There’s never been a more influential time to use your voice to implement change. No matter how big your platform, it’s critical to lend your support to Black Lives Matter, a cause greater than all of us, and be on the right side of history. Especially now, when many people are anxiously seeking out leaders to guide them through these crucial events, being silent sends such a loud message. We need to stand up, we need to have uncomfortable conversations, and we need to educate others on the importance of advocacy. If you have a following, you have an obligation to be a leader – just ask Sunshine Shen, internationally-renowned model and businesswoman who refuses to be complacent, and is standing tall and strong on the frontlines of history to be a champion for other minorities in this country who need us now more than ever.
In a time of civil unrest, Sunshine is not backing down from fighting the good fight. An immigrant from China with Kazakh roots, Sunshine moved to America as a child with her parents for a better life – but she will never forget the circumstances in which she was raised, experiences that shaped her understanding of racial injustice and the social dangers that pervade for minorities across the world. With family from two Communist countries, Sunshine’s loved ones have fought and died in the name of freedom for all, no matter your race or beliefs. Her grandparents lived through the cultural revolution in China, and her grandfather was nearly killed by Mao himself for not bowing down to him, all in an attempt to save his children and siblings
from oppression. Having a voice – and the opportunity to use it democratically – is a rare luxury, one that Sunshine would never have been afforded if her ancestors hadn’t had the courage to fight back and risk everything to secure a better life for their future generations. Sunshine has lived in three countries, and she’s far too familiar with the perilous road America can be traveling down if we don’t all come together and unite over a common goal. Diversity should be celebrated, praised, and used as a vital resource to recognize the power we all have when we work towards a shared objective. That said, we must act responsibly and strategically in order to implement meaningful change.
Sunshine – who is a certified sound bath healer and spirituality leader – sees what is happening on the frontlines of these protests, and she feels compelled to use her voice and platform to encourage those partaking to remain peaceful, as this is the most authentic way we can make a difference. Fighting fire with fire will burn the whole world. Of course, black people in this country are entitled to their anger at the oppressive systems that have silenced them, and these protests are a long time coming. Sunshine understands that with every fiber of her being, which is why she has vocally and fiscally supported Black Lives Matter. However, she also can’t stand by as minority business owners are losing their livelihoods and their life’s savings at the hands of those who are criminal opportunities, and don’t truly have the best interests at heart of those who
need other groups to rally behind them now more than ever. Even George Floyd’s family has used their platform to address the violence, which under no circumstance should be incited in his name. Sunshine’s message is that we must be better than those who try to drag us down and want to stop us from spreading good and protesting for a better world, which is our legal rights as Americans to do so. But this has to stay peaceful. Immigrants make America strong and they are the backbone of everything about our country that is good and great, but as an immigrant herself, Sunshine can never forget the horrors of war and oppression that she will never unsee, that have been imprinted on her brain forevermore, and she simply cannot stand idly by as violence persists. Her message is clear: be an advocate, be a champion, and be better than those who are trying to silence us. Don’t hide behind a screen and don’t stay neutral. Lend your hand, lend your heart, lend your voice, lend your body, and be the change. When they go low, we go high. Black Lives Matter, and a better world is on the horizon. For more resources on how you can help, please visit Sunshine’s Instagram highlights on her profile, @captainssunny.