2ND MARCH 2021
#POWEREDBYHER WITH DEJA FOXX
“Today is your day to be loud.”
#POWEREDBYHER celebrates International Women’s Day and women empowering women. One who inspires us and so many others is Deja Foxx, a 20-year-old activist and strategist leading thought at the intersection of social justice and social media. She’s also the founder of GenZ Girl Gang and a full-time student at Columbia University. In this UGG interview, she passes on the power – sharing her story of activism, sisterhood, and collaboration over competition.
Introduce yourself, what you do, and where you call home.
My name is Deja Foxx. I’m 20 years old, I’m an activist, I’m a strategist, I’m a future President of the United States, the founder of GenZ Girl Gang, and a full-time student at Columbia University. I’m calling in from sunny San Diego.
What motivates you and your work?
I’m motivated to continue doing this work by the women who brought me into it, whether they drove me to trainings or put my name in for jobs I didn’t even yet see myself as qualified for. Moreover, I’m inspired by the opportunity to become that person for other young women – to bring my girl gang into the room and say, “you can do it. I believe in you.” Because we’re gonna win and sometimes we’re gonna lose, but when we invest in people, when we invest in the women around us and build power in our personal networks, that’s movement building. And in that way, we can never lose.
#POWEREDBYHER celebrates women empowering women. Name some women, public and/or private, who you admire and why.
As the founder of GenZ Girl Gang, I’m often thinking about sisterhood: what does it mean to me, what does it mean to my friends, how has social media changed our definition, and how is my generation practicing it differently. But I think, when I look around, the people I most admire are those young women in my personal network, my girl gang – leaders who are pushing and building strategies to reimagine the way we use social media as a community building tool, to build connections and coalitions that didn’t exist before, and curate communities that are based on collaboration over competition. It’s really my GenZ Girl Gang leaders – the girls who push that envelope, who build those strategies and reimagine sisterhood – that inspire me the most, and it is in them that I find that definition of empowering other people. I see them every day putting into practice what it means to see my success tied to yours.
What does International Women's Day mean to you, and how does it FEEL to sit alongside inspiring women on a day such as this for the UGG brand?
International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate. It’s a time to look back on our past year, give ourselves a pat on the back and say, “look what we did.” It’s a time to text your friends and say, “I see your leadership. I saw the hard work you put in, and it paid off.” It’s a day to message women who maybe you don’t know but admire and let them know, “I see you.” But it’s also a day to reflect that we have so much further to go, and that’s why I’m so inspired by the other women in this campaign; they have recommitted to this work time and time again. It truly is an honor to know that I'm neither in a sprint nor a marathon – I'm in a relay race, and there are so many women around me who I can pass that baton to when I need to rest.
As a rising voice, any closing words?
Today, I just want to remind everyone out there to own your wins. As women, we’re often told to do well but not too well, and if we do well, to stay quiet about it. Today is your day to be loud. Go out there and own your wins, let people know what you’ve been up to, and know that I’ll be in your corner cheering you on.