Hope Talks: Four Social Media Activists to Friend and Follow
Hope is a transforming power that takes root in the mind and grows into restorative action. It can take the darkness and teach it light. It’s real and potent, and I can totally vibe with that. But we all need help learning how to cultivate this mindset. We need help believing that there can be joy, here and now.
So it’s important to learn from people who are passionate about these same ideas too; people who are actively infusing them into their lives and work. We need to engage with individuals who know more than us, or, at least, know differently than us. We need to be challenged and encouraged, rebuked and inspired. By listening to other hope-determined voices, we can jump into the broader dialogue swirling around us. Then, ultimately--hopefully--we can grow.
In the chaotic void of the internet, though, it can be hard to find these exemplary people. I mean, how many related Twitter accounts can I actually follow before the noise is deafening, before every tweet looks exactly the same? To help in the quest, here are a few specific ladies and gentlemen with standout voices who are making a difference. In their respective disciplines, they’re challenging a trend of cynicism and fear with a sweet, sweet cocktail of love, joy, and peace.
The author of four books, including his latest, The Techwise Family (forthcoming in April), Andy Crouch is a current-day thought leader. He’s innovative and practical, constantly applying ancient truth to 21st-century life. He’s a vocal proponent of justice and an advocate for the other, the marginalized, and, in his words, “the vulnerable.” His timely thoughts and conversations can be heard at places like Q Ideas and Christianity Today, and his influence can be seen in organizations like the International Justice Mission. His work is about making something of the world, something restorative, and he’s sort of the impetus for a list like this.
Alissa Wilkinson is a pioneer. She put in the work, honed her skills, and carved a path in the professional writing world. Upwrite’s first craft care interview was actually with Wilkinson. She was open, honest, and offered totally sage wisdom and down-to-earth experience. Currently writing for Vox.com as a film critic, Wilkinson has a platform and uses it too. In some of her latest, she highlights the (sadly) not-so-shocking lack of female representation in recent Oscar nominations (but shows the hope in Sundance) and hones in on “how [film] can help us make sense of a post-truth world.” She’s a leader, prioritizing a thoughtful, engaged take on film and culture.
Alex Medina is a graphic designer, hip-hop producer, and artist. He’s known for a lot of producing work with Reach Records and Lecrae, but some of his recent work has included branding for The Verge and this ultra-slick remix of “I Love Kanye.” In our current socio-political climate, though, he’s especially been a voice of understanding, communication, and action as it relates to issues of race. He’s actively sought to educate the public on empathy and, honestly, the unspoken history and reality of minority experience. He calls out error and speaks truth to it. Medina is a needed voice in a sea of opinions.
Mike Cosper is a writer, former pastor, podcaster, and creative (among other things). He produces and edits Cultivated and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, two new podcasts from Harbor Media Group (a resource in and of itself; Kate Watson wrote about it on the site a few months back). In Cultivated, Cosper sits down with individuals like author David Dark and even those listed above, Alissa Wilkinson and Andy Crouch, to talk about their craft, vocation, and faith. The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a Radiolab-esque podcast focused on analyzing culture at large, and navigating how to critically engage with it for the common good. He’s an excellent storyteller that is sharing the narratives that need to be heard.
Ready to join us on the front lines of the internet, cultivating a spirit of hope where there is none? Consider joining into the broader dialogue with these people. Hear what they have to say. It’s really fresh and so needed. And we should vibe with that.