Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Listing the celebrities who use their platform for good

<p>Zendaya arrives at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood &amp; Highland Center in Hollywood.</p>

Zendaya arrives at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

In today’s culture, which is consumed by media and popularity, we spend a good amount of our personal time checking social media to see what people are doing. This has given us an insight into celebrities' personal lives and shown us they have their own hobbies and opinions just like us.

Seeing parts of celebrities' personal lives also gives us a way to see how they are giving back and impacting communities.

Here are eight of today’s influential celebrities we can learn from who have been vocal about political and social issues on their platforms.

Zendaya

The 25-year-old Euphoria star rose to fame as a child in 2010 after being cast on the Disney Channel. Since then, we have seen her grow into an intelligent adult. From advocating for Flint, Michigan, to calling out former President Trump’s insensitive “joke” about police brutality, the star has shown she is not afraid to do what is right. 

Yara Shahidi

“I’ll put my career on the line to talk politics,” she said in an interview with The Guardian

Shahidi had her breakout role in 2014, starring in the sitcom “Blackish.” At just 22, she has already taken drastic steps to inform young people about politics. Before the 2018 midterm elections, she launched an initiative called WeVoteNext, encouraging young Americans to vote. She advocates for many things besides voting, too, such as women’s rights, racial inequality and poverty.

Michael B. Jordan

The 35-year-old actor is one of the first actors to encourage celebrities to adopt inclusion riders, which is essentially a demand for casts to be diversified when the actor accepts a role. In addition to diversifying Hollywood since he adopted an inclusion rider in 2018, Jordan has attended multiple Black Lives Matter events. 

America Ferrera 

Best known for her roles in Ugly Betty and Superstore, America Ferrera, 38, has been giving a voice to the voiceless for years. She delivered a speech at a 2017 Women’s March, took a stand in the MeToo movement and wrote a book about Latinos growing up between cultures. Most notably, she launched She Se Puede, a digital platform empowering Latinas. 

Cardi B

The Dominican singer has many talents and is known for her unfiltered opinions, which aid her experiences in political activism. Cardi B said she has been interested in politics and history since high school, and we saw that heavily in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. 

She has advocated for increased COVID-19 regulations, and she continues to speak out about voting, police brutality and racial injustice through interviews and on Twitter. 

John Legend 

The 43-year-old singer and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, have been vocal about their political views for a while now. They are well-known for their arguments with Trump. 

Legend has donated $200,000 to anti-racism campaigns, and he is involved in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Aside from this, Legend performed at the DNC convention and made multiple donations to show his support. 

Lebron James

Not only have actors and singers taken political stands, but some athletes have as well. NBA all-star Lebron James has shown his support for social movements, specifically Black Lives Matter and the importance of voting.

The Lebron James Family Foundation has taken steps advocating for community revitalization for underprivileged places. His foundation has built a school and living areas to advance social assistance and education in struggling communities. 

Kerry Washington 

Kerry Washington also goes out of her way to choose roles that impact society politically and socially. She has worked with the MeToo movement, Time’s Up, and Black Lives Matter.  

The Scandal star made it clear she is an actor and an activist. At the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards, she said “Actors are activists because we embody the humanity and worth of all people.” 

The work they’re doing by using their voices is important, our job is to listen and engage.

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