V127: The Thought Leaders Issue With Jaden Smith

The musician and activist on equal representation, inherent racism, and peaceful protesting.

V127’s Thought Leader Issue is available for pre-order now.

“I’m voting because I haven’t been happy with the leadership. I don’t feel as though I’m being represented or that I’m being listened to, or that the Black community is being represented or listened to at large. Things need to change, starting with how we treat the people of color in the nation, and how we’re allowing these systems of racism to still exist and for us to still follow them. That’s the main thing that keeps me up at night.

“Everybody has different ways of balancing themselves out—I try to get enough sleep and get into the ocean as much as possible. That [spiritually] cleanses me, and it’s how I protect myself, because we have to keep going. I use my music as a way to talk about things, demand change in the world and try to open up people’s eyes. I’m not only using the clothes I designed, but the clothes that I wear to raise awareness about things. ‘Vote AF’ is a loungewear collection I’m releasing to bring this voting culture into the youth so that we can get [them] on board in a public manner.

“I partnered with Vote.org because I wanted to find an organization that would help educate young people about voting. In my first voting experience, I was so discombobulated and uninformed on what I was voting for besides the president. From that point on, I wanted to really dedicate myself to helping people vote in a more educated way.

“There’s so many of us that want to make a difference, some who even said that they would vote and then didn’t show up. If we all get out to the polls, we could really make a difference this election. We have all of these protests, marches, and people aligning. We all know what we want, what’s wrong in the world, and what justice looks like. We can feel it in our heart. I have faith in humanity, still. It’s important for us to realize that things would be different in the world right now if all of us voted last time. Your vote does count, and [the government] is trying to convince you that it doesn’t matter so that they can control you—and that you won’t have a say with what’s going on in the world you live in. It’s important that we all know that whatever we want to change, we have the power to do it.”


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