Leonardo DiCaprio Commits to "Listen, Learn and Take Action" For Social Justice

"I commit to listen, learn and take action," Leonardo DiCaprio wrote via Instagram. "I am dedicated to end the disenfranchisement of Black America, that has been present for too long."

By Elyse Dupre Jun 05, 2020 1:27 PMTags
Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio Pledges to Help End Racial Injustice

Leonardo DiCaprio took to Instagram to share how he's fighting against injustice in America.

"I commit to listen, learn and take action," the 45-year-old actor began. "I am dedicated to end the disenfranchisement of Black America, that has been present for too long."

The Oscar winner then pledged to "support those individuals, organizations and coalitions that are committed to bring about long-term change." He also listed a number of organizations he planned on donating to and invited his followers to join him in following and learning from their work. Color of Change, Fair Fight Action, The NAACP and the Equal Justice Initiative were the organizations on his list.

DiCaprio is one of several celebrities to call for justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Many stars have attended protests around the world, including Jamie FoxxAriana Grande, John Boyega, Halsey, Michael B. Jordan, Cole Sprouse, Darren Criss, Keke Palmer, Ben Affleck, Stephen Curry, Ayesha Curry, Kristen Stewart, Ellen Pompeo and more.

Celebrities Attending Protests Over George Floyd's Death

Like DiCaprio, many stars have also used their platforms to speak up, share information and highlight organizations fighting for change. George Clooney, for instance, penned a piece for The Daily Beast that was titled "George Clooney: America's Greatest Pandemic Is Anti-Black Racism."

"This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we've yet to find a vaccine," he wrote. "It seems we've stopped even looking for one and we just try to treat the wound on an individual basis. And we sure haven't done a very good job of that. So this week, as we're wondering what it's going to take to fix these seemingly insurmountable problems, just remember we created these issues so we can fix them. And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote."

In addition, many artists have made donations. Kanye West, for instance, donated $2 million to help the families and legal teams fighting for Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. He also made donations to several black-owned businesses in his hometown and set up a college fund for Floyd's daughter Gianna.

Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck during an arrest. Chauvin was fired from the police department and arrested. He is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved in the arrest—J. Alexander KuengThomas Lane and Tou Thao—were also fired and arrested. They are facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

"Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng held Mr. Floyd by the legs and hips to further restrict movement," a press release from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison stated. "Tou Thao stood guard to prevent members of the public, who gathered nearby to witness the police action, from intervening to aid Mr. Floyd."

Kueng, Lane and Thao attended an arraignment on Thursday. They did not enter pleas. NBC News reported a judge ordered the former officers to be held on "an unconditional bail of $1 million compounded with $750,000 of conditional bail." According to CNN, Chauvin is scheduled to appear in court later this month. His bail is set at $1 million. Per Hennepin County Sheriff records, Kueng, Lane, Thao and Chauvin are still in custody. 

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed Floyd's manner of death as a homicide and his cause of death as "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

A memorial service for Floyd was held in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 4. According to NBC News, a second memorial service is set for this Saturday in North Carolina. The news organization also reported that a viewing of Floyd's body is scheduled to be held in Houston on Monday followed by a funeral service on Tuesday.