Although nothing compares to actively seeking change in the community, real-time exposure to important issues is the first way many individuals learn of social injustices across the world. With more than 250 million active users, Twitter and Tumblr have grown to become leaders of instant news. Information travels as fast as a user can type 140 characters and can grow into a trending topic in minutes. Recently, hashtags have evolved from funny quips about celebrities and sports teams to links for activists around the globe. Check out these hashtags for inspiration.
#BringBackOurGirls: On April 15, 2014, 234 girls were kidnapped from their school by an extremist terrorist group known as Boko Haram, which translates to "Western education is a sin." According to Topsy.com, a the first mention of #BringBackOurGirls was by Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, a management partner from Nigeria. It took eight days for the Internet to catch on. Since then, the hashtag has included nearly 700,000 tweets, including Michelle Obama.
Make no mistake about this. #BringBackOurGirls isn't just a hashtag campaign that'll fade soon. It's an untiring demand for good governance.
They said there are 20,000 soilders in Borno but we cannot find them in chibok, where are they #bringbackourgirls
jude abaga @MI_Abaga
When it was convenient and trendy we were all on this. But they are still not home. #bringbackourgirls
#YesAllWomen: The "Yes All Women" campaign was created after the tragedy at the University of California at Santa Barbara that left two women and four men fatally wounded. Since May 24, the hashtag was tweeted more than 2 million times. The trending topic brought awareness to the injustices that women face, and a wave of supporters for women's rights was born.
kim janes @kimhbu
YesAllWomen because even though "no" was one of the first words you learnt you still don't know what it means.
Katie Dreaper @katiedreaper
As a human I have the right to feel safe & not fear for my life if my BF, father or brother arent around to "protect" me #WaPo #YesAllWomen
Emma Jepsen @_moje_
YesAllWomen because "no" does not mean "convince me"
#WeNeedDiverseBooks: We Need Diverse Books is an organization formed to promote diversity within the literary community. When BEA BookCon announced its panel of all-white, all-male authors as the leaders in children's literature, writers and readers alike called for diversity within reading selections. The campaign has support from authors such as Terry McMillan and Ellen Oh, and young-adult authors Maureen Johnson and John Green.
There's a social-media campaign going on right now to spread the word on why we need more diversity in our books. It's really fantastic and inspiring and I am so proud to be a part of it...
As a writer and a mom, this campaign is also deeply personal for me. My daughter is 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Jamaican. She loooooves books. I think she might love books more than she loves anything else (including mama!). One day she'll be able to read them on her own and I want her to be able to find herself in them. I want her to know that girls that look like her can be anyone, can do anything.
We need diverse books because this is my family.
Yes, We Will: The 2014 Intern Manifesto
by JFP Interns
We will point out any kind of injustice in our community and take the right action to counteract it.
We will use reusable products whenever possible, but if we can't, we will recycle.
We will put time into actively giving back to our community through service projects and volunteering.
We will shop locally to support businesses in Jackson.
We will report any kind of violence or bullying in the community as it only tears down our city. We will be brave and act as watchdogs in any kind of threatening situation.
We will uphold our civic duty and vote.
We will elect politicians who support important causes for our city and state.
We will stop litter in its tracks as it blemishes the world we live in today. If we see litter on the streets, we will pick it up and dispose of it properly.
We will watch for cyclists and yield to pedestrians.
We will conserve energy by taking shorter showers, turning off lights and driving less.
We will actively try to step out of our comfort zone through trying new activities and acting as agents for causes worth standing up for.
We will not be couch potatoes and let our lives go to waste.
We will continue to educate ourselves through reading books.
We will take the initiative to read regularly and pick up a novel instead of the TV remote.
We will not drive distracted including texting and talking on cell phones.
We will completely focus on the road to ensure the safety of all when driving.
We will use our turn signals and stop at stop signs to obey traffic laws and to be considerate of other drivers.
We will use our strengths to empower others, such as tutoring a peer, colleague or younger person.
We will donate items we might throw away to second-hand stores because others may be able to use them.
We will remember that respect for all races, genders, sexualities and religions (or lack thereof) is necessary for an open and cohesive society.
We will continually broaden our perspective by attending a service of a different faith at least once.
We will respect our teachers and take full advantage of our education, no matter what level.
We will be active participants in gaining as much knowledge as we can.
We will learn from our elders and mentors by actively listening to them.
We will petition for change if we see a need for it.
We will not be bystanders, we will stand up for change.
We will smile at people and have positive attitudes.
We will be outgoing and talk to at least one person we would not usually talk to every day.
We will read, watch, and listen to the news.
We will continue to update ourselves and know what's going on in our world.