Inspiring Social Activists Who Are Changing The World

With new world issues arising every day and with society becoming increasingly more divisive, whether that's through racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of oppression, speaking out and fighting for equality are more important than ever. Thankfully, the world isn't short of activists who want to make a difference.
We're all familiar with the famous activists who shaped our world into what it is today. From Mother Teresa to Martin Luther King Jr., activists have been protesting to bring about change since time began and their work still lives on today through the younger activists of our generation. However, despite the great contributions made by well-known activists, not everyone need perform the most grand gestures to live up to them. All it takes is passion and commitment, an idea and a voice, and anyone really can change the world.

The activists of today, and the youth in particular, are doing all they can to ensure they leave this world a little bit better than it was when they first came into it. They are proving each day that, no matter the obstacle, the scale of the problem or the size of your platform, a little bit of hard work can go a long way. I want to shine a light on some activists who inspire me in everyday life and in whom I find strength. I wanted to point you in the direction of people who are doing incredible things and who are an example to us all in the ways in which we should carry out our activism. They are by no means perfect, they make mistakes and they don't know everything, however, they're just like the rest of us and that's what makes them so brilliant. They're integrated members of society who educate others whilst also educating themselves, they admit to their wrongdoings and learn from them and they have personal experiences with oppression so they know what they're talking about.

Check out my list of inspiring social activists. Perhaps one of them will inspire you to start making some sort of change.

Munroe Bergdorf
Munroe uses her platform to draw attention to society's injustices, particualry racism, white-supremacy and transphobia. As a black trans woman herself, the activist and model speaks from personal experience and it's inspiring to see her refusing to hold back when tackling controversial subjects. Despite becoming the target of online trolls and hate campaigns, instead of allowing herself to be defined by other people's opinions, this fierce woman continues to fight for equality for people of all genders and races. She utilises her large social media following and speaks on TV shows to help continue the conversations surrounding gender and race to help dispel harmful myths and educate oppressors. Munroe has modelled for successful magazines and brands and created her own documentary, What Makes A Woman? for Channel 4.

Rowan Blanchard
Best known for her role in Girl Meets World, actress and activist Rowan Blanchard utilises her impressionable following to the max by talking about important issues. Despite only being a teen herself, she doesn't shy away from getting her hands dirty by attending marches or putting the target very much on her forehead by discussing American politics. The unashamed feminist, who identifies as queer, has also spoken at the UN Women and US National Committee's annual conference as part of #TeamHeForShe.

Megan Crabbe
Body positivity is a massive issue, therefore, public figures who challenge society's harmful perspectives and embrace the skin they're in, to set an example, to others are vital. Megan uses her Instagram account, BodyPosiPanda, to spread body positivity and encouraging messages of self love and acceptance. She is an influential figure in the body posi community but also uses her large platform to direct her followers to other body posi activists with different stories to tell. She very much stands for everyone and constantly pushes the idea that we are all beautiful, regardless of our shape or size. Her online posts are alway helpful and educational, never patronising, something that is important in helping get others on board with your activism. Megan has also written a book, titled, Body Positive Power.

Emma Gonzalez
Emma is an American advocate for gun control. After surviving the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, she decided enough was enough and that no more children should die at the hands of gun violence or attend school in fear of their own lives. She helped organise the March For Our Lives, (the largest student protest in American history) and has delivered powerful speeches on the importance of stricter gun legislation. Despite facing criticism and being the victim of both verbal and online attacks, which pass derogatory comments on her skin colour and sexuality, Emma remains committed to her cause. Her bravery, her strength and her fight are beyond inspiring.

Naomi Wadler
At the tender age of 11, Naomi Wadler delivered an unforgettable speech at the March For Our Lives protest on the importance of protecting black women and girls from gun violence and not ignoring the risks they face. Her age by no means defines her wisdom as she has a strong head on her shoulders and understands perfectly how serious gun violence and racism are in America. By speaking so eloquently and inspiring people far older than her, she has already contributed greatly to ensuring black women and girls no longer become another statistic. 

Amika George
At just 18 years of age, Amika George set up the #FreePeriods campaign to fight for all girls on free school meals to have access to free sanitary products so their periods can be safe an hygienic. Thanks to the work of her and those around her, people of Britain are becoming more aware of the prevalent issue of period poverty and how severe it is. Parliament are beginning to listen to the stories of those who suffer at the hands of period poverty thanks to Amika using her privilege to shine a light on their struggles. As a result of Amika's dedication to ending the stigma surrounding periods and stopping the topic being so taboo, the government agreed to use money from the Tampon Tax to help end period poverty and use more money to benefit women and girls.

Jazz Jennings
Teenage trans activist Jazz Jennings began publicly discussing her gender at just six years old and has since gone on to document her story through her YouTube channel. She has helped continue the conversation on what it means to live as a transgender teen. Jazz published a book in 2014 titled, I Am Jazz, that shares her experiences with her gender and offers advice to those who want to support trans friends and relatives. She is now producing a short film that tackles the Bathroom Ban - an issue affecting many transgender people.

Fox and Owl Fisher
Fox and Owl both identify as non-binary trans people. The couple run My Genderation and advocate for trans rights through filmmaking to help people understand life as a trans person. They frequently challenge the media's negative portrayals of trans people and travel across the globe to provide outsiders with education. They are incredible figures in the community of trans activism who tackle some big issues without fear and provide hope that a future that is inclusive of all genders is on the horizon.

Hailey Wait
Hailey is an artist with a large online platform, which she uses to inspire people who struggle with acne. By abandoning face make-up and embracing the bare-faced look in her selfies, she spreads a beautiful message that all skin is beautiful, regardless of its 'imperfection.' With thousands of followers, many of whom are young people, her small yet powerful acts of self acceptance have a positive impact on those who look up to her. 

Sonita Alizadeh
Sonita is an Afghan rapper and activist. She uses a slightly different method of tackling the patriarchy by speaking against forced marriages through song. She was almost married twice, once at the age of 10 and again at 16, before rebelling and penning a track called, Brides For Sale, in which she raps about young girls being sold into marriage by their families, telling a story too many girls
can relate to. Her own remarkable story was then told in the award-winning film Sonita and she
was contacted shortly by the Strongheart Group, who offered her a student visa to study in the
United States. She continues to perform and encourage other women to rebel against tradition.

Malala Yousafzai
Five years ago, Malala was shot by a Taliban gunman, who attempted to murder her, for speaking out about girls' right to an education. Since, then, she has gone on to achieve remarkable things and bring about change in the field of girls' education. She went on to become the the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in history and fund The Malala Fund. She also published a book, I Am Malala, and grabbing the opportunity of a university education with both hands when she began studying a bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. Malala has gone from almost dying for having a voice to becoming a universal symbol of hope. She has proved that education really is the most powerful weapon.

Which social activists inspire you?

Love, Emily

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! I love Naomi Wadler, she truly gives me hope for the future. And, I love Emma Gonzalez. I live in Florida, and I am proud of the students for taking a stand. Great blog!!