FIRST THOUGHT: Something Worth Fighting For
It’s easy to get riled up about the little things, like your partner not doing the dishes or getting into a fender bender on the way to work. But many of us are also passionate about the bigger issues that affect us all, like weighty social problems.
The ’60s and ’70s are credited as a time of good music and plenty of protests. Many fought diligently for civil rights and against war. While the days of bell-bottoms and flower power might be gone, many of us still care deeply about social injustices throughout the world.
What’s the one social issue that really makes you want to put down that latte, grab your picket sign and hit the streets?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 3 Out of 5
It’s common to believe that young people don’t have much to say, except when they’re Snapchatting, right? That simply isn’t the case.
It turns out that young people have loads to talk about, and one of their favorite topics is social activism. In fact, according to online activism-focused magazine OccupyTheory, it is young adults who are most driving recent social activism. Seven out of 10 young Americans are activists. And guess what? Three out of five young activists are female.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement
We see time and again that it only takes one woman to create change. So what happens when three women get together? They create a worldwide movement that started with a hashtag.
In 2013, when George Zimmerman was deemed not guilty of taking the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza, a social-justice activist, wrote a post on Facebook to the black community and concluded it with, “our lives matter.”
Artist and organizer Patrisse Cullors read Garza’s words and started the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Pretty soon, writer and strategist Opal Tometi joined in.
By 2014, #blacklivesmatter had as many as 200,000 mentions on Twitter.
The natural next step was to create Twitter and Tumblr pages, encouraging people to tell their own stories about why black lives matter. In the last few years, there have been Black Lives Matter protests in every major United States city.
Black Lives Matter made the short list for Time’s 2015 person of the year, and the movement has been discussed throughout this year’s election season.
The popularity of Black Lives Matter stems from three dedicated women who used the power of social media to create an impactful and sustainable dialogue. These trailblazers built a crusade that will be chiseled into history, and they empowered a nation by demanding that your life matters.
QUITE THE QUOTE:
This quote by cultural anthologist Margaret Mead affirms what these three women have accomplished. She said:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.