In the midst of the global uprising against racial injustice, brands are getting under fire as they are being exposed and called out for their history of racial discrimination in their systems. Executives are resigning positions and truthfully it feels like the world is opening up to an awakening that has been long over due.
In light of this Black Lives Matter movement, radical conversations are also taking place across all spectrums.
A new social media campaign called “#ShareTheMicNow” has been launched as a space to have radical conversations. The campaign will happen on June 10th, and will have about 50 prominent Black women take over the instagram accounts of 50 prominent White women, reaching a total audience of 300 million on Instagram.
The campaign is conceived by Chief Endeavor chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John, NYT bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones, NYT bestselling author Glennon Doyle, and alice + olivia founder Stacey Bendet.
The mission of the campaign says,
“When the world listens to women, it listens to white women. For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly for centuries to enact change. Today, more than ever, it is NECESSARY that we create a unifying action to center Black women’s lives, stories, and calls to action. We need to listen to Black women.”
According to the campaign planners, the goal is to
“magnify Black women’s lives and stories. To form relationships among Black women and white women – so that our future activism is born from relationships. To create a network of disruptors who know and trust each other. To create action that could make change.”
The campaign sets the tone that other black and white women can also take the lead and have open conversations that will allow for education and learning.
“We invite other Black and white women in relationship to recreate this action in their own spaces.”, says the campaign founders
For this campaign, it will be very interesting to participate in the conversations on the different platforms. Each one of the Black and white women who signed up to engage have proven to be true leaders for the culture. You have award winning authors, actors, editors, activists, business women, athletes and so on who have a history of fighting for a cause.
This is indeed a radical approach to say:
Yes, I see color. I am a white woman and you are a black woman. We love and respect each other but we are in this open space to acknowledge our differences. Let us for the first time, have an honest public dialogue about my white privileges as a white woman. As a white woman whose fellow white women have many times weaponized their whiteness and privilege for bias reasons. I want you, my sister, to educate us and share with us how we can do better.
No doubt the #ShareTheMicNow campaign is a POWERFUL start that could have taken only powerful black and white women to pull together. The founders of this movement are forces for impact! On a critical note, the time is truly now for Black women to get heard. For black women to take the mic and own the mic with no apologies. To achieve this, white women will have to accept that their white privilege exists and can make a difference through activism in partnership with black women. The Mic has always been shared but it has not been 50/50.
Beyond this campaign, beyond the fire that has been lit on the bottoms of these brands and figures, will true change emerge? Perhaps it is not the time to share but the time for white women to understand the privilege they’ve always had and honestly pass the mic fully. Will this be an ongoing occurrence where radical and open conversations will be had on platforms of prominent white women beyond the currents of the Black Live Matter movement? How will white women continue to show up without unconscious bias? Will black women’s voices be reinforced by white women at the work place and beyond; more than a social media campaign?
Here’s a full list of the Black women participating:
Alencia Johnson, Alexa Idama, Angelica Ross, Austin Channing Brown, Bozoma Saint John, Brittney Cooper, Candace Marie, Cari Champion, Christina Rice, Deesha Dyer, Devi Brown, Elaine Welteroth, Elle Hearns, Eunique Jones Gibson, Fresco Steez, Gia Peppers, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Jessica O. Matthews, Jovian Zayne, Julee Wilson, Justina Omokhua, Kahlana Barfield Brown, Keah Brown, Kimberly Blackwell, Latham Thomas, Lauren Wesley Wilson, Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Melina Abdullah, Miatta Johnson, Monique Melton, Myleik Teele, Naima Cochrane, Nikki Ogunnaike, Nimotalai Ganiyu, Opal Tometi, Rachel Cargle, Activist, Seun Adigun, Stephanie Thomas, Stephanie Young, Tai Beauchamp, Tarana Burke, Thasunda Brown Duckett, Tiffany Aliche, Yaba Blay, Yvette Noel Schure.
A full list of the white women participating:
Abby Wambach, Ali Krieger, Arianna Huffington, Ashley Graham, Ashley Judd, Ashlyn Harris, Barb Schmidt, Brandi Carlile, Brené Brown, Busy Philipps, Cameron Esposito, Chelsea Handler, Cheryl Strayed, Chrissy Metz, Debra Messing, Diane von Furstenberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Esther Perel, Glennon Doyle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, Jen Hatmaker, Jenny Mollen, Jessica Seinfeld, Julia Roberts, Julianne Hough, Kathryn Budig, Katie Couric, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kourtney Kardashian, Liz Plank, Mandy Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Melissa Urban, Michelle Monaghan, Nina Tame, Sara Bareilles, Sarah McBride, Sarah Paulson, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Seane Corn, Selma Blair, Sophia Bush, Stacey Bendet, Sue Birda.