Ryan Seacrest has been keeping busy in the months since the Covid-19 epidemic has forced many of us to stay at home. While the well-known Hollywood personality has continued a range of hosting duties, including his radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, he’s used his platform in a manner that is familiar to his fans — to help bring attention to important causes. Read on for a look at some of the many ways that the radio host is using his spotlight to help encourage change during this time of global upheaval.
One issue that’s been featured heavily in the news of late is the public outcry over the killing of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That event has sparked a widespread conversation over the handling of racial injustice in the U.S. and has helped shed new light on an issue that has long-plagued American institutions. Part of that ongoing discussion has included protests in major cities across the country centered around the relationship between police forces and people of color.
Many of these protests have been organized by or related to the organization known as Black Lives Matter. The nonprofit group, founded in 2013, is global in scope with operations in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Its mission includes a drive to eradicate white supremacy and work to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities. The group believes in creating an inclusive and spacious movement that supports voices from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Its work to oppose systematic targeting of black individuals has seen it emerge as a leader in ongoing civil rights action in the years since its founding.
With an understanding of the long-held racial injustice in this country, Ryan Seacrest has increased the visibility of his efforts to promote equality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other individuals of African American heritage such as Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. One way this has taken shape is through the website of his radio show, where he and his team posts articles and video clips of interest. One recent post advised readers of the ways that they themselves can take action to combat racial injustice and contribute to long-lasting change.
One piece of advice advocated by the radio host’s website is to consider signing a petition. The signing of a petition can help bring the collective power of a multitude of voices into one concentrated location where they can be more fully heard by individuals in positions of power, such as legislators and policymakers. Here is a list of some of the petitions advocated for on the website:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmuad Arbery
- Grassroots Law Project’s Justice for Floyd
- We Can’t Breath
There are also a number of organizations that the radio host’s website points to in order to offer readers a chance to make a difference via donations. The organizations listed below are just a small example of organizations that are using donations to further the cause of fighting racial injustices. Depending on the organization, donations can be used to support victims of injustice, pay bail for protestors, or support larger organizations such as Black Lives Matter.
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- National Bail Fund
- Black Lives Matter Los Angeles
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Brooklynn Community Bail Fund
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Beyond supporting petitions or donating to worthy causes, one gesture recommended by Ryan Seacrest and his team is to reach out to people of color during this trying time. Though recent events have had a widespread impact on people of many different backgrounds, the news is especially difficult for the African American community, whose members live with the realities illuminated by this violence on an ongoing basis. Friends, family members, coworkers, and acquaintances of color may benefit greatly from personal contact in these trying times. Letting someone know that they have the support of others can be an important catalyst towards change and can help lend strength during a time when it is direly needed.
Education and protest
Two more important actions recommended by the radio host’s website are the need for education and protest. Education can be a powerful tool for informing individuals as to the ongoing plight of persons of color in the U.S. and around the world. While many people are somewhat aware of the racial injustices that negatively affect people of color, individuals who are not the direct victims of these injustices may not be fully aware of their scope. One resource recommended in this case is the social justice organization Until Freedom.
The protests that have spring up around the U.S. in the wake of the death of George Floyd are a chance for individuals to band together to have their voices heard. By participating in these protests, groups are able to amplify their ideas so that policymakers can take notice. Participating in these protests is a chance to lend your voice to a movement that is working to eradicate racial injustice and fix a system that has long been skewed to unfairly target the disenfranchised.
Power of voting
Another important action advocated by Ryan Seacrest is the power that comes with voting. In an article on the subject, the radio host’s website refers to the illuminating work of former President Barack Obama, who recently wrote on essay on the subject: “The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”
Using high profile
One thing that becomes apparent when viewing the online presence of Ryan Seacrest is that he understands and acknowledges the power afforded to him as an influential member of the entertainment industry. This truth was underscored when he recently had DeVon Franklin on his radio show to discuss the importance of using his voice. Franklin is an award-winning Film producer, New York Times best-selling author, and social media influencer who’s become known for his outspoken views on faith and spirituality. His commitment to using media to encourage change and inspire others contributes to his ability to speak to the topic of using one’s high profile to support societal progress.
During the interview, Franklin spoke to the importance of individuals, especially white men in power, breaking their silence surrounding racial injustice. “When white men in power are silent, when they have influence, it by definition allows [issues of racial injustice] to persist,” said Franklin. He went on to touch on the importance of spotlighting such views from a personal social media page, such as a twitter account, in order to show that the views are coming directly from the person themselves. In this process, Franklin also emphasized the importance of not letting perfection get in the way of progress, saying that “if you have the right intent, and you’re speaking from the heart, I believe that that intent will be received to the heart.”
The understanding of this message is clear to be seen on Ryan Seacrest’s personal twitter page, where he has used his platform in an ongoing fashion to cast a light on issues of racial injustice. Speaking on the matter, from twitter, he said “I don’t always know all the right questions to ask, but today was a step in the right direction. I’m thankful to be able to use my television and radio platforms to discuss the issues happening in our country today and I recognize the need to use ALL of my platforms to bring attention to these issues. We need to have more of these conversations, both publicly and privately.”
The radio host has also made other posts since that time related to similar issues. One post was in observance of what would have been the 27th birthday of Breonna Taylor, an EMT who was shot and killed when police mistakenly entered her home on a no-knock warrant. He also highlighted ways to support persons of color in ways beyond donations and protesting, such as supporting black-owned restaurants. In recognition of this idea, he posted information on a variety of such restaurants in 10 major cities.
Another issue related to societal change that has been a focus for the radio host in the present and in the past has been that of protecting the environment. This issue has taken many focuses over the years, with global warming and climate change being an especially important topic in recent history. Due to the buildup of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, scientists agree that the world is experiencing a range of changes to the climate that are unprecedented in the modern era. These changes include warming temperatures, shifts in weather patterns, and the extinction of large numbers of species.
Beyond climate change, another issue that threatens the integrity of our planet’s environment is the build-up of human-made packaging materials that have been discarded after use. A major culprit here is single-use water bottles made from plastic. To help combat this growing concern, the radio host recently highlighted his partnership with Pathwater on World Rainforest Day.
Pathwater is the brainchild of three friends, Shadi Bakour, Amer Orabi, and Ali Orabi, who started their company after reading a shocking estimate — that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. This is due to the current trend of the average person drinking 168 plastic bottles of water per year. To take action against this worrisome statistic, the company began a mission of producing reusable water bottles that could help break people of their habit of using single-use plastic bottled water.
Pathwater has since been featured in a wide variety of publications, such as The New York Times, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, and more. The company produces a variety of reverse osmosis filtered water options packaged in natural and affordable vessels that are designed to be earth-friendly. Packaging material is primarily aluminum which is intended to be lightweight, BPA-free, and refillable. The bottles are also recyclable. The company also includes care and cleaning instructions with their products to help encourage users to reuse their bottles.
Covid-19 related efforts
Since the emergence of Covid-19, Ryan Seacrest has also been using his platform to help fans navigate some of the many concerns that have come up in relation to the illness. These topics have included the importance of staying home, social distancing, wearing protective gear when necessary, and more. As he continues to broadcast his media appearances from his home, he also helps provide a high-profile example of the realities of working from home during these unprecedented times. That visibility alone can be an important part of motivating others to stay home and social distance, which can help contribute to the overall health of the population.
One organization that the entertainment personality has showcased related to these matters has been On The Go LA. The platform works to connect restaurants local to the LA area with food trucks that can then be used to make their enterprise mobile and bring their offerings to various neighborhoods around the city. The organization acts as a broker, allowing restaurants to transition seamlessly to providing mobile services for as long as they see fit. The service works to keep costs low for restaurants and diners alike and handles a range of logistics such as route planning for optimal exposure and efficiency.
The organization’s mission is to “Revitalize the culture and flow of local restaurants’ outreach to customers and provide them with a more direct, personal connection to their customers.” It was born out of a team of founders who are all from South Central LA and who harbor a strong desire to help local restaurants. The idea stemmed from the founders’ memories of growing up with the constant presence of ice cream trucks in their neighborhoods. They realized that a similar concept could be used to help restaurants utilize food trucks to ensure ongoing safe service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another important component of the topics that the entertainment personality has covered in his pandemic-related work has been the importance of proper protective wear. One of the most important elements of this protective wear has been the need for individuals to wear masks when going out in public. Depending on the mask material, this can aid in protecting the user from coming into contact with the virus, and can help protect others from catching the virus from the user if they are infected. Masks can be fashioned from a range of materials including various types of cloth or medically-designed materials.
One issue that has come up for many people in light of this focus on protective clothing is the need to find protective clothing for their children. There are a number of issues that can be a stumbling point in this pursuit when it comes to masks in particular. A child’s mask must be appropriately sized. It must also be comfortable for the child to wear. Additionally, it’s beneficial if the mask is designed from a material with patterns that can appeal to many children. In other words, a child needs to want to wear a mask in order for it to be effective!
A solution that has cropped up to help solve this problem is a venture known as childfacemask.com. This website was created by an entrepreneurial sales professional and is designed to create safe, comfortable, and attractive masks for kids of all ages. The radio host recently interviewed the creator of the site on his show in order to spread the word about the work the company is carrying out. One of the factors that has set the business apart from others in the field is its attempts to give back to those in need. The company pledges to give away a face mask to children in need for every mask sold. In this way, the company is not only addressing a need in the market, but it is also contributing to the greater good of communities in need.
Though Ryan Seacrest has remained visible in the months since the emergence of Covid-19 has so drastically impacted life across the world, it can still be helpful to take stock of the actions of the entertainment personality as he works for positive change. Those actions have seen him lend his voice to the fight against racial injustice, environmental degradation, and the virus itself. Stay tuned to the radio host’s many media outlets for continued examples of how he uses his spotlight to help support progress in a variety of different ways.