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Why I Protest: Lele Pons on Why She Marches in Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

At over 41 million followers on Instagram, Lele Pons is using her platform—not only for silly videos or fiery selfies—but for issues that truly matter.

The Venezuelan-born influencer, artist and actress, who’s currently making the rounds with her ultra-personal and intimate YouTube docuseries, The Secret Life of Lele Pons, has joined the worldwide protests and took the streets in response to the recent death of George Floyd and other Black citizens who have died in the hands of police.

“These days we peacefully gather to support our brothers and sisters against the injustice that is happening,” she expressed on Instagram. “Enough is enough, we are the change, no silence! George Floyd, you will forever be in our hearts,” she added, using the tag #BlackLivesMatter.

As part of Billboard’s “Why I Protest” series, Pons shares why it matters, more than ever, to stand in solidarity with the Black community and encourages other Latinos to join the fight for justice. Read below:

Which protest did you take a part of?

I went to the protest in Hollywood on Monday, June 1st.

Describe your experience at the demonstration

Seeing the entire city come together for this movement was so powerful. We marched alongside all types of people, young, gay, Black, Latinos, Asian, etc. and it was just a really moving experience. To see that many people protest during a pandemic, knowing the risk of being around so many people, shows how tired people are of racism.

What does it mean to you as a Latinx artist to be involved in the BLM protests?

I think it’s about just being using my platform to help bring awareness to issues that have been ignored for so long. We have all the tools for our fans to hear our voice now because of social media. I have a large platform and privileges of my own and it’s important for me to use them to support the movement. I think what’s really special is that when you’re in the streets, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have or who you are. It’s just about coming together to make a difference.

How do you encourage the Latino community to support the Black Lives Matter movement?

I’m still learning how to better support the BLM movement, but I think there are plenty of things we can do. As an artist, we can do better about amplifying Black voices and stories in our industry. We can support Black businesses, sign petitions demanding justice, and join protests. I think the most important action we can take is calling out anti-Black racism within our own communities, having difficult conversations with our friends and family about our own prejudice.

Can you share a safety tip for attending a protest in times of a pandemic?

Always wear your mask and, if you can, bring extras for others. Wash and sanitize your hands as much as you can while also avoiding touching your face. Going to a protest right now is a huge risk, but we want change!

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