Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes hand over Instagram accounts to black activists and organizations
Just as brands and agencies have come out with anti-racism statements on social following the death of George Floyd and subsequent nationwide protests, celebrities have as well. Now, superstars like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes are going a step further and handing over their Instagram accounts to black activists and organizations whose messages they believe the public need to hear right now.
Selena Gomez, one of the most-followed people on Instagram with a following of 179 million, posted to the platform last Friday saying she would give her account over to leaders of the black community for the next few days to amplify black voices at this time.
“After thinking about how best to use my social media, I decided that we all need to hear more from Black voices,” wrote Gomez in an Instagram post, sharing a piece of art from black fine artist Charly Palmer. “We all have an obligation to do better and we can start by listening with an open heart and mind.”
Since then, leaders such as Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter; Jelani Cobb, reporter at The New Yorker and Columbia University professor; and Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, have taken over Gomez’ account, using her Instagram Stories to share racial injustice moments from history and the inequalities that are still around today.
On Saturday, Lady Gaga posted to her 42.2 million Instagram followers that she would begin giving her Instagram platform to the black organizations she’s donated to. So far, the Community Justice Action Fund has taken over her account, promoting other organizations helping black communities like March For Our Lives, The Wave App and Amnesty USA.
In her post declaring her commitment, Lady Gaga vowed to regularly share content from “inspiring members and groups within the black community” from now on.
Singer Shawn Mendes also posted to his Instagram account on Saturday to highlight “changemakers on the frontlines in the fight against systemic racism.”
“Please receive them with love and solidarity,” wrote Mendes in his post to his 56 million followers.
So far, black leaders who have taken over his Instagram account have included Zyahna Bryant, student activist and community organizer, and Luis Jonathan Hernandez, founder of advocacy group Youth Over Guns.
iHeartRadio has been sharing the artists’ commitments to its own Instagram account. It’s likely other celebrities and influencers will join them.