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How Ilana Glazer’s Generator Collective combines storytelling with activism

When Ilana Glazer isn’t desperately trying to navigate life in NYC and get out of the absurd situations she and co-star Abbi Jacobson get caught up in their hit comedy series Broad City, Glazer is a bad-ass activist.

Early this summer, the actress, writer, director, and showrunner combined her passion for storytelling with her activism.

Glazer, along with Ruby Anaya and Glennis Meagher, co-founded The Generator Collective; a social media platform that allows people to submit a 90-second video on how government policy affects their lives.

After having endless conversations on the state of the nation in the wake of the 2016 election, Glazer felt galvanized to use her platform and celebrity status to create a project that she hopes will inspire people to (re)engage in the democratic process.

The Generator Collective attempts to humanize government policy by sharing stories of everyday people in order to elucidate how these policies directly impact and shape their day-to-day lives. Glazer identified how social issues particularly resonate with her when she is exposed to someone’s personal story.

With government policies embedded in legal jargon and media coverage often dry and impersonal, each of the founders wanted to transform the discourse on policy into something more accessible, shareable and with a focus on the quotidian, in order to connect us to our common humanity.

The Generator Collective also seeks to challenge the way we have been socialized to shy away from discussing politics, ideologies, and worldviews, whether these views align or disagree with our own.

Glazer points out the implications that come with normalizing etiquette practices when it’s time to have politicized conversations. In an interview with The Drum, Glazer asserted,

“We don’t even know how to talk to people on different sides, or even from the same one, or same faction within that side.”

In the promotional video for The Generator Collective, Glazer foregrounds the reasoning behind launching the project,

“We really believe that hearing each other not despite our different beliefs, but because of our different beliefs is integral in protecting our democracy.”

The video submissions are posted on The Generator Collective’s website and IG account. They consist of stories from a range of diverse people regarding age, race, gender, sexuality, neighborhood, and jobs.

The guidelines for the video are listed below, with the video submissions simply having to state:

1. Name, age, background and what you do for a living?

2. Where are you from and where you currently live?

3. What do you love and what are you into?

4. What issue made you want to create a video today and how does this issue impact you?

Though Glazer disclosed in an interview with The Drum that she hasn’t been as consistently political active as she is right now, she nonetheless is the first to admit that she is constantly learning and informing herself.

Her social media accounts are both entertaining and didactic.

On her Instagram account, Glazer continually encourages people to register to vote, is a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, and an advocate for DACA rights.

Glazer’s continual engagement with politics is admirable since the celebrity is using her platform to raise consciousness amongst her 1 million followers.

Ilana will be hosting a four-part series event, titled The Generator Series, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 at the Murmrr Theater in Brooklyn.

The event will feature Glazer, along with other activists and interviews with political analysts and local politicians in the attempt to get people to make their way to the polls on Nov. 6th.