PHOTO: The student-run organization, Stickers for Change, boasts a variety of sticker designs that benefit a wide array of causes.
By Katrina Haws,
A new surge of student-founded social justice organizations inspired by the current political landscape have begun popping up within the local Davis community. Many have been using Instagram and other social media as a way to spread their message and gain support.
The newly formed Davis chapter of Rock the Vote is among the organizations. Rock the Vote has chapters that span across the U.S. and according to rockthevote.org, the organization is “the most trusted and effective nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people.”
Five Davis locals were inspired to focus on the issue of youth voting in our community. Seniors Luke Profaci and Mesara Jayalath, as well as junior Zach Anderson, are among them.
“Another really important thing is that all of us that are a part of this have been a part of the Davis community for our entire lives, we know what the community is like […] it’s just how we can give back especially to our generation through helping them become more politically active, helping them to become more politically informed. We’ll give them a nonpartisan source to come to for any information they may need,” Jayalath said.
Rock the Vote Davis is a community-wide organization centered around increasing voter participation and education among 18 to 24-year-olds.
According to the organization’s Instagram feed only “25.3 percent of eligible young voters (ages 18-24) in Yolo County turned out to vote for the 2016 election. [Making Yolo] the 11th lowest youth voter turnout in California.”
“[Because] it’s an election year it seems crucial to make sure our generation is aware of the implications of this upcoming election on our country and additionally [the founding of the Davis chapter is] after the unfortunate spread of Covid-19 as well as the racial tension within our country. It is important that everyone has a chance to voice their opinions,” Profaci said.
Profaci also stresses the importance of the group’s commitment to being a nonpartisan source for accurate voting information.
“We’re not biased to one specific political party […] it’s more about bringing everyone together in our age group and letting them know that their voice can be heard and that their voice makes a difference and all that is one of our main goals especially because there’s a lot of divide between […] our high school community and our country as a whole,” Profaci said.
Another recently founded youth-run organization is Stickers for Change. Seniors Sadia Chowdhury, Emi Wong and Meleah Chacon launched their nonprofit organization in August and have been developing their social media platform, website and sticker designs ever since.
“I think we kind of saw everything that was happening in 2020 and what has been happening with Black Lives Matter and police brutality and also other countries that probably need our help and we saw our privilege there and seeing[…] we can do something about this. Why don’t we at least try and kind of raise awareness for it and raise money,” Chacon said.
Each sticker design conveys a specific message that directly relates to the cause the purchase will go to support. Their website also details the background of each movement or issue they are supporting.
Presently the seniors are donating all their profits from sticker sales to three main causes: Black Lives Matter, Free Palestine and Lebanon Red Cross. The group aims to broaden their reach with new sticker designs corresponding with different social justice and humanitarian issues in the future.