Founded by two students from Brampton, Stay Woke is an organization that focuses on the intersection of social issues and creative mediums.
August 15, 2021 (2 Minute Read)
(Photo Credits Monia/ Instagram: mbkphotography)
By Kuwarjeet Singh Arora, Contributing Editor at Bramptonist
Maliha Bhutta-Khan and Bianca Modi both co-founded Stay Woke in Grade 11 from a shared passion for social justice and they found creativity to be a powerful medium of advocacy. Hence, they created this platform for empowering youth at the intersection of creativity and social justice.
Their mission is to develop a community of youth who feel empowered to advocate, learn about, and at the same time explore social issues while developing their creative courage in the process.
They were able to connect to Brampton City Councillors, Brampton-based youth organizations, and other city resources to establish themselves within the community and grow socially as an organization. “Stay Woke challenges me to conceptualize social issues through creative and critical thinking to better connect and advocate. As it pushes me outside of my comfort zone, where I am always growing as an advocate leader,” said Maliha, Co-Founder of Stay Woke and third-year Kinesiology student at McMaster.
Amplifying Youth Voices
The organization encourages a culture of social awareness through creativity in order to amplify youth voices and build a community of innovative youth change-makers.
Bianca, Co-Founder of Stay Woke and third-year Health Sciences student at McMaster says, “As this organization continues to expand, I continue to receive the privilege of meeting incredibly creative, passionate, and powerful youth who further expand my perspectives.”
They cover all topics related to social justice and social issues. Their bi-weekly “Stay Woke Sunday” posts work to inform and educate youth about various issues from a critical and intersectional lens.
Stay Woke’s youth research team works hard to curate content that encourages critical thinking when tackling a social justice-related topic.
Pop-up events and Initiatives
Within their specific initiatives, Stay Woke focuses on a variety of issues on a global, local and personal level. The group recently held a Pop-Up event at the Ink’D Loft, which gathered 50 youth from across the GTA. The night consisted of creative performances, followed by various activities and discussion circles to allow youth to socialize and connect in a meaningful way.
Some highlights include performances from youth-related to personal mental health struggles, navigating identity, the Palestinian genocide, and a special musical duo to end the night. They were able to hold this incredibly successful event only thanks to their volunteer team who worked day and night for a month, as well as their community sponsors who believed in their work.
Stay Woke has a team of 10 executives, 35 volunteers, and over 40 ambassadors within the GTA. They recruit new volunteers every year around April-June! Some other initiatives they organize include Framed by Stay Wok, Stay Aware by Stay Woke, Get Out Of My Head: Podcast, Signature open-mic + gallery event, and Sessional Pop-Up events.
They are hosting their next pop-up event on August 28, 2021. Follow them on @staywokeevent on Instagram for performer application and ticket purchase information.