9 Activists To Stand By In 2018 Instead Of 'Celebrities'

22 January 2018 // At Aspiring Journalism Professionals

9 Activists To Stand By In 2018 Instead Of 'Celebrities'

Stop making stupid people famous.

Annie Bolin

We tend to make a lot of stupid people famous.

Celebrities who are "famous for being famous" don't do anything worth paying attention to. For most, they're just distractions.

But some of them perpetuate some pretty corrupt ideas, and honestly, it's dangerous.

Take the "Cash Me Outside" girl, Danielle Bregoli — or, as she's known via her embarrassment of a rap career, Bhad Bhabie – for example. While she's really just a meme, some people actually idolize her.

For what?

She's famous for being disrespectful on "Dr. Phil." She's kind of a terrible person.

What about Farrah Abraham? Originally she was famous for having a baby at 17, and now she's famous for doing porn. She's worth millions.


While not all celebrities are talentless and out-of-touch, there are definitely some bad apples. So, instead of obsessing over those bad apples, here are some activists doing work worthy of admiration and support.

1. Kat Blaque

Kat Blaque is a transgender rights activist, intersectional feminist and artist. Blaquecreates educational and opinion YouTubevideos on current events, specifically feminist, transgender and political issues.

She welcomes intelligent conversations on race, gender and the intersections of identities, and advocates for wider representation of racial minorities and LGBTQ+ identities in the art and film industries.

2. Calina Lawrence

A self-described "art-ivist," Calina Lawrence is a Suquamish indigenous rights and environmental justice activist and musician. Lawrence is most recently known for her work with the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and her advocacy for Native American treaty rights.

With a degree in Performing Arts and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco, Lawrence has translated her activism into music.

3. Carmen Perez

Carmen Perez is an intersectional feminist and civil rights activist. Best known as the national co-chair of the Women's March, Perez has worked tirelessly to advocate for criminal justice reform, community policing, gender equity and violence prevention.

She is the executive director of The Gathering for Justice, founder of Justice League CA, co-founder of Justice League NYC and the co-convener of the 20th Anniversary Million Man March.

4. Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke is a feminist and civil rights activist. In 2006, Burke created the "Me Too" movement in an effort to squander the pervasiveness of sexual assault and abuse in her own community, and the movement has since become a national rallying cry.

Burke works closely with the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, helped organize the Women's Convention and is currently the director of Girls for Gender Equity.

5. Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis is a "black queer transgender activist," writer and a National Organizer for the Transgender Law Center. Originally a news reporter, Willis used her passion for storytelling to advocate for the end of police profiling of transgender women of color.

Willis has worked with the Black Lives Matter movement to end police brutality and mass incarceration, led the Trans Liberation Tuesday mobilization effort and spoke at the Women's March.

6. Ai-jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo is a workers' rights activist, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, co-founder of Domestic Workers United and co-director of Caring Across Generations.

Poo advocates for safe and equitable work environments for domestic workers, demanding public policies to protect and empower these workers, often immigrant women.

Poo's work helped in passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and she has recently worked with the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in creating provisions for domestic worker victims of sexual harassment and workplace violence.

7. Rhea Suh

Rhea Suh is an environmental justice activist and president of the National Resources Defense Council. Suh advocates for "climate action" and the protection of rights to clean, healthy and environmentally-stable communities.

Suh spoke about the intersection between women's rights and environmental justice at the Women's March. As the daughter of Korean immigrants, she would also like to see a more diverse environmental movement to reflect the environmental realities of different communities in the United States.

8. Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce is an author, immigrant rights activist and co-founder and chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, which provides scholarships and mentoring for immigrant children, regardless of their immigration status. Formerly a Goldman Sachs executive, Arce kept her own undocumented immigrant status hidden for much of her career.

Arce works to change the definition and process of the American dream as a board member at the National Immigration Law Center and regularly contributes her ideas and advocacy to both print and broadcast news and talk shows.

9. Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente is a journalist, community organizer and self-described “Hip-Hop activist.” She was the Green Party’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, and has advocated for civil and human rights causes like youth of color voter engagement, intercultural relations, immigrant rights and universal healthcare.

Currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Dubois department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Clemente is the co-founder of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention and has worked with the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to represent the black and Latinx communities in the fight against sexual harassment and workplace violence.

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Advisory Committee: Yves Berthelot (France),  PV Rajagopal (India), Vandana Shiva (India), Oliver de Schutter (Belgium), Mazide N’Diaye (Senegal), Gabriela Monteiro (Brazil), Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia), Anne Pearson (Canada), Liz Theoharis (USA), Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand), Jagat Basnet (Nepal), Miloon Kothari (India),  Irene Santiago (Philippines), Arsen Kharatyan (Armenia), Margrit Hugentobler (Switzerland), Jill Carr-Harris (Canada/India), Reva Joshee (Canada), Sonia Deotto (Mexico/Italy),Benjamin Joyeux (Geneva/France), Aneesh Thillenkery, Ramesh Sharma, Ran Singh (India)