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Media Literacy Week: Driving Social Change With Social Media

Paulette speaks to a crowd at an event.

It’s Media Literacy Week in Canada, and digital literacy is more important than ever. As such, our CEO Paulette Senior wanted to share a few tips on how we all can use social media to drive social change.

The prevalence of social media is undeniable, and although it can used as a tool to dox, troll, and harass, it can also be a powerful force for good for women and girls. Without it we would never be able to hear the voices of so many different women, or understand the size of some of these issues like we saw with #MeToo.

A few weeks ago I spoke on a panel at Instagram HQ all about how women and girls are using their social networks to make change. Here’s what I learned about how we can harness the full advocacy power of social media:

  • Meet your community: Figure out who’s talking about the issues you care about and get involved in the discussion. From there can come real-life information about upcoming rallies, protests and meet-ups. Discussions on social media can also demonstrate solidarity and allyship.
  • Raise them up: Social media offers an amazing opportunity to share the stories of women and girls that so often get pushed out of the spotlight. Use social media to lift up the art, narratives, and photos of Muslim women, women of colour, LGBTQ2S+ folks, disabled women, and others. Making sure everyone is heard is advocacy – it opens us up to the experiences of others to fight discrimination and ignorance, and shows girls of all backgrounds that anything is possible. Digital platforms allow communities to tell a multitude of stories about a group of people, instead of the single narrative that often accompanies bigotry.
  • Grow your bubble, but don’t let it pop: Social media can often start to feel like we’re talking to a bubble of likeminded people, but we can actually use it to connect and engage with folks in different circles to grow our bubble and bring more people in. We’re fighting for the world we want, let’s have the biggest bubble we can. Use your personal channels to take a stand and educate someone you know. Sometimes the things we thought were impossible become a reality because the work was happening on the ground in this way for a long time.

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