Black women have always shaped social and political change in this country. Today’s change agents have the power of technology on their side and they’ve used it for good.
Digital influencer April Reign tapped into the power of Black Twitter and larger online communities to hold Hollywood accountable for its glaring lack of diversity. She created the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in January 2015 to call out the overwhelming whiteness of the Academy Awards. The conversation resurfaced when no actors of color were nominated for the 2016 Oscars. And it wasn’t until just this year that Jordan Peele became the first Black person to win an Oscar for original screenplay in the Academy’s 90-year history.
Tarana Burke’s rise to prominence happened in an unconventional and unexpected way as well (or we can say, meteoric rise shook the world as well). In October 2017, the #MeToo hashtag went viral online and gave people both in and out of Hollywood the chance to voice secret traumas they’d held onto for years. Burke, a longtime activist and advocate in raising awareness around sexual abuse, cemented an online movement that led to real life change by galvanized women across color lines. #MeToo created a safe space for all women and shed light on a pervasive issue in society that had long gone undiscussed and unrectified.
Both Reign and Burke will share insight on how something as seemingly simple as a hashtag can create much needed shifts in society. Save your spot today to hear from them this summer.