By Andrea Karen Hammer
During the worldwide upheaval of the last weeks and months, signs of hope, healing and change have slowly emerged from amid the rubble. From major entertainment studios to leaders on the street, here are some of the standouts leading the way forward:
- Entertainment companies contributing to social justice: Backing beliefs with substantial funding, The Walt Disney Company has pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations advancing social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP. Along with the Walt Disney Company, others offering financial support for social justice include Netflix and Hulu.
- Educational funds for students of color: North Central University in Minneapolis has created the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund, which had already received $53,000 in early June, for students of color. The president of the university challenged every U.S. college to establish its own George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund.
- Media and other organizations address leadership questions: During recent controversies about published content that was considered offensive, top editors at media companies including The New York Times have resigned after heated discussions. Other companies and organizations took immediate steps to ensure that board and staff members reflected a more inclusive balance of different backgrounds and perspectives.
- Reporters provided a worldwide platform to air painful experiences: In multiple television interviews, reporters invited protestors and others to share their experiences extensively. Some broadcasters have become part of the story after shocking arrests, and others have openly expressed personal viewpoints–underscoring the challenge of remaining totally objective during heated news dissemination.
- Some police officers have shown solidarity with protestors: From participating in marches to kneeling with protestors, some police officers stepped forward nonviolently to connect with protestors. By offering clear signs of solidarity and compassion, some began to reach across divisive lines of separation.
- On-the-street leaders have voiced important issues and engaged in dialogue: Leaders on the street have commanded bullhorns peacefully, expressing critical concerns about the pressing need for social justice. They engaged in dialogue with officers and extended the connection through clasped hands or unifying hugs.
- Everyday citizens have swept rubble from the streets to help rebuild business communities: During some of the most heartening moments, everyday citizens immediately started countering the destruction by helping to rebuild business communities. With brooms in hand, these true leaders have helped local stores start to reopen their doors.
In what other ways can we support various industries, educational institutions and businesses, which are trying to get back in their feet? What are your visions for the future, and how can we tap into collective resilience to create a more inclusive future? Can you share other signs of hope, healing and change?
To contribute to these efforts, Artsphoria Media Group & Shop will announce a new division to support these goals and fellow creators soon. Check back for updates as we create change and move forward–in positive directions–together!