping people realize their role in racism. It’s titled Me and White Supremacy, and available to download for free. She has dedicated her time and effort to helping people discover their own roles in a system of inherent racism without asking direct compensation for it, but she also posts insightful questions regularly. Many people who comment on Saad’s posts are told by other Instagram users to do more research on their own before coming in with questions or opinions - which follows a theme. Emotional and intellectual labor is something that women, especially Black women, are expected to give for and to others, and get nothing in return. This behavior is expected when arguing with someone in the comments of an article or a post, and they refuse to fact check themselves.
No White Saviors
NoWhiteSaviors is a community organization based in Uganda, using Instagram to educate people about how volunteering in African countries for spring break is actually more hurtful than helpful. They are currently involved with a legal case involving alleged medical malpractice against children - more information can be found on their Instagram page, including ways to help their cause for justice. Their research has brought a lot of information to the surface. The process is going to be long and difficult. They are working to make the world aware not only of the alleged malpractice happening at the cost of children's lives, but also of the way that white supremacy creates such power imbalances.
Black Girl in Maine
Run by a Maine resident, the blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts follow Shay Stewart Bouley’s life, as the title suggests, as a black woman living in a very white state. Bouley also travels to give speaking presentations about racism with various colleagues, and by herself. She chronicles racism, living in a predominantly white state, and how the current culture and political climate affect black women. Dedicated to making sure that others are pulling their emotional weight, the comments on Bouley’s posts often suggest that others do more research on the topics being discussed before adding commentary.
An Instagram dedicated to “A Xicana/brown*/indigenous body-positive and eating disorder awareness project” that features Native people focused health, self-love, and acceptance. They post about speaking events the creator of the page lectures at, as well as conventions that the group hosts tables at. Posts can also include personal anecdotal lessons about what the struggles Native people face living surrounded by a system that hasn’t treated them well in many years. Currently the page follows the creator’s schedule of speaking engagements, but also local events by Black, Indigenous, and Person Of Color (BIPOC) artists in the area (Arizona, USA).
Beat Eating Disorders
As the name implies, this page is dedicated to those who have, are fighting, and are in recovery from eating disorders. It posts encouraging photos with soft backgrounds, body positive graphics for all sizes, and talks about intersectional feminism and recovery. The page is a volunteer- run group, so there are multiple people who have access to the page and the messages. Their photos are often words instead of strictly images, but they allow the viewer to dwell on the message for a little longer without being distracted by whatever is in the background.
Sarina Alley is a Salem State University graduate, living off the coast of Maine; she currently watches the effects of global warming very personally.