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Jordan Williams - The Good-isms

The Good-isms: Activism is accessible to celebrities and everyday students

Most activists choose one cause to support during their lifetime, but a select few go above and beyond to make the world a better place. After over 20 years in both the music and film industry, Jared Leto has risen to the public eye as one of the most passionate and versatile performers of our generation and as someone who uses his talents to bring justice to people, animals and the planet.

Although Leto has always been open about his support of several causes, 2014 brought his endeavors to light. His famous Oscars speech addressed nations experiencing war, the LGBTQ community and those with AIDS. Leto’s words were so powerful that certain nations censored his speech so their oppressed citizens would not become inspired. To prepare for his role as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, which won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, Leto interviewed countless transgender individuals for their stories and daily struggles. He even went as far as living as the character for the entirety of the film production, which lasted 28 days. The conclusion of his acceptance speech reached out to millions when he said, “to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love…tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

After a world tour that took up a majority of this year with his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, Leto traveled to Africa last week to train in rescuing and preserving the endangered black rhinoceros. His band has opened up a lot of other charitable opportunities for him. The group has also worked for a charity known as Children of the Night, an organization that rescues children from child prostitution.

Leto and his band have always been open about their activism in climate change as well. They have filmed music videos all over the world and released their most recent records in environmentally-friendly packaging. It’s safe to say that Leto uses all of his talents for good. Haiti, a book of photography, documents his time spent in a Haitian village to show the effects of living in extreme poverty with photographs he shot by himself.

Since this column is the wrap-up for the semester, I could not think of a better person to write about. He has been my favorite actor for eight years now. But what I have always loved about him is his passion for art and drive to help others, constantly educating himself and becoming active in new social battles each year.

Like Leto, Ohio University has no limits to what its students and community fight for too. With the Ohio University Women’s Center, LGBT Center, FoodMatters group, Athens County Humane Society and even a fund that aids students in times of crisis, we should be proud to associate ourselves with such a diverse and involved campus.

While Leto has given the world countless words of wisdom from his rise from poverty to worldwide fame, one saying has kept me going for a while now. I know it will forever inspire me and others around the world to make something extraordinary happen in our lifetime: “Dream big when you sleep and even bigger when you wake.”

Jordan Williams is a junior studying English and women’s and gender studies. Email her at

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