How Jaden Smith and Snapchat Can Grab The Gen Z Vote

Graphic by Sam Shepherd

The 2020 United States presidential election draws closer by the day, and singer-songwriter turned Twitter icon Jaden Smith understands the importance of voter education. Smith has partnered up with Snapchat to release a new project aimed at keeping young people informed on all the most pressing U.S. political issues. After dropping new music this summer, Will and Jada Smith’s multi-talented son is shifting gears toward racial and social justice activism. His Snapchat original Series, The Solution Committee, premiered on September 21…one day before National Voter Registration Day. Nice timing, Jaden! 

The Solution Committee is produced through Westbrook Media, a company run by Jaden’s mega-famous power-couple parents: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. This release comes after the success of the group’s first unscripted Snapchat series, “Will From Home”, which amassed over 35 million views on Snapchat. Now, it’s their son’s turn to take the reins. The Solution Committee will feature 22-year-old Smith hosting young activists and celebrities to discuss political issues that matter and what viewers can do to help. Eight episodes will air Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through Snapchat Discover. 

Jaden has recognized the importance of focusing the series on engaging and involving young voters in the election process. “Historically, people between the ages of 18 to 23 have been less likely to vote,” he noted in a statement to the press. “This is because a lot of young people feel like they don’t have the information or know where to get it. This show is about educating the youth and making sure they feel empowered and ready to vote.” If anyone is up for the task, Jaden Smith has the charismatic star power to make this vision come true.

By combining gleaming endorsements from Instagram superstars with statements from inspiring young social justice advocates, the series’ producers understand how to tap into the elusive 18 to 23 year-old voter demographic.

The first two episodes feature Jaden teaming up with celebrity friends Hailey Bieber and Yara Shahidi, appropriately titled “How to Vote” and “The Power of Your Vote” respectively. Smith will also speak with activists including Gabe Fleisher, who founded the non-partisan organization Wake Up To Politics, and Winter BreeAnne, a young founder of the #PowerToThePolls campaign and student leader for Women’s March for Youth Empowerment. Both guests are impressively well-versed in both the process of voting and the power it can provide to young people. By combining gleaming endorsements from Instagram superstars with statements from inspiring young social justice advocates, the series’ producers understand how to tap into the elusive 18 to 23 year-old voter demographic. Future episodes will emphasize systemic racism and inequality, featuring Jaden’s sister, Willow Smith, as well as special guests Janelle Monáe, Lena Waithe, Phoebe Robinson, and Common. 

Brad Haugen, president of Westbrooke Media, feels confident in Smith’s goal of educating people on today’s political issues. “On top of being a world-class entertainer, he has dedicated so much of his life to finding innovative ways to shine a light on injustice,” Haugen told the press. “Beyond encouraging young people to vote, Jaden and his friends show why we should all care about these systemic issues and what we can do to fix them…we know this series can attract real attention which will hopefully lead to some necessary change.”

You might just have to download Snapchat and let Jaden reason with your mildly politically insensitive family members at the next heated dinner debate.

Brad’s right. Jaden is no stranger to political humanitarianism. He has been known to use his platform to engage others in the past with issues like the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In 2018, after sending cases of his JUST water bottles, Smith announced his installation of a free public water filtration system in the city that could clean ten gallons in sixty seconds. He understands the Flint crisis as an issue of systemic racism, while still upholding values of sustainability and reduced carbon footprint in the production of his bottles. Smith is undeniably an activist, and The Solution Committee is in very capable, very famous hands. You might just have to download Snapchat and let Jaden reason with your mildly politically insensitive family members at the next heated dinner debate.

But if Smith has shown us anything, it’s that a person can have layers.

A discussion of Jaden Smith would not be complete without noting his status as an iPhone-wielding oracle. Some may remember his infamous 2013-2018 Twitter era that got the public to think, reflect, and (mostly) laugh with him. Some of them are actually pretty reflective of our current 2020 election mood. 

But if Smith has shown us anything, it’s that a person can have layers. In a previous interview with Teen Vogue, Smith articulated a desire to get more young people involved with politics. “My goal is to motivate as many as I can to become solution-based activists. The goal is to become experts in not just the issues we face, but around the solutions we have in our hands,” he explained. Looks like we are finally starting to see what inspired the name of the show.

Be sure to check out The Solution Committee on Snapchat Discover today.

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