More Than a Hashtag


With the recent tragic losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Christian Hall, and countless other people of color, the attention of the nation has been brought to issues of racial inequities in America. Large social movements such as Black Lives Matter Movement that emerged in 2013 and grew in 2020 as well as the Stop Asian Hate Movement that recently began in 2021 are fighting to bring an end to violence and discrimination towards African Americans and Asian Americans. Focal points of these movements include disproportionate crime rates towards racial minorities, under-representation and misrepresentation of racial minorities in the media, and general conversation about race issues in America.

With the onset of these movements, many are wishing to be better allies to these historically marginalized racial minority groups. However, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, and what one person can possibly do to enact meaningful change. Below are a few different ways in which one can better help support people of color and racial equality in America.

One of the easiest ways to support people of color is by donating to organizations that provide aid and assistance for them. One of the longest standing organizations devoted to the fight for racial equality is the NAACP. Founded in 1909, donations to this organization go towards providing education, healthcare, criminal justice, and economic opportunities for people of color. There are countless other foundations and some of the most prominent are the NALEO Educational Fund for Latin Americans, the AAJC for Asian Americans, and Black Lives Matter for African Americans.

These large established organizations have the power to enact real change in the lives of disadvantaged racial minorities, and donations are essential to keeping these nonprofits running. The easiest way to donate is online. Through a Google search one can be led to the websites of these organizations, where information on how to donate is clearly marked or linked. Charity Navigator is a useful tool to determine how donations are used within an organization.

Advocating Through Social Media

In addition to donations, another helpful way to show support for people of color is through advocating in the media. Anybody can use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share their voice, and social media provides the unique benefit of reaching an extremely large audience.

One way to advocate for racial justice in the media is by signing petitions. A petition is a written request, usually to an authority such as a governmental body, with respect to a particular cause. They are signed by many people, and generally the more people that sign them, the more impactful they are. Thanks to modern technology, petitions can be signed electronically by anybody who has a phone or computer. A website called allows people to electronically sign petitions by providing some personal information such as their name and email address.

Another way to use social media as a means of advocacy is by posting or sharing content with helpful hashtags. Hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter, #stopasianhate, #stopaapihate, #blm, #hateisavirus, and other variants are used to express support for social justice movements. Hashtags such as #poc, #blackisbeautiful, and others are used to positively reflect on and celebrate racial minorities. Posts with these hashtags often highlight important information, and the more they are shared, the wider of an audience they reach.

Speaking up about racial issues in America is extremely important, but sometimes it is difficult to know how to start the conversation, and how to truly be a helpful ally. Through donations and use of the media, ordinary people can contribute to the fight for racial equality. The contribution of one person may seem small, but many small contributions can add up to something significant, and lead to the enactment of real change overtime.