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Actress Shailene Woodley has once again given us some powerful food for thought while opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Best known for her portrayal of Tris in the popular Divergent film series, actress Shailene Woodley is quickly building her reputation as an activist of note, too.

She first made waves when promoting presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who she felt was the best possible successor to Barack Obama. Shailene not only made several public appearances in support of him, but also hit the road in a caravan alongside fellow Sanders proponents to spread awareness of their passion wherever possible.

As notable as those efforts were, what is truly setting Shailene apart is her devotion to the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). For those who don’t know, the DAPL is a $3.7 billion project that intends to create a 1,172 mile pipeline spanning four U.S. states.

Shailene most recently used the power of her voice as a recognizable celebrity on Thanksgiving Day in a brief interview. She opens up about not only the false stories we are told about the holiday, but also the not-so-distant history of the DAPL.

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Shailene is one of several notable figures to oppose the pipeline project. Others include Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, and Robert F. Kennedy. Each has helped push news of the protest into the mainstream realm, where it was previously, and presumably intentionally, ignored.

In early October, Shailene, along with 26 others, was arrested in Sioux County, North Dakota, on charges of trespass and engaging in a riot. Thankfully, Shailene streamed the peaceful protests live on Facebook  both prior to and during her arrest, showing the online world just how absurd the police’s actions were.

As part of her arrest, Shailene called out the press by saying, “I hope you’re watching mainstream media” — a statement that fell on many ears that were previously unaware of anything relating to DAPL.

Whether or not Shailene’s actions have played an integral role in getting this protest the media coverage it deserves, I commend her efforts. Given that we live in a world where celebrity opinions and actions are held in such high regard, their influential power needs to be embraced to create positive change.


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