Clubhouse Is Revolutionizing How Marginalized Communities Engage

A Mixed Experience: For Some, Clubhouse is Revolutionizing How Marginalized Communities Engage

By Vivian Iroanya


The invite-only audio app Clubhouse launched last March and has since skyrocketed in popularity, attracting politicians and celebrities like Elon Musk

Here, anyone can start a ‘room’ sparking conversations ranging from health to politics. But, as the app grows with over two million downloads and despite it being in beta testing mode, it seems to have partially benefitted marginalized communities. 

I spoke to some active users to analyze the true extent of this benefit and consider what makes this platform different from other social media apps.


‘Clubhouse gives you an opportunity to create whatever space you what’ 


Carolyn Wysinger (@cdubbthehost), president of San Francisco Pride and delegate for  California AD-15, joined Clubhouse in December. She’s also part of the ‘LGBTQIA Safe Space’ Club room with over 10,200 members.

“In some ways, Clubhouse has embraced marginalized communities,” she says. “Here, it’s all about getting into rooms with people you do not know. It opens up the experience to meet different people who are interested in the same thing that you are interested in. For example, when I got into politics, I started meeting people from different states.”

Other apps such as Facebook have been accused of setting a ‘dangerous precedent’ by targeting individuals speaking out against racism. Carolyn was previously involved in a ban threat from Facebook after commenting on Liam Neeson’s ‘disturbing’ confession on Black men.  

Meanwhile, on TikTok, Black creators are regularly banned and amid George Floyd protests last summer, the platform was accused of censoring the #blacklivesmatter hashtag

“What makes Clubhouse different is it has not gotten to the stage of banning Black people and I hope it doesn’t get there. They are just starting to build their moderation infrastructure. But I am already seeing flashes of where it could as more people get in,” she says. 

Clubhouse just recently added a new feature called ‘Report for trolling’ and Carolyn says as a result of this, people could get reported for merely expressing opinions that differ from their others. 

Ama Konadu (@msamakonadu), Club host and founder of ‘Write That Thang,’ a community of writers with over 2,000 members, sees the app as a good networking tool that provides insight into the entertainment industry.

“Clubhouse gives you more autonomy over your feed and the people you choose to interact with. There is no messaging feature, so I do not feel the pressure to engage outside of the app as opposed to Instagram and Twitter which makes me sometimes anxious and overwhelmed.” 

Ama is also part of ‘Ghanaian Lounge.’  the largest community of Ghanaians on Clubhouse. As an African-American, she says that this weekly speaking room gives her the opportunity to learn her father’s language, embrace different cultures, and to tap into a global society, especially during times of COVID-19’s impact. 

“Clubhouse gives you an opportunity to create whatever space you want and to connect with people on a deeper level. As you hear people’s voices you gauge whether they are genuine or not. It is powerful how this app can be used for organizing and community building across the globe.”   


‘As an artist who understands the power of voice, it is incredible to see this powerful medium in action on Clubhouse’


‘Momentum Is Ours’ is a room that was founded to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of womxn, as well as centering issues that impact marginalized womxn and girls. Its Club host Pilar Cote (@pilarcote), a multidisciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan, joined Clubhouse last year in August. She is also a member of the ‘Latinx Creatives’ Club room.

“Clubhouse goes beyond everything I would have expected from a social app. It is an identity service as it uses real names and has a second layer of accountability by showing on your profile who invited you. 

“I’ve heard people of color say they have become friends with people they met in Clubhouse, people they now consider almost as family. That’s what makes this app powerful,” she says. Like many other social media apps, Clubhouse is clearly making an impact in people’s lives beyond the time they spend in rooms. 

The audio app is currently valued at $1 billion and allows Club rooms to enact ‘community guidelines.’ Clubhouse can do more to protect marginalized communities but it makes it clear that hate speech and bullying are not allowed, that inclusivity is important, and that respectfulness is valued. It incentivizes people to offer valuable opinions because it is present and real-time. Although Clubhouse has taken these measures and provided opportunities, there are still dangers to be aware of. 

Overall, these hosts and thousands of others are leveraging this platform to – literally – have their voices heard. “As an artist who understands the power of voice, it is incredible to see this powerful medium into action on Clubhouse. You do not see this anywhere else,” Pilar concluded. 


Vivian is a journalist based in Sheffield, United Kingdom. She has been published in openDemocracy, The Tab, Forge Press & more. She can be found on Twitter, Linkedin, and her portfolio.

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