On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States, and halting the acceptance of refugees, even those who were already in route to the United States. Immediately, citizens began pushing back, including three young stars who are fighting the refugee ban with courage and wisdom most people twice their age would envy. Zendaya, Rowan Blanchard, and Yara Shahidi have spent the weekend sharing information on how to help refugees, how to contact senators, and where protests are being held, and their words are incredibly inspiring.
Blanchard took to Twitter to speak out against the idea celebrities should stay silent to protect their brand. The Girl Meets World actor received praise from her fellow Disney star Zendaya, who has taken a similar stance on her own social media accounts. Finally, 16-year-old Black-ish star Shahidi, who is black and Iranian, shared an emotional plea for love and common sense to prevail in the face of Trump's horrifying move to bar refugees from the country.
"I am the result of love," Shahidi wrote in an open letter on her Instagram page. "More specifically, Black and Iranian love." Her powerful post is a must-read, and a reminder that the United States is and always will be a country of immigrants, and is stronger for it. Here is her full message of love:
Stars like Shahidi, Blanchard, and Zendaya not only represent the voices of the next generation, but give their generation the confidence to speak up against injustices before they are old enough to cast their vote. Of the three, only the 20-year-old Zendaya is of voting age, but all of these women are astounding in their level of political activity. They saw the government doing an injustice to humanity and everything the country stands for, and they took it as a call to action. Blanchard had particularly strong words for celebrities who did not use their influence for good over the weekend.
Not saying every celebrity has to be an activist, but am saying accountability culture exists and pretending nothings wrong will only hurt u— Rowan Blanchard (@RowanBlanchard) January 29, 2017
After sharing her thoughts on accountability culture, she then began retweeting ways to help refugees and detainees. She shared tweets from the ACLU, the Women's March account, and kept her fans apprised of victories as the matter was taken to court. By using her social media platforms to share as much information as possible on how to help, she gave those who look up to her, who are just as young, the tools they needed to make a difference. Once again, Blanchard, who has been a tireless advocate for feminism, LGBTQ rights, and human rights, made sure her generation knew they were not powerless in the face of injustice.
Zendaya did her part as well, not only by showing solidarity with Blanchard, but by flooding her feed with images from protests around the country. She turned her Twitter page into a place where her fans could stay informed and feel empowered. She kept her own message short and to the point, but simply tweeting, "resist."
RESIST— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2017
Over the weekend, these young stars proved they shine even brighter when they're not acting. Their desire to help refugees in big ways and small, by sharing their stories and the stories of others is incredibly empowering. With women like these three leading the way, the next generation is sure to be far wiser than the one currently trying to spread hate and fear throughout the country.