Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes give their Instagram accounts to black activists to educate fans
8 June 2020, 18:06 | Updated: 8 June 2020, 18:11
Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes have handed over their Instagram accounts to black activists for a number of days to "accept responsibility" and educate their fans on racism first-hand.
Amid George Floyd protests worldwide and the Black Lives Matter movement being amplified louder than ever before, some of our favourite celebrities are doing their part by making respectable donations and educating their fans - and Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes have officially handed over their Instagram accounts to black activists to do the talking.
Activists including Zyahna Bryant, the youngest member of the Virginia African American Advisory Board and Alicia Garza, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter have been handed over control of the pairs social accounts (ok, so they're probably just picking the content, not snooping on their DMs), to talk about the current situation and what people can do to help.
Shawn, who is currently isolating with girlfriend Camila Cabello, announced the initiative last week in which he said he would be championing “incredible young Black changemakers” by allowing them to post educational content to his account, and Zyahna has already used the platform to make some seriously powerful statements.
View this post on Instagram
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. 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. Photo cred: @locsimagestudio
Speaking about her experiences on Shawn's Instagram Story, she said, “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...I think we all have a responsibility to do our part to actually promote change.”
Luis Jonathan Hernandez, founder of Youth Over Guns, has now been passed the baton and is using his time to document the protests from the frontline to the 56 million followers with eyes on the account.
Being the 6th most followed Instagram account in the world, Selena too has a lot of room for educating her younger fans.
Right now, founder of the #SayHerName movement, Kimberlé Crenshaw, is following on from Alicia Garza to provide resources that make the current situation a little easier to understand, and to publicise the work of intersectional think tank African American Policy Forum.
View this post on Instagram
After the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014, AAPF joined thousands of others to protest anti-Black police brutality, marching under a banner with the names of Black women killed by police. When we didn’t hear their names, we began chanting “Say! Her! Name!” That’s when our #SayHerName campaign was born. Working with families of slain Black women, we resist their invisibility by telling their stories. ⠀ ⠀ We cannot fix a problem we cannot see. Join us in this fight: https://aapf.org/supportshn and @aapolicyforum ⠀ — Kimberlé Crenshaw (@kimberlecrenshaw)
The #SayHerName campaign was born to bring justice to the black women who were forgotten victims of police brutality, and hand-in-hand with Black Lives Matter, the six posts made by the activists so far have totalled over 10 million likes.
“Black people are being murdered by police, and police are not being held accountable,” Alicia stated in an IGTV video, adding: “We’ve seen it time and time again, for decades…and people are in the streets because they are fed up. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am also sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Selena herself has already commented on the movement, admitting that she has been "struggling to know the right things to say to get the word out", and this refreshing posts from powerful voices that often go unheard are a warm welcome from everyone.
I think it great you are allowing them to access your Social Media to get there voices heard around the world. I hope you keep posting on Twitter because I look for your new comments every day. You do so much for so many for so little except your own gratification. 💘 you sis— Dale.Barker (@DaleBar67948237) June 6, 2020
AND THATS HOW U USE YOUR PLATFORM— Cierra|bIm (@Sweetergrandee) June 6, 2020
this is how celebrities should use their platform, amplifying black voices is necessary— sar loves camila (@bippitycabello) June 6, 2020
Thank you so much for doing this, we're so proud. It's time we ALL take action to learn and help stop all of the horrible things happening in the world.— Selena Gomez Brasil (Reserva) (@SGBRoficial) June 6, 2020
Fellow celebrities, it's time to watch and learn. Oh, and post a little more than a black square.