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Social media users 'Share The Mic' to change the conversation in America

Minnesota social media users shared their accounts Wednesday to amplify voices of Black and Brown women.

It is a social media take over. And if your Twitter or Instagram feed looks a bit different, there is a reason. 

On Wednesday, women across the state were participating in a campaign called "Share The Mic MN".

And, it works how it sounds. Participants take over social media accounts.

Jasmine Stringer, who is leading Minnesota’s campaign, said the mission is clear: Amplify the work of Black and brown women who live in Minnesota by expanding their reach and voice.

“I found by reaching someone's social media network, that is a great way to develop the conversation,” Stringer said. “Social media is a curated experience and if we are going to move forward, we need to understand each other at a different level. We need to find ways to connect that we haven’t traditionally connected.”

We’ve seen drop mic moments.

And women behind Share The Mic MN, hope this Wednesday campaign has drop the mic success. Audra Robinson is among the participants.

“I believe this will help change the comfort level and ability to have conversations and share stories with new audiences,” Robinson said. “I was connected with Kaplan, who has over 16,000 followers. Although she had some stories on her account, it got very Black the day I took over. I loved sharing my story as a business owner ... allowing people to see what a day in life is like for me. It is a gift.”

Amy Zaroff, an ally participant, said she envisions long term success.

“It takes a lot of trust to hand over your password to someone for a day, week or whatever it might be,” she said. “There is a whole community in the Twin Cities that want to share their stories with people and be exposed to new audiences.”

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Indeed, the connections are underway. Participant Dr. Sheila Sweeney, who said she rarely uses social media, called the experience was exhilarating. It also pushed the mental health therapist outside of her comfort zone.

“It gave me an equitable experience and access to something I never would’ve had access to. I had not been an avid user of social media before Share The Mic,” she said. “I feel like I was pushed in the pool of water and I had to act. I am glad I was pushed to do it.”

This movement was inspired by the national campaign, "Share The Mic Now". Katie Couric helped promote that campaign and wrote on her Instagram account, “When the world listens to women, it listens to white women. For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly … to enact change.”

The women in Minnesota hope their Wednesday take over is more than a moment, but a movement.

“We need to be in this together. I think to move the world together in a more equitable way, we need to be in this together,” Stringer said.

The hope is this will not only happen on Wednesdays of this summer, but the stories will continue for years to come and the support for each other.

Stringer said this is a volunteer effort and U.S. Bank Foundation gave a grant to help get the movement get off the ground.

Visit www.sharethemicmn.com and complete the appropriate form, to learn more.

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