Sophia Bush is one of those people who has set out to make a change- not the people we hear of so often, the older generation or those that make PSAs so pretentiously that the cause gets lost in the publicity, but those from our generation and younger who have recognised that something isn't right and have sought to change it. People who have made legitimate contributions and whose social media usage is so motivating that it inspires the activist in all of us.
Sophia Bush may be most well known as the brunette beauty who dominates the small screen with her current role as Detective Erin Lindsay on Chicago PD or her former roles as'Brooke' on The CW's 'One Tree Hill', but it's her dedication to her philanthropic work that has captivated our attention.
Since her induction into the world of social media, her philanthropic efforts have made major headway in the betterment of environmental conservation and human and animal rights, cementing a stronger platform for her efforts through her existing fan base.
After the Deep water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Sophia flew to arms and headed out to witness the devastation of the wildlife and marine habitats for herself to be able to better convey the effects and responsibilities to her legions of followers. Sophia stated in an interview with Zooey Magazine...
" I realised there's such a proliferation of media and when you look at the numbers, you see that more people check TMZ everyday than read CNN; that, to me, is unfortunate, and that's something I wanted to change. I realised the best thing I could do was get on Twitter and Facebook." - Zooey Magazine
With her 1.19M followers on Twitter and 733,000 fans on Facebook, Sophia has found an invaluable platform to convey important information and opinion to the masses. What is it she finds most important? Our environment, animal rights and human rights- or specifically the rights of women in Afghanistan.
She goes on to say :
" Those things are what nobody wants to talk about because it feels big and ugly, and insurmountable but nothing is insurmountable if we simply put our money where our mouth is. And if we put our votes where our basic human protections lie. " Zooey Magazine
Sophia speaks with the conviction and wisdom of a much older soul and uses that infallible presence to motivate and recruit others to the cause from her social media soapbox. But most of all, her reasoning behind the move to social media is to simply keep her followers informed and to inspire them to be all that can be.
"I think there's nothing better that you can do for the world when you start with yourself than to be educated, because if we are conscientious and really aware of our surroundings and of what's happening in the country and around the world , we're powerful." Zooey Magazine
So many celebrities take on the cause of the week to support and we're so used to seeing their faces plastered over charitable campaigns that the cause itself gets lost in the hype and I tend not to pay any attention, but as a writer, it was Sophia's blog for Marie Claire that caught my attention and made it apparent that Sophia's contributions and her focus on the cause is completely from the heart. Her education and passion are evident in her eloquent writing style and her words are affecting and inspiring.
Her collaboration with Marie Claire is in aid of bringing to light the ill treatment of women in Afghanistan who are being imprisoned for 'moral crimes'. After reading a piece on the subject by journalist Karen Day published in Marie Claire, Sophia posted a piece on her own personal blog about the moral crimes issue, conveying her horror in response to the accounts of imprisonment for women who dared to leave the house without permission or who were jailed for being raped (instead of their attacker) some even murdered by being buried alive, stoned or burned to death all in the name of morality.
Sophia took it upon herself to be a part of the fight and contacted Karen Day and Marie Claire Editor-in-chief Joanna Coles to establish her position in the cause.
As part of the Afghan Women's Justice Program - set up by Karen Day to fight the injustice, the plan was for Sophia to go along on the next mission to Afghanistan to witness the injustice herself and blog her first person account for Marie Claire, but days before she was set to fly out, Osama bin Laden was captured and Sophia was told that sending an American girl with the last name 'Bush' to Afghanistan was too dangerous considering the new situation so instead, she would remain in the States and utilise Skype and endless phonecalls to Karen Day and the team to take in the relayed accounts of the women there and blog about it.
It's hard not to become swept up in the cause as your eyes sweep over each of Sophia's deeply affecting and eloquently phrased paragraphs and her passion for the cause is certainly contagious. Reading along, you're almost set to leap on the next plane and don combat boots to back her up on the mission - that's how deeply motivating and inspiring her platform is and evidence of her influence on both her followers and the causes she adopts.
Moral Crimes isn't her only philanthropic foray, in conjunction with Crowdrise- an organisation set up by Ed Norton, Sophia is involved with eight concurrent projects in her effort to better our environment and the protection of human and animal rights.
Team Nature Conservancy SF is a 5K marathon run in San Francisco to support the conservancy in its efforts to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Through the Crowdrise platform, Sophia raised over $52,000. In total across her various Crowdrise projects, she has raised just shy of $320,000 for various charities and causes.
She donated her 30th birthday to the cause 'Pencils of Promise' taking an Impact Trip to Guatemala to raise $30,000 for her 30th to build a school for children there. She achieved her goal five days before the deadline and created an additional goal to raise the funds for a second school in those remaining days.
Her good friend launched a project that Sophia is heavily involved in called 'I AM THAT GIRL', an organisation that seeks to help girls transform self-doubt in to self-love. On a similar tangent, Sophia has teamed up with Glamour Magazine to launch an initiative called 'The Girl Project' in the hoped of sending underprivileged girls around the globe to school.
Her efforts are all in the name of uniting women to collaborate and empower each and every one of us. She's a true role model for all women.