The pandemic has unveiled so many underlying social injustices such as racism and violence against women around the world. These are some of the issues (like police brutality and the problematic normalization of rape culture) we rarely tackle partly out. of the fear that people in power might come after us. So, who helped amplify these issues ? People of great influence—those with a following. Aside from encouraging people to speak up, they think of initiatives through online campaigns to help their causes such as ending rape culture, addressing racism and helping out underserved people in the community. They’ve given common folk like us a stage to be heard when the justice system doesn’t. Here are some them:
Ever since the numbers of COVID-19 cases started increasing rapidly, Angel Locsin has been vocal about the need for mass testing. She even questioned the priority testing of certain VIPs. And when words weren’t enough, she started the #UniTENTweStandPH fundraiser to help out our frontliners by providing tents. Recently, she held an online auction along with other celebrities to buy testing kits.
Last month, we saw Kakie’s Twitter exchange with journalist Ben Tulfo on rape culture blow up on social media. Standing alongside victims of sexual abuse, she helped trend #HijaAko, encouraging many to speak up about their experiences at the hands of their assailant. This also gave DJ Kat Alano a chance to be heard again, despite being shamed back in 2014, about her experience with rape at the hands of a well-known celebrity.
TV host Kim Cruz exposed an alleged data privacy breach and online sexual harassment by local company Cookies By The Bucket. After she tweeted about her experience, many other influencers came forward with their own stories. Not only that, it also brought to light some of the bad labor practices of the company (including verbally threatening employees regarding their salaries).
At the height of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Beyoncé posted a video on her Instagram encouraging others to be aware of the racism around us and sign the petition to give justice to George Floyd. She used the opportunity to empower black children during her speech at “Dear Class of 2020,” encouraging them to accept one’s individuality and culture to defy the odds, just as she did. Aside from that, we also saw her calling out to authorities to give justice to Breonna Taylor, who died at the hands of jail officers in her own home.