advocacy

Malavika is a political organizer and creative strategist focused on increasing representation of women of color in politics.

In 2018, she founded Homegirl Project, a national youth-led organization that empowers girls and non-binary youth of color as political change-makers through mentorship, training, and community-building. Visit or donate to Homegirl Project here.

She's particularly passionate about gun violence prevention and has worked on the grassroots and national level with March For Our Lives and Giffords, where she was honored as a 2019 Courage Fellow. She formerly developed youth engagement tactics for Women's March. Here are some recent projects.

Homegirl Project

Malavika created a youth-led political incubator that has impacted over 2500 girls of color nationwide. As Executive Director, she launched the flagship Homegirl Fellowship, a training and mentorship program in activism that won the 2020 T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge. The organization's blog, GirlTalk, features interviews with 100 inspiring women of color, and the Homegirl Ambassadors digital mentorship program has served 40 women and girls.

Refinery29: "Dear Mom and Dad" Campaign

Malavika co-created the poetry campaign "Dear Mom and Dad," amplifying the impacts of gun violence on immigrants and communities of color. Within 24 hours of its release by Refinery29, it garnered over 100,000 views and multiple celebrity retweets. 

San Francisco 'Slam Gun Violence!' Summit

Malavika co-organized a slam poetry and speaking gathering to build community for youth activists of color in the Bay Area, focusing on gun violence prevention. The summit, which took place in San Francisco in October 2019, featured 15 youth speakers and was hosted in partnership between Giffords and Homegirl Project.

Women's March Youth National Organizing

Malavika was one of 10 organizers selected for the Women's March youth cohort, which organized the historic March 2018 school walkouts: the largest single-day youth protest in American history. She spoke at the Youth Wave gathering prior to the 2019 Women's March, and covered the event on Instagram Stories for Vice. In March 2019, she helped plan town halls and climate strikes on the one-year anniversary of the walkouts.

 

Giffords Courage Fellowship

Malavika was one of 14 organizers activists nationwide honored with the Giffords Courage Fellowship, founded by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. As a fellow, Malavika lobbied Congress and advocated locally for gun violence prevention legislation.

Seminole County Mental Health Legislation

In March 2019 Malavika helped pass a resolution for increased mental health provisions in the Seminole County School Board. She researched and wrote a bill with key policies and authored a student assessment of current mental health landscape. She organized local gun-safety activists and students to lobby the school board. Press coverage here.

2018 Midterm "Blue Wave" Organizing

As an organizer for the Central Florida Democrats battleground station, Malavika helped with phonebanking and canvassing efforts for Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), leading to successful re-election. At the 2018 Florida Democrats "Blue Wave" convention, Malavika was an event speaker alongside congresspeople and senators, performing an original slam poem about the urgency of gun violence legislation. 

March For Our Lives #VoteForOurLives Campaign

In the summer leading to the 2018 midterm election, Malavika contributed to a historic youth voter turnout effort, reported in CNN to have increased Orlando's youth registration by 90%. She established Seminole High School's annual voter registration drive, for and by students.

© 2023 by MALAVIKA KANNAN.

malavikawrites@gmail.com