If nothing else, our past two election cycles have made abundantly clear that in order to truly make substantive change in America, perhaps the most crucial demographics we need to engage in our political process is young and marginalized voters—specifically, BIPOC voters ages 18-24. After all, as 24-year-old Zendaya reminded us while making history as the youngest-ever winner in her Emmy category on Sunday night, “there is hope in the young people.”
Gucci clearly thinks so; after launching their Changemakers initiative last year, the luxury brand proudly announced the inaugural class of Changemakers Scholars in June. Now, the label is bringing its legendary approach to style to both a younger generation and a very trendsetting venue: the ballot box. On Wednesday, Gucci Changemakers North America announced a partnership with Michelle Obama’s celebrity-chaired nonprofit, nonpartisan organization When We All Vote (WWAV). As the brand explained in a release shared with The Glow Up, the collaboration was “created to encourage our North American #GucciCommunity to vote in the 2020 presidential election.”
Via the release :
Funding from Gucci Changemakers North America will be used to support WWAV’s Vote Loud campaign, encouraging the next generation to use the power of their voice and their vote. The focus is not on who people are voting for, but that 18 to 24-year-olds are exercising their fundamental right to vote. As part of the partnership, Gucci and When We All Vote will create a branded voting registration portal that will be used both internally and externally to increase voter registration leading up to the election. To further support the Gucci Community, we will create an internal Voting Squad composed of employees that will act as ambassadors, informing our internal community and becoming advocates within their own local communities.
“We’ve got to do a better job of speaking directly to the motivations and unique challenges that young and first-time voters face around voting,” says When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama. “That’s a big part of the reason why I created When We All Vote—to spark important conversations, share critical resources, and make sure people get registered and get out to vote. It’s up to all of us to encourage and work with the next generation to really change the culture around voting.”
As explained to us by When We All Vote, Vote Loud is a new initiative developed by Creative Alliance and Anomaly “to rally youth to show up at the polls in the most important presidential election of our time.”
Per a statement from WWAV:
During the 2016 presidential election, 43% of eligible voters, nearly 100 million people, did not vote. Let that sink in. Statistically, young voters and marginalized communities face the highest barriers to voting, and whether through active voter suppression or lack of information, they often aren’t able to make their voices heard.
Vote Loud aims to change this statistic by tackling barriers unique to marginalized voters (specifically BIPOC voters aged 18-24) by meeting them where they are through strategic placements of a number of films and user-friendly voting resources.
“This generation of American voters has the power to shape our democracy for the unforeseeable future,” says Stephanie Young, When We All Vote Chief Officer of Communications and Culture. “We are committed to reaching young people where they are to remind them of the power of their voice.”
To celebrate the partnership in style, Gucci commissioned Class of 2020 Changemakers Scholar recipients Celeste Nicole, Gideon Gomm, and Kaya Ugorji to create illustrations using varied mediums “that all speak to the optimism and passion of our nation’s young people, further supporting the next generation,” says the brand.
“This election season, Gucci remains committed to doing our part to help ensure that every voice is heard,” reads a statement from the brand. “At our core, we believe that when we all vote, we are #Changemakers who can make a difference in our communities and our country.”
Gucci’s voting registration portal is open now.
The Glow Up tip: The next round of applications for the Gucci North America Changemakers Scholarship Program will open in Fall 2020. For more information about the Gucci Changemakers Initiatives applications and eligibility requirements, please visit their website or call 1-877-482-2430.