Give A Sh*t

The Perfect Blend of Culture and Politics

In 2018, Chicago Votes helped design the Midwest Culture Lab along with the Alliance for Youth Organizing, Ohio Student Action and We The People Michigan. This projects vision was simple, youth aren’t voting and we wanted to find creative ways to change that. In 2014, Illinois youth voted at 14.2% of the eligible population.

During the design phase of this project, our research confirmed that messaging of “Go Vote” is part of the problem. Young people find it hollow and transactional. Rather, we must listen to youth and engage them in a bigger narrative — an authentic story that reflects their realities, reinforces their agency, speaks across racial lines and builds a shared vision of a future. co-created by this generation. Sure, voting is a piece, but it’s part of a larger puzzle. And if voter messaging is off, so too are the messengers and the medium. We must engage young people with stories that uplift their voices and through cultural influencers and channels they choose to interact with every day. The Midwest Culture Lab connects creative storytellers with grassroots organizers to carry a unified narrative that inspires youth to vote in the short term and, in the long term, become powerful agents of transformational change.

Here at home, Chicago Votes has integrated a creative network, the “Give A Sh*t Collective” to operate as a hub for creatives to rethink how we engage young Chicagoans in the political process. The Collective is made up of a diverse set of young creatives in Chicago, including fashion designers, musicians, artists, poets, videographers and more. This collective works in collaboration with Chicago Votes’ organizers to inspire young people in Chicago to vote and become powerful agents of transformational change by developing a unified narrative and distributing that narrative in a way that is engaging, fun and authentic.

Join the Collective

Want to join the Chicago Votes Give a Sh*t Creative Collective? Sign up at the link below!

The Give A Sh*t program works to inspire young people in Chicago to vote and become powerful agents of transformational change by developing a unified narrative and distributing that narrative in a way that is engaging, fun, and authentic.

Learn More

Give A Sh*t Collective

Chicago Votes has integrated a creative network, the “Give A Sh*t Collective” to operate as a hub for creatives to rethink how we engage young Chicagoans in the political process. The Collective is made up of a diverse set of young creatives in Chicago.

Artist Spotlight

Chicago Votes has worked with some amazing artists and creatives. Check out some one-of-a-kind collaborations below!

The G.A.S. Station

Chicago Votes is excited to launch our newest project, the Give A Sh*t (G.A.S.) Station. This is your one-stop-shop for all Chicago Votes swag.

Sh*t Talks

Listen to us talk sh*t with local creatives, organizers, elected officials, and other people changin’ the city. Tune into our Instagram Live every Thursday night at 8:30pm CST!

Sh*t Talkin’ Central

Sh*t Talkin’ Central is an online hub for blog posts, video content, trainings, and more. It’s a space where young people can share their authentic voice and talk some sh*t about things that matter to them.

Give A Sh*t Gives Back

We–young Black and Brown people–are invested in our communities and being the change we want to see. Give A Sh*t Gives Back is one way we do that. We support young creatives in their mutal aid efforts throughout the city. Meet the crew!

Project Hardknock 

Project HardKnock began in 2018 as a one-time Holiday drive for individuals experiencing homelessness in Chicago. However, due to the overwhelming amount of support and contributions from the Community,as well as the unexpected Social Media following and spotlight it gained we have been able to establish an annual tradition and a consistent volunteer database. Over just 3 events we have secured network connections and sponsorships from Nike by way of Whitney Young High School’s basketball team, LiveWire Electrical Companies Charity Champs, and last  Chicago Votes by way of the Give A Sh*t Collective.

In light of the Orgs success, Project HardKnocks has now shifted from only targeting people without homes to aiding all members of the underprivileged community (Children, Students, Low income families, Small Black/Brown Businesses, etc.), and has also implemented a volunteer outsourcing service available to assist and partner with any community project in the Chicagoland area in need of a like minded unit for legwork and/or planning the event at hand.

South Side Clean Up

Southside Cleanup is a black and brown youth-led initiative aiming to clean up the Southside of Chicago created by Kierra Wooden. The goal of Southside Cleanup is not to just simply clean the debris and trash off of our streets, but to benefit our communities with a plethora of resources. Southside Cleanup aims to feed our own communities in addition to providing necessities such as cleaning, and sanitation supplies as we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and connecting with people on the Southside to figure out the next steps to elevate our communities. Kierra came up with the idea on Sunday evening of May 31st and didn’t know that it would attract this much attention overnight; the first event took place on June 3rd, and it was a major success. Gaining social media success, she even caught the eye of the Obama Foundation who donated a bunch of cleaning supplies to the first cleanup. Kierra with the help of over a hundred volunteers was able to clean up, donate food, and cleaning supplies from Roseland all the way down to 35th.

SuperGang

Founded in 2020 , The SuperGang, an outgrowth of The SuperGroup, is a youth led organization that currently builds community on the south side of Chicago. Looking to expand its impact, the SuperGang seeks to offer social supports (food, clothing, hygiene products, youth development programming, etc) and use the Arts to engage community members across the age spectrum

The Clean Up Coalition

Inspired by South Side Clean Up, The CleanUp Coalition is a coalition of youth and artist led organizations who dedicate a single day of every month to do one big collaborative environmental direct action. The CleanUp Coalition began when DJ Evie the Cool (Evie Thompson) and Brian X came together to think of ways to intentionally target street pollution in disenfranchised black and brown communities. By the end of 2021 the coalition’s goal is to collect 1,000 bags of street pollution from the communities and there are around 350 to date!