It was the iconic Fred Rogers that told us, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
At Good Good Good, we’ve made that the foundation of our work — to know that even in times of extreme hardship, there are always people looking to do good in the world, people ready to receive the good, and most of us at the intersection of taking action.
This past year has been another “unprecedented” year (ugh), full of overwhelming challenges and large-scale catastrophes. But what keeps us moving forward, what keeps us afloat amidst so many unknowns, is the potential to respond, problem-solve, and care for one another.
2022 ushered in violence and fear — threats to healthcare (the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade), ongoing climate change (climate disasters rocked areas across the globe), political unrest (Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to inflict unrivaled human rights violations) — and so much more.
But in these heartbreaking moments, we cling to hope. We must.
From entertainers using their platforms to help others, and protesters and activists fundraising and speaking out to change the future, to community members providing necessities to their neighbors at war, or leaders fighting to end gun violence — this issue celebrates just a tiny amount of the work at the center of it all.
What we love most about sharing and celebrating good news is that it’s messy and real; it’s full of hope, failure, triumph, and resilience. It helps us step into a new day with the unwavering belief that things do get better.
And it’s helpers like these that solidify this hope. As we step into another year navigating these unparalleled trials — and the enduring humanity that accompanies them — we look to them.
Every year we highlight helpers in a number of categories — and this year we’ve chosen these categories:
- Education Helpers
- LGBTQ+ Helpers
- Art & Media Helpers
- Healthcare Helpers
- Ukraine Helpers
- Gun Safety Helpers
- Climate Helpers
- Equality and Justice Helpers
- Community Helpers
In this post, we’re highlighting Helpers in Art & Media — and simple ways to make a difference:
Art & Media Helpers To Know —
Between launching a size-inclusive shapewear line, winning an Emmy for her dance competition show “Watch Out for The Big Grrrls,” playing James Madison's crystal flute in Washington DC, and dropping her fourth studio album “Special,” Lizzo still made time in 2022 to bless us with her TikTok thirst traps, vegan recipes, and rom-com reviews.
The hip-hop artist's candid spirit, openness to feedback (she quickly corrected a song lyric this year that initially included ableist language), and vibrant inclusivity remind fans and critics alike that she is a force to be reckoned with. Her impact on the entertainment industry is historic.
“When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media, someone fat like me, someone Black like me, beautiful like me,” Lizzo said in her Emmy’s acceptance speech in September 2022.
“If I could go back and tell little Lizzo something, I’d be like ‘You’re going to see that person, but bitch, it’s going to have to be you.’”
John & Hank Green
John Green and Hank Green have long been the guidance counselors of the Internet. Between the emergence of their YouTube channel (vlogbrothers) in 2007 and their illustrious careers (both are writers, educators, and entrepreneurs), they have championed caring and sincerity in the digital world.
Their charity projects include the Awesome Coffee Club, Awesome Socks Club, and Pizzamas — which are building a maternal hospital in Sierra Leone, and their annual fundraiser: The Project for Awesome, which pours millions into various nonprofits.
Recently, they started making TikTok videos.
Hank became a beacon of knowledge on the app, explaining phenomenons like circles and electrolytes, and creating how-to videos to help people vote in every U.S. state.
John creates his own poetic clips, both brothers maintaining their statuses as silly and smart online guideposts.
“I like being earnest,” John says in a TikTok. “Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s awareness. I don’t want to be cool if coolness means being cold to the reality of experience. I want to feel what there is to feel while I’m here.”
Olivia Julianna is a 19-year-old Houston advocate who is a political strategist for youth-led nonprofit Gen Z For Change, which uses social media to raise awareness, fundraise for causes — and take problematic politicians down a peg.
And she’s good at her job.
In the summer of 2022, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz made fatphobic, misogynistic comments about Olivia in an attempt to degrade her and her ongoing advocacy for abortion rights.
Instead of letting it get to her, she used it as fuel to fundraise for abortion funds across the country via social media.
Donations came flooding in, starting with $50,000 in the first 12 hours of the initiative. The number hit $2.2 million within a week.
“The last thing I’m going to do is let someone like Matt Gaetz, of all people, make me feel bad about myself,” Olivia told Teen Vogue.
“My confidence has not faltered one bit since this entire thing has happened. Because I know I’m doing the right thing.”
3 Ways To Use Art & Media To Do Good:
- Read “The Art of Activism” by Steve Duncombe and Steve Lambert to learn more about “making activism more creative with art and art more effective with activism.” artofactivismbook.com
- We see online fundraisers dot our social media feeds every day. Make it a habit to share, donate, and uplift these grassroots efforts in your own networks. You can even set aside a small part of your monthly budget for mutual aid initiatives online!
- If you’re able, use what you’ve learned online and in popular media and take action IRL! Speak at rallies, help folks with voter registration, or volunteer at a community center where you can be a positive representation for youth in your area.