Randy Simons, also know as @randy.officiel, is a Montreal-based influencer who has made a name for himself in the local fitness, music and Instagram scenes. Randy is the owner of Tensai Media, a firm that has worked on projects for Audi, Porsche, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, just to name a few.
With 209K followers on his Instagram page, 1.68K subscribers to his YouTube channel, and having worked for a roster of high-end clients, it's safe to say Randy understands the power of reaching a large audience.
Over the past week and a half, the world has raised its voice with the Black Lives Matter movement like never before.
Sharing online resources and petitions, to organizing protests and demonstrations all over the world, including here in Montreal, people are making their voices heard against police brutality and systemic racism.
No stranger to the power of a digital platform, Randy Simons shares his insights on how social media has impacted the Black Lives Matter movement.
Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.
"Having a large audience, we have a voice, we have a platform, we have a responsibility," Randy told MTL Blog.
"There are a lot of people that are looking up to us."
"In the old days, you used to have to wait for the newspaper to come out. But now, with social media, everything comes out in real-time. It's raw," Randy said.
The whole world seems to be joining the conversation.
Randy took part in the #BlackOutTuesday campaign that swarmed Instagram on June 2. The hashtag currently has 28,848,631 posts.
"I think it's great — I don't think anybody in the world is unaware of the situation now.
"Now people from all races are compelled to help out in any way that they can."
But, Randy reminded us we must recognize that although the movement has gained immense momentum over the last 10 days, racism and police brutality has gone on long before the creation of the camera phone.
"If it were no cameras, if there were no social media, I don't think the pressure would have been made."
Looking forward, Randy has hope, believing tragedies help the world unite.
"I believe there is hope for the next generation. People are genuinely touched by the situation. People are genuinely trying to make a change.
"I just want people to know that the Black Lives Matter movement is fighting the right cause and is ultimately trying to make the world a better place."
Let Randy's words be food for thought as you exercise the power of your online voice.