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  • Writer's pictureBrande Victorian

A Conversation With Dascha Polanco On Using Your Voice

Dascha Polanco, Feed the vote
Dascha Polanco

As commentary around Tuesday night's presidential debate illustrated, much of the push to vote this election season is simply about getting Donald Trump out of office -- understandably so. However, that also means there's been less focus on public policy and national issues facing Americans such as hunger.

Today, actress Dascha Polanco and a group of influencers are kicking off the #FeedTheVote campaign with food brand Knorr to raise awareness around food insecurity. As part of the initiative, organizers will be stationed at food pantries in Black and Latino communities around the country to register people to vote so they, too, can play a part in making elected officials care about the 54 million people expected to experience food insecurity this year alone.

In speaking to Dascha about her activism, she told me, "When I feel most not enough is when my voice is not being heard."

As a child, Dascha and her family moved to Brooklyn, NY, from the Dominican Republic, and it wasn't until recent years that the 37-year-old even had the right to vote.

"I recently became a citizen probably like five years ago. I realized I was dying to vote 'cause I felt like I wasn't part of what was going on because I couldn't vote."

It was interesting to hear the "Orange is the New Black" star express such enthusiasm about casting a ballot in a time when organizations still have to convince citizens that their vote matters. Traditionally, a sense of altruism has been a predictor of one's likelihood to vote, and in speaking with Dascha it seems that same sense of humanitarianism is also at the root of her feeling enough.

"Being enough is doing your due diligence and exercising the right to not only vote but to give back to your community, to support your community, and to also understand that you, your voice, and who you are are important, regardless of how it's been set up."

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