In her own words, Sophia Bush was an activist before she became an actress.
The actress, best known for her roles in “Chicago PD” and “One Tree Hill,” says her upbringing in Southern California is what encouraged her activism, becoming passionate about the environment first, then using its growing platform to highlight important causes. , including education reform, women’s rights and voters’ rights.
She is now bringing her philosophy of activism to her latest role, in partnership with Mix and Rock the Vote – a non-profit organization that encourages young people to vote – for a International Women’s Day campaign that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
The campaign gives customers multiple ways to register to vote, including via text message and on the brand’s website, as well as in-store at Mix‘s 32 stores nationwide. The brand is also setting up a “voting booth” at 98 Prince Street in Manhattan on March 7 and 8, where shoppers can “send a vote of confidence to the women who inspire them,” according to the brand.
WWD met with Bush to talk about the campaign, his activism, and the upcoming presidential election.
WWD: Why are you teaming up with Intermix and Rock the Vote for this campaign?
Sophie Bush: It is clear to all of us that exercising our right to vote has never been more important. I’m also very aware that not everyone likes data as much as I do, so maybe there are people out there who don’t know or don’t have time to do the kind of research I do. . One thing I read over and over is that the more people are exposed to what is going on in their communities – and also to the realities of their lives – the more likely they are to actually exercise these rights.
WWD: What made you decide to become an activist?
SB: Once I was working on TV and realized that I had this great platform where I could have conversations with the substance, that was really where I started. What is interesting about any type of policy is their degree of integration. Policies that affect the environment affect people everywhere. When you see economic disparities, you see how some groups are more affected than others. You see how the education system works for some and not for all. It’s impossible not to want to help, so for me one thing kind of came into another in this great domino effect of how we take care of each other and take care of this planet the best we can. our capabilities.
WWD: What are the causes that are close to your heart?
SB: Voting, education reform, tax reform and environmental legislation are huge to me. The idea that the environment has been politicized, I think, is one of the big parodies of our modern political landscape. The environment doesn’t care if you vote red or blue. That is changing and it is a five alarm fire at this point.
WWD: The 2020 presidential election isn’t the first you’ve used your platform to talk about. How has your work around the 2016 election influenced your approach today?
SB: I have learned a lot from every election I have participated in. I think the really disheartening thing about 2016 was the amount of disinformation and targeted lies that were posted on the internet and the way the division was sown, not only of our country but also of the influence of governments. foreigners. None of this should be taken lightly. I think 2016 taught us that we can’t assume that everything we see is true. We also can’t assume that an adult in the room is handling this. We are the adults in the room. The adage of “if not us then who?” is absolutely true and we need to do everything we can to fight disinformation and encourage people to remember how important their vote is because it was something that was really attacked in the last election.
WWD: Why do you think it’s important that those who have platforms – actors, musicians and celebrities – use them?
SB: The more we can use our platforms to have these conversations and make sure people know what’s going on, the better. The news cycle is overwhelming and it is difficult to stay on top of everything, take care of yourself and do all your work. I think the most important thing that can be asked of each of us is to pay attention to what is going on in our community and in the world, and to make sure that we have a voice in those systems. .
WWD: Have you had an experience where you shared something that caused negative reactions on social media?
SB: It is not an experience. It’s tens of thousands of experiments a week, but at the end of the day, I don’t believe in stopping doing what’s right because it’s hard. I think very often the right thing is difficult, but I regard it as a truly sacred responsibility. We are keepers of each other and if we don’t do the best of our ability to fight for our communities, I don’t know what we are doing here.
WWD: What do you want voters to remember in the run-up to the presidential election?
SB: We really need to remember that we have the opportunity to vote for policies that are rooted in human well-being. We need to remember to vote for candidates who believe people deserve a fair chance, to vote for sensible policy that actually improves people’s lives, improves the environment and is good for the economy. These policies are possible at all levels in each state. I think it’s up to us to choose to vote for kindness, kindness, responsibility and for each other.
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