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Citizenship

Activism at the Oscars: My top 6 moments

Photo: Daniel Spils

I love the oscars.

The inspiring speeches, the awkwardly staged comedy, the gorgeous attire, and the goosebumps I get watching recaps of the year’s best films- it’s all great.

But this year, something else stole my attention. Throughout the night, academy guests used the special occasion to speak out about the issues that mattered to them. Through thoughtful speeches, social media, and even fashion, they made a strong statement about global citizenship, making them all winners in my eyes.

There were so many great moments last night, but these are the 6 that blew me away:

1. When Reese Witherspoon posted on Instagram encouraging reporters to #AskHerMore


2. When Selma’s David Oyelowo rocked the red carpet wearing a handmade #TackleEbola pin, reminding us that the fight against Ebola is far from over


3. When Common & John Legend won Best Original Song and used their speech to address the mass incarceration of black men and the struggle for justice for all


4. When Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress and gave a shout out to her NGO, saying, “To my heroes, volunteers and experts who have helped me bring ecological sanitation to the developing world with GiveLove.org.”

Patricia co-founded Give Love, and describes the importance of sanitation on its website:

"When you work on improving sanitation, like we do in Haiti, you start to really see the big picture. Sanitation is the keystone to solving so many problems in the world-- improving public health, reducing child mortality, recycling and reducing waste, and protecting water resources -- and yet no one is really talking about the problem of untreated sewage or the fact that 40% of the world’s poorest people live without a toilet. The global community needs to commit resources to finding sustainable solutions.”


5. When Patricia took it one step further and raised the important issue of equal rights and equal pay for women. This woman is my hero.


6. Lastly, when Birdman’s Director Alejandro González Iñárritu called for respect for immigrants during his acceptance speech for Best Picture


I believe that being a global citizen is about caring for one another, no matter where we come from or how we’re different. It’s about equality, and justice. And it’s about using our voices to to speak out, especially when others can’t. With 36.6 million viewers tuning in last night, I can’t imagine a more perfect opportunity to speak out about the importance of being a global citizen.