The following year in the wake of the election, Deja scaled up her work. In an effort to protect Title X funding (which she and millions of other low-income people used to access birth control with no-copay), she confronted her senator at a town hall. The exchange was captured in a video that nearly overnight would garner upwards of 17 million views, pushing Deja to the forefront of the reproductive justice movement. In the coming weeks she shared her story live on CNN with Don Lemon, was dubbed "The New Face of Planned Parenthood" by the Washington Post, and lobbied elected officials on Capitol Hill.
Using her new found platform to create lasting change in her hometown, Deja co-founded the El Rio Reproductive Health Access Project in 2017 alongside untraditional youth leaders. The team included teen moms, formerly incarcerated youth, youth who overcame substance abuse, and homeless youth like herself. These teens became peer sex educators and run free teen clinics every week in which transportation, birth control services, STI testing, and PrEP are all provided to young people at absolutely no cost to them. They’ve since served over 17,000 young people.
In addition to her advocacy, Deja also balanced school, work, and providing for herself and her mother. Fun fact: she worked at a gas station for 2 years to make ends meet. All of this hard work and dedication paid off when Deja was accepted on a full ride to Columbia University making her the first person in her family to attend college. She is a member of the class of 2023 majoring in race and ethnicity studies.
In her freshman year of college, she founded GenZ Girl Gang. This community of young womxn and fems redefining sisterhood in the age of social media was inspired by her own experience building bonds online after moving to NYC. The team has grown to include leaders across the country spanning high school to post-grad and over 11,000 community members. Together they work to advance collaboration culture, build power in personal networks, and create strategies that push the way we use social media as a community building tool.
She took her sophomore year off of school to join the Kamala Harris For The People Campaign full time. At just 19, she worked as the Influencer and Surrogate Strategist on the digital team out of the head quarters exploring how to mobilize content creators and community builders online. She was the youngest member of her team, the youngest across any of the 2020 presidential campaigns at her level of leadership, and one of the youngest in modern history. In her time on the campaign she lead lead the #ThisIsWhatAPresidentLooksLike campaign about the power of representation.
After the campaign, she signed to Ford Models as a digital creator and has gone on to build digital strategies for PACs and nonprofits while pursuing her Columbia education remotely from California.
- Sex Ed and Storytelling
People always ask: ‘Where do I start?’. Deja’s response is this: get personal. Her activism journey didn't begin with viral fame or on a presidential campaign, but instead in a classroom in Tucson, Arizona. She was in a school district like many across the country that had little to no regulation around sex education and was teaching medically innacurate information last updated in the 80’s. While this sufficed for some who had parents at home who were willing and able to supplement the bad information, Deja, like many students, did not. She saw how this disproportionately impacted students like her and got to work organizing her peers and attending school board meetings to empower them to share their stories. This would only be the start as Deja people around the world to use their personal narrative as a tool for change making.
- The American Dream
‘Why would you deny me the American Dream?’ was the question that, from the mouth of a 16 year old Deja, echoed in the ears of over 17 million people in a viral storm around the nation. In 2017 as the Affordable Care Act and funding for reproductive health organizations, like Planned Parenthood, were on the line, Deja, took a stand against her republican senator. He had just voted to deny the funding she and 4 million other low-income people used to access contraception and other reproductive health services, and she pressed him on why it was his right, as a privileged white man, to deny her, a young woman of color without parents or insurance, autonomy over her body. Deja is a firm believer that control over our bodies is control over our futures. She went on to interview live on CNN about the subject and the Washington post called her ‘The New Face of Planned Parenthood’. This would only be the start as Deja inspires people around the world to use their personal narrative as a tool for change making.
- Homelessness to Higher Education
Having experienced what it was like to be independent and live without a home of her own at just 15, Deja has beaten the odds in becoming the first person in her family to attend college. Hear the inspirational story of how Deja’s community invested in her and how she has reinvested in her community by empowering youth in similar situations to take control of their health and their future and went on to help found the first ever special interest community for First Generation and Low-Income Students in Columbia University’s history.
- GenZ Girl Gang: Redefining Sisterhood for a New Generation
Deja founded GenZ Girl Gang in 2019 as a bold experiment in community building that through 100% community sourced content inverts the typical top-down social media structure and challenges members to redefine the way they practice sisterhood in the age of social media and infinite connection. Deja has seen the power of social media in changing her own life and translates her grassroots organizing skills to a digital space in order to connect with young womxn and femmes and create an interdisciplinary community of people who truly see their success as tied to one another. The connections made now, she believes, have the capacity to end the cycle of competition between womxn and equip her community members with the collaborative skills and community to take on the world's most pressing issues, which believe it or not GenZ will inherit.
- Your Future President
Deja Foxx introduces herself as an activist, organizer, badass, and your future president and she means it. She firmly believes that after 45 male presidents, 44 of which were white, there is enough room for her and all of her sisters in the white house. She got to work on making this vision of political representation a reality when at 19 she dropped everything, taking time off of school to join the Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign full time as the Influencer and Surrogate Strategist. This would make her the youngest by far of staffers working her head quarters and one of the youngest people ever to hold a position of that level on a presidential campaign. Deja plans to return home to Arizona and run for office and will be eligible for her very own presidential run in 2036.
- GenZ The Leaders of Today
All too often Deja hears her and her peers described as ‘the leaders of tomorrow’ when in reality they are leading the charge for change today. As the founder of two youth led organizations, one trailbalzing a new model for peer-to-peer sex education and the other redefining the way young womxn use social media to build community, Deja has expereinced first hand the amazing things that can happen when you give young people the tools and resources to lead. She also worked for over a year as a Senior Partner at a GenZ Marketing agency, was a youth director on the Planned Parenthood Arizona Board of Directors, and as Influencer and Surrogate Strategist for Kamala Harris was one of the youngest people ever to hold a position of that level on a presidential campaign. Deja is unapologetically taking up space and creating seats for other young people as she does it.