Published on August 20th, 2020 📆 | 7784 Views ⚑0
How Technology Is Fueling Social Justice During A Pandemic
Tal Frankfurt is the Founder and CEO of Cloud for Good, a Salesforce partner that creates transformational value with technology.
Social movements are intrinsically linked to the technologies they use in support of their pursuits. Time and time again, mass media has provided a platform for activists to spread their messaging, expose inequalities and advance social justice movements on a grander scale. Now, technology and data are helping to fuel an unprecedented movement for social justice all around the world.
The Black Lives Matter movement has become the largest of its kind in American history, due in part to the technology used to facilitate its outreach and organization. A record number of Americans have been mobilized to actively use their voice in the call for police reform. Racial justice coalitions nationwide are mindfully connecting social media, online fundraising and digital mobilization to provide the people with omnichannel activism journeys that help propel their pursuits of progress.
Despite a persistent pandemic continuing to proliferate across the U.S., Americans are taking to the streets in record numbers in support of Black lives. When we consider the ultimate success of this movement to mobilize during a public health crisis, the role technology has played in safely supporting information sharing and coordination cannot be understated. For those looking to learn more, share vital information and become actively involved in the cause, technology can serve as the connective and protective light illuminating the path forward.
Aiding Social Protest With Social Media
Social media has had a truly profound impact on the way people and groups have organized their advocacy efforts. It’s also proved to be a vital tool for spreading awareness. Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter have helped centralize social justice outreach, allowing users to consolidate the most important pieces of information and news. On May 28, three days after George Floyd’s death, close to 8.8 million tweets were sent out featuring the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. From that day until June 7, the hashtag was used at least 2 million times per day, marking the most active time period for the hashtag since its inception in 2013. Using Salesforce’s Social Studio, Cloud for Good visualized the incredible volume of this hashtag as well as all other mentions of the movement, totaling over 61 million mentions from May 28 to June 7.
Hashtag activism has the ability to assemble a mass audience with ease. Once inspired, technology can allow activist groups and users to continue their journey of activism. Many of these posts with the hashtag linked to signature requests for online petitions. Putting their names on these petitions can advance the activist along their journey, help them take the next step and share their contact information with the petition organizers. Once email addresses and basic contact information are gathered after signing, the signees can then be targeted back on social media for additional outreach opportunities or added to email marketing campaigns connected to fundraisers and donation drives.
Sustained Activism Through Communication
Organizations like MoveOn have harnessed the power of text communications as well, asking activists to join their text list to keep up with the latest news, share vital information and expand the spread of campaign efforts. Through working to pass progressive legislation and supporting political candidates, MoveOn has mobilized millions through tactful communication. A texting service connects MoveOn’s constituents, circulates news in real time and directs its recipients toward additional opportunities for positive change. Links to webinars, phone numbers for members of Congress and virtual policy meetings are sent out regularly, supporting the proactive during a time when the public assembly is discouraged.
Black Lives Matter recently created a new #WhatMatters2020 campaign seeking to maintain the movement’s momentum and ensure supporters vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This campaign focuses on racial injustice and police brutality, among a host of other issues. Online forms can gather contact information from supporters who pledge to vote and send each pledger important updates concerning the 2020 election cycle. Links to donate and join an email newsletter are also present on the campaign page, creating a widespread information network stemming from an interconnected marketing approach.
Data For Defense And Diversification
Once all of an advocate’s contact information is gathered, organizations need a CRM capable of providing a 360-degree view of their interactions, influence and cultivation efforts across the board. Organizations should look for solutions that allow them to scale alongside a rise in public awareness and use their data more mindfully. For example, the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is using a CRM to digitize historical records of police violence, track where protests are happening around the country and gain insight into what areas most need strengthened social services. With objective data in place, the CPE has everything it needs to mindfully advocate for evidence-based reform and advance its pursuit of racial justice.
These efforts should be on the radar of every thought leader in their respective space. The world is watching more than ever. Our ability to create social change is greater than ever.
Technology has the unique ability to unearth truths about the applied subject. It is time we harness that investigative power to create social change. We revere technology’s incomparable capability to create transformational change in our work. I believe it is now our responsibility to extend that transformational change beyond the workplace toward the greater good of equality, protection and justice for all.
The mindset needed to pursue change is already found within so many of our company cultures; they simply need the tools to follow through. Technology can provide those tools.