Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and More Turn Over Their Instagrams to Black Leaders: Here's What They Said
By Liz Calvario
Steve Granitz/WireImage -- P. Lehman / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Amid the nationwide protests against police brutality, many celebrities are asking "what's next?" and "what can we do?" Thankfully a number of high-profile stars are lending their Instagrams and platforms to amplify black voices, leaders and organizations at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Selena Gomez previously announced that she would be highlighting influential leaders and giving them a chance to speak directly to all of her 179 million-plus fans. Shawn Mendes, Lady Gaga, Lizzo and more have also taken it upon themselves to hand over their social media pages. See what they have shared.
The "Rare" singer kicked things off on June 5 by introducing Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter and one of the founders of Black Futures Lab, an organization that works to make black communities powerful in politics.
Garza posted a video on Gomez's Instagram account explaining why people are protesting, as well as sharing insight on how to provide help and get involved.
"In order for us to change it, we got to join a movement, We all have to stand together and say, 'We won't take it anymore and here's what we want you to do instead,'" Garza stated. "We all deserve better. And when we're organized and when we have a plan, we can actually change the things that we don't like in the country, so that we can make it right."
On June 6, she introduced Jelani Cobb, a journalist at the New Yorker, professor at Columbia University and historian. Cobb took over Gomez's Instagram and shared a clip from Ava DuVernay's documentary, 13th, as well as shared photos from past protests, Colin Kaepernick's kneeling and more.
On June 7, Gomez turned her platform over to Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, host of the Intersectionality Matters podcast, moderator of the “Under The Blacklight" conversation series, law professor and much more.
Crenshaw, who helped popularize the "#SayHerName" viral movement, spoke on the importance of shining a light on black women and female victims of police brutality as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"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," she wrote. "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."
On June 8, Gomez handed her Insta over to Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, a professor of art history and African & African American Studies at Harvard University and founder of The Vision & Justice Project, which examines the relationships between art, culture and justice. Lewis presented followers with a one-day Instagram class titled "How to See in a Racial Crisis," promising resources in her posts and Instagram stories to aid self-education on racial bias in media, racial terror as culture and more.
"Law alone did not result in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Travyon Martin, or any of the other unnamed lives lost due to racial terror. Law combined with culture shapes our social narratives. It can justify biases and stereotypes with deadly consequences," she wrote. "But this is also the good news. It means that we all have a role to play by how we shape, make, and engage with the culture around us."
The first person she gave the mic to was Amber Goodwin from the Community Justice Fund. "We see you, we love you and we support you and we hear you," Goodwin said, as she explained that black people are "disproportionately impacted by gun violence at alarming rates…To reduce gun violence, we need white people and non-black people to do the work to dismantle these systems."
The Canadian crooner -- who was also spotted protesting in Miami -- shared his spotlight with activist and strategist Zyahna Bryant, who took over his Instagram Story on Friday. The Charlottesville, Virginia, native's work centers on taking down Confederate monuments and educational equity issues.
"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," she suggested. "Beyond just talking and posting on social media, I think we all have a responsibility to do our part to actually promote change."
On June 6, he gave his IG Story over to Winter Breeanne, a 19-year-old activist from California, who began by explaining how she got involved in giving back to her community. Shethen shared resources on what to do next.
"I want to use this moment and this opportunity to move you all to productive action," she said. "We need you to think beyond reform and to think about what it looks like to invest in the black communities to center our voices."
On June 8, Mendes handed his Insta over to writer and racial and gender justice activist Brea Baker, who provided followers with lists of anti-racist reading and podcast recommendations for followers to start self-educating on undoing systemic racism. She also elevated The Gathering for Justice, spotlighted a lesser-known victim of police brutality, Akbar Rogers, and pointed out some Pride month-appropriate resources from the Atlanta-based, queer and trans-led Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative.
The singer shared that she would be advocating for Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis so that people would learn more about what’s happening at the heart of the protest.
"I believe in using my platform to give others the chance to speak," Lizzo told her followers.
On June 5, the model turned her Instagram over to Black Lives Matter international ambassador Janaya Future Khan, for a Live conversation on "how to be your best self, and reclaim your story, even when it’s hard."
"I wanted @janayathefuture to take over my platform because this message is important," Gerber wrote. "Please watch and turn up your volume. thank you all for being respectful and showing love during the live ❤️#blacklivesmatter."
The singer went Live with actress and producer Julissa Contreras in June 7, to discuss racism and allyship within the Latinx community, as well as how the community can better stand up for black voices.
"We covered ALOT about allyship, gentleness, guilt, growth, and moving towards a new world!" Jauregui shared as she posted the clips after the chat.
Following the death of George Floyd -- a 46-year-old Minnesota black man who died after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than eight minutes -- protests have taken place all over the nation.
Celebrities have been banding together to donate, march and raise awareness for Black Lives Matter. Watch the video below to see how they've been using their platforms.