By Audrey Willett:
Project Elicit is all about helping Gen Z be heard. They have a team of very talented researchers, writers, and designers who work to make informational Instagram posts. Please enjoy our interview with Emaan, the founder of Project Elicit.
AW: Tell us all about you and your organization!
E: My name is Emaan, and I am the founder of Project Elicit! This project was started in March of 2020 in light of the pandemic keeping us indoors. Along with my initial team of just 7 students, we have now grown to encompass 40+ individuals from all over the world across 5 specialized teams. Our primary aim is to raise awareness about social issues that often go unheard and for our audience to see our platform as a megaphone through which they can voice their opinions. The elements of our logo—two crossed hands, a megaphone, a mobile phone, and vines with lavender flowers—represent unity and the power which Gen Z youths hold. Project Elicit was started because I have much faith and confidence in the potential of the youth; we can do anything and everything. Gen Z exudes power, capability, and strength. Whether through the comfort of our homes, through something as universal as a mobile phone, or through sparking conversations, my team and I believe that we must exercise our privilege of living in this intertwined world by using social media platforms as our generation's very own megaphone. These platforms have continued to allow us to catalyze change and amplify voices, and every day, we need to continue pushing for more.
AW: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
E: I think that there is a very valid argument present for this question, which is that our generation should not have to tackle the problems which are being created today in our future. If Gen Z do not raise their voices now, then it will not affect anyone but us. Also, justice cannot wait, it should not have to wait. Every single day, we should make our greatest efforts to fight for those who do not have a voice or for those who are silenced. We need to amplify the struggles of the unheard—I personally believe it is our duty as humans to help those in need. It is not just important for our generation to let their voices be heard; it is vital, crucial, and absolutely necessary.
AW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
E: I think the statistics, the headlines, and just current occurrences are truly alarming, and depending on the context they can be quite frightening too. With the pace at which our world is advancing—particularly how fast technology is changing—I believe that certain events are morally unjustifiable. However, when I look around me, I see many activists, many change-makers, many youths striving to make change and striving for a world where equality prevails, not just for humans but for Mother Nature too. I guess I could say I am quite optimistic about the future, and I think we need to be; we must be in the right mindset going forward, and we need to believe in our potential.
AW: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
E: I believe that each social issue holds great importance depending on its context and situation. To classify them into which is more and less important would be an injustice. There are many pressing issues, conflicts in our world currently, only some of which reach those who can help. There are many silenced voices, many social issues that are unheard of or that are twisted by the media. By having a diverse team and global operations, I hope to become more aware about parts of the world that are facing conflicts but do not have light shed upon.
AW: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
E: Though our organization’s reach remains quite small when looked at with larger youth-led organizations on Instagram, we hope that our audience feels empowered to stand up and have their voice be heard after reading our infographics. Just like any other organization, we are also trying to encourage youths to stand up. Whether what my team and I are doing has helped educate, empower, inspire, etc. one or a hundred individuals, every single person counts toward the end goal.
AW: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
E: Project Elicit is currently only active on Instagram, where we regularly post infographics about pressing issues in our world—these may be humanitarian social issues, events where justice is not being rightfully served, normalized values and stereotypes, and much more. The content of our posts is decided based on contributions from our diverse team members, who each put forward social issues that they have read about or resonate with, which we then curate infographics on. We hope to collaborate with other organizations that uphold similar goals to ours in the near future.
AW: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
E: I hope that at least one person has felt more knowledgeable after reading our infographics. Despite our relatively small audience, my team members and I truly strive to make change. We want youths to realize that the size of the change they make does not matter; little changes on part of the millions of youths who comprise Gen Z can and will add up to make a huge difference. We encourage you to take part in whatever is accessible and convenient for you, whether that is simply reading up on prevalent social issues or even joining movements and campaigns. We hope you will join us in standing up against immoral and unacceptable acts of injustice and in striving toward a better, fair, and just world.
Audrey Willett is a southern California sophomore in high school. She is an activist and aspiring filmmaker, and the Social Media Outreach coordinator for The Gen Z Collective.