Social Movements



When we watch the news or log into Instagram, it can be overwhelming to hear all the social justice movements broadcast. It’s difficult to keep up with the terms sometimes, but knowing what’s going on is important so that we can be well-educated citizens. As a disclaimer, these are by no means the only social movements of prominence in the media, but the ones chosen in the interest of the length of this article.


Black Lives Matter: According to Black Lives Matter’s website, their movement began in 2013 as a response to Trayvon Martin’s killer being acquitted. They currently have over 40 chapters globally, which work to organize citizens to get involved when violence happens against black people. The movement began with a trio of women, and they try to keep the activism intersectional, meaning not confined to straight cis-gender black men. The issues in Ferguson after the killing of Mike Brown led to Black Lives Matter intervening to help the people in Ferguson protesting as well as to spread their movement elsewhere, since Ferguson helped to put the topic of racial justice in the national spotlight even more.

#MeToo: Tarana Burke was the activist who, according to Refinery 29, started popularizing the term “Me Too.” She started an organization to help support those who have suffered sexual abuse or harassment, and this term was the name for her group’s mobilization. A New York Times article from October 2017 detailed Ashley Judd and other professionals speaking out about how Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them. 5 days later, an article was released in the New Yorker with additional women speaking out about Weinstein’s actions towards them. On October 16th of 2017, #MeToo became a Twitter hashtag following Alyssa Milano’s prompt for others to share their sexual harassment experiences.

Climate Change: As one of the foremost topics in the news as of late, climate justice is becoming a widespread phenomenon. Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, is at the center of the movement, beginning with her strikes from school, according to Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Her strikes began in late August of 2018, and as she continued to strike, some of her peers joined her to protest. In September, she started to strike each Friday, encouraging “Fridays for Future” strikes. By February of 2019, over 2 million students participated in school strikes globally. 


Now that a few of these important movements and their origins are clearer, do your own research! Start broadcasting hashtags or publicizing these issues, because climate change, Me Too, and Black Lives Matter all rely heavily on social media for mobilization and awareness.