Social media has the ability to reach a mass audience.

In 2005, five percent of American adults had at least one social media account, according to the Pew Research Center. Over the span of 14 years, this number grew to 72% of people who use some form of social media. 

Wayne State's Black student organizations are utilizing their social media platforms to spread awareness about injustices against the Black community.

Queer + Trans People of Color

QTPOC President Mister Whitfield said the organization focused on the Black Lives Matter movement in June. 

“Our organization is very intersectional, meaning we belong to multiple oppressed groups —our being people of color and belonging to the LGBTQ+ community," Whitfield said. 

QTPOC made a post on their Instagram page about Iyanna Dior. 

Iyanna Dior, a Black transgender woman, was beaten by a group of people inside a St. Paul, Minnesota convenience store on June 1, NBC reported. While moving her friend's car, Dior hit several other cars and left the scene out of fear and not able to pay the amount one of the car owners was demanding. After taking safety in the store, the owners refused to call the police. 

With June celebrated as Pride month, QTPOC also brought awareness to the impact transgender Black and Latina women made on the Pride movement during the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village which served as a safe space for the LGBTQ community at a time where serving gay customers and having gay employees was illegal, according to History. Tires were slashed, bottles were thrown and police barricaded themselves inside the bar as the crowd resisted and grew outraged over the officers’ unjust actions. 

The riots at Stonewall helped spread the gay rights movement beyond New York. Found at the center of the riots were Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, transgender activists and gay rights organizers. 

“We made that statement to let LGBTQ+ members know that without Black women we wouldn’t have the rights that we have today as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans people,” Whitfield said. 

Black 3utterfly Association 

Black 3utterfly Association used their social media platform to spread awareness about Black Lives Matter protests, co-Founder Euphemia Wardlaw said. The non-profit organization aims toward “the liberation of the mind, body and soul of our African American community.”

“We share posts about protests and we try to educate people that racism and injustice is a systemic issue and not just hatred or dislike and we need to take action,” Wardlaw said. 

On June 8, B.B. posted a photo of the organization at a protest in Birmingham. The protest was hosted by the Black Activist Mobility Network Revolution and Power Detroit. 

B.B., BAMN Revolution and Power Detroit also hosted a Juneteenth celebration and rally event at Hart Plaza.

“We had Black vendors, DJ’s and refreshments during the celebration portion of the event,” Wardlaw said. “For the rally we had NAACP’s Heaster Wheeler speak on the importance of voting and we ended with a memorial for the lives lost in their fights to freedom.”

The Brotherhood 

The Brotherhood is a WSU student organization dedicated to the social, academic and mental success of Black men, President Miles Reuben said. He used the organization's social media platform to shed light on the murders of Black people. 

The organization released an official statement on their Instagram addressing the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and Ahmaud Arbery. 

View this post on Instagram

We will not be silenced. Check the link in our bio to seek justice. #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by THE BROTHERHOOD. (@wsubrotherhood) on

“We’re working on ways to virtually protest from home because there still is a pandemic happening,” Reuben said. “Our Linktree in our Instagram bio is a remote way to help spread awareness and contribute to the cause.”

The Linktree allows people to access petitions calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, Rayshard Brooks and Robert Fuller. Organizations supporting Black LGBTQ people can also be found on the Linktree. 

“For non-Black people asking how they can contribute, we're asking that you keep bringing these names up. If you have privilege you automatically have a platform that you can use,” Reuben said. “You can’t be silently anti-racist anymore, you have to speak up.”


Jessica Taylor is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at gp5272@wayne.edu.

Cover art by Guneet Ghotra, graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at fz8387@wayne.edu.