Breakout Session | Stage 2

Host: The Spotlight Initiative and The Social Good Club

In recent years, social media has played an important role in bringing awareness and driving public action and engagement towards social change, from #MeToo to #BlackLivesMatter. The coronavirus pandemic and its related lockdowns have contributed to a significant increase in social media consumption as people look for entertainment and to maintain social connections.

 According to the United Nations, gender-based violence is also increasing exponentially due to the pandemic. Many women are being forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers at the same time that services to support survivors are being disrupted or made inaccessible. 

 Are these trends related? Is social media part of the problem or the solution when it comes to violence against women and girls? 

 The session will delve into these questions by bringing together influencers, content creators, and technology platforms to discuss the challenges and opportunities for social media to contribute to shifting a culture that permits and enables violence against women and girls around the world.

 

Speakers

Amber Whittington - Moderator
YouTuber, Actor and Activist

Amber Whittington is a US-based content creator, actress and activist who gained a following exploring issues of sexuality and race on her YouTube channel, Amber’s Closet. She often uses her platform to speak about social issues and has become a leading voice for the LGBTQ+ community online, with almost 700,000 subscribers.

Cecilia Suárez
UN Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative, Actress

Ariel Award winner and Emmy International nominated Mexican actress, Ms. Suárez raises awareness on violence against women and girls and other forms of human rights violations to one million people on her social media platforms. Ms. Suárez has been actively engaged in the Spotlight Initiative as a Spotlight Champion since 2018. 

Siya Kolisi​
UN Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative, South Africa Rugby Team Captain

Siya Kolisi is the World Cup-winning captain of the South African Rugby National Team. He has been designated as a United Nations Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative by the UN Secretary-General, effective 1 July 2020. In 2018, Mr. Kolisi made history as the first black test player to captain the team in its 129-year history. He recently established the Kolisi Foundation in his native South Africa. The foundation’s vision is to change the narrative of inequality for people in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. The Kolisi Foundation has been providing critical supplies, including masks, food, water and COVID-19 testing support, to underserved communities in South Africa.

Patricia Georgiou​
Head of Partnerships and Business Development at Google Jigsaw

Patricia Georgiou is the Head of Partnerships and Business Development for Jigsaw, Google / Alphabet’s incubator tackling geopolitical challenges through technology. Jigsaw builds tech solutions for global security threats including cyber attacks, online hate and harassment, radicalization and extremism, censorship and disinformation.

Patricia was previously an international corporate lawyer, and impact investor for the French government’s strategic fund. She graduated from Paris Sorbonne and University of Edinburgh, and is fluent in French, Arabic and Spanish

Karuna Nain
Director for Global Safety Policy at Facebook
Karuna Nain is Director, Global Safety Policy at Facebook based in Menlo Park, California where she is responsible for working with internal and external stakeholders on issues of child online safety and well-being, women's safety, and suicide prevention. In her past six years at Facebook, Karuna has developed Facebook’s Safety Centre, Bullying Prevention Hub, Parents Portal, Youth Portal and Digital Literacy Library and led the global expansion of the company’s suicide prevention resources and the pilot programme for victims to proactively report non-consensually shared intimate images.
Amanda du-Pont
Actor, model and television host

Amanda du-Pont is a South African actress and TV host known for her portrayal of Senna in the CW drama series ‘Life is Wild’ and Sharon in the SABC 3 comedy-drama ‘Taryn and Sharon’. She also stars as Ashley in the Netflix series ‘Shadow’.

Louis Cole
YouTuber and Filmmaker

Louis Cole is an English-born filmmaker and YouTuber based in the US. He’s amassed almost 2 million YouTube subscribers through documenting his global travels on his channel, Fun For Louis. He is also the co-founder of The Social Good Club, a group of content creators from around the world who partner with experts to use their digital influence to create social impact.

September 22, 12:30
12:30 — 13:15 EST (GMT-5) (45′)

Creativity & Culture, Gender, Health, People, Technology

| Host: Spotlight Initiative and The Social Good Club |, AMANDA DU-PONT, AMBER WHITTINGTON, Cecilia Suárez (UN Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative), Karuna Nain (Facebook), Louis Cole, Patricia Georgiou (Google Jigsaw), Siya Kolisi​ (UN Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative)

Watch

Copyright © United Nations. All rights reserved.

None of the materials provided on this web site may be used, reproduced or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system, except as provided for in the Terms and Conditions of Use of United Nations Web Sites, without permission in writing from the publisher.

News-related material can be used as long as the appropriate credit is given and the United Nations is advised.

To request such permission or for further enquires, please visit: United Nations Publications: Rights and Permissions.