Talk About It Tuesday: #JusticeForTrayvon + The Power of Social Media

Day after day, I’m amazed at how the voices of millions are amplified daily on social networks. When the acquittal of George Zimmerman was announced Saturday evening, it sent a wave of disappointment and sadness across the world. Without hesitation, I hopped on Twitter and Facebook to express my heartbreak (in few words) in the failure of our judicial system. The great thing about social media is that does give everyone a chance to come together to speak with opinion on a certain subject, share their grievances and potentially come up with solutions to how we can move forward together. From the blackout of social media profile pictures to various hashtags and fundraising campaigns, we’ve seen a number of instances in which social media has been used for good in this tragic situation.  And while there have been cases in which people have (negatively) shown their true colors, I’ve definitely seen positive strides inciting change on the Interwebs.

Here are a few examples:

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We Are Not Trayvon Martin” on Tumblr:

In no effort to counteract the “We Are Trayvon Martin” movement, many of the posts on this blog are shedding a strong light on white privilege in our country. Since Sunday, there have been thousands of insightful and compelling stories posted by men and women of all races, and the list continues to grow. As one that loves to tell stories, I am blown away at how honest and candid these individuals are to share their experiences in dealing with race, class and social economic status in our country.

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“Hey Juror B37! No book deal for you.” (via UpRoxx.com)

As  millions watched the CNN special last night in which Anderson Cooper interviewed Juror B37, we were all baffled when she announced that she was had signed a book deal with a publishing company to share her story — just 48 hours after the acquittal of Zimmerman had  been announced. But thanks to the persistence and quick thinking of tweeter @MoreAndAgain, a statement from the publisher was released and Juror B37’s deal was immediately dissolved.

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Rachel Jeantel’s full-ride college scholarship from Tom Joyner (via UrbanDaily)

Many of us met Trayvon’s friend Rachel Jeantel during the Zimmerman trial, and while many of us appreciated the candor in her responses to the defense, there were times during her testimony when she was shaded via social media. During her interview with Piers Morgan last night, we were yet again shown the strength and courage of Rachel to share her story as she still grieves her deceased friend. This morning, radio personality Tom Joyner tweeted that he indeed wants to help Rachel achieve her career dreams in enforcement — pretty powerful, right?

In addition to these acts online, millions of people in cities like Chicago, DC, and New York City have gathered and held rallies to peacefully protest the jury’s verdict.  So as you can see,  even in times of tragedy and uncertainty, our society is finding new ways to positively connect, collaborate and make a difference. And I’m sure as this story continues to unfold, we will see even more ways in which we will make our voices heard.

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