BU Alum Turns to Social Media to Raise Funds in Support of #BlackLivesMatter
Asking friends and Instagram followers to send just $1, Natalie Guerrero’s campaign has netted over $67,000
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer in Minnneapolis, Natalie Guerrero wanted to take action. So the writer, activist, and filmmaker turned to social media, launching a Venmo campaign to raise money for the National Bail Fund and the George Floyd Memorial Fund. She reached out to her friends and 800 plus followers on Instagram, asking each of them to send just $1. Her initial goal was to raise $500.
Three weeks later, her campaign has raised over $67,000, and has grown to support GoFundMe campaigns for the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, killed by a white father and son, and the family of Breonna Taylor, killed by white police officers in her home. Both, like Floyd, were Black and unarmed.
Guerrero (COM’16, CFA’16), who works in film development for Macro, a media company that produces content that tells the stories of people of color, had never mounted a social media campaign like this before. “I didn’t really have a strategy in place, other than posting to my Instagram story throughout the day. It was all really grassroots,” she says. As the project progressed, she began sharing more of her personal writing, encouraging and engaging in conversation with followers, even interviewing Breonna Taylor’s sister, Juniyah Palmer.
Guerrero says her fundraising efforts have helped her realize the power of social media and how her generation can use it to create positive change. “I think we used to use social media to make our lives into a highlight reel, and would slap filters on our photos to support causes,” she says. “Now it’s a completely different beast. Now it’s a place for authenticity and action. People are realizing that you don’t have to have a million dollars to make a difference; you just need to say something. And there are so many ways to lend a hand.”
She plans to continue to use social media to support equity and to fight against oppression. “One voice, however you use it, is going to make a difference. And you have to be really conscious of how you’re using that tool,” Guerrero says. “There is no value in silence on these issues.”