If you follow us on Instagram, you know we believe how crucial it is to stand up for what’s right and the importance of casting a ballot in next month’s election. Over on IG, we also introduced you to #MueMuse Taneka and the impactful work she’s been doing with “Work The Polls” this election season. Our girl Taneka works full-time as a cultural event curator and part-time as an advocate and TBH, she inspires us so much!
On the heels over our IGTV interview with the fierce advocate, we virtually caught up with her to chat about her daily joys, fashion, how to get involved with the cause ourselves, and what this huge, scary election could mean to so many of us.
So, where are you from and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, but at heart — [I’ve been] a true Brooklyn girl for the past 18 years.
We totally get you there; there’s no place in the world like New York! Now, What do you do for a living?
I work in the creative industry, but I'm a full-time advocate for community building and bringing humans together with a purpose.
That’s amazing! As we saw in the video on Instagram, one of the places you volunteer with is Work the Polls. Can you tell us a little about the organization and what you as a volunteer will be doing on Election Day?
Work the Polls was started as a way to get people to make the pledge to be poll workers. If chosen to be a poll worker, I'll be an information clerk, but we have also committed to "Feed the Polls," [which will be] providing meals for both poll workers and the public in line on Nov. 3rd!
That sounds incredible! How did you first get involved with the organization, and what have you learned through your work that has really stuck with you?
I got involved because this isn't the time to sit back and do nothing as our democracy is literally on the line. We need to keep this energy for as long as possible. The power is in the people and we really need to step up — I'm seeing everyone in my network and community really doing that.
That’s so true and definitely a lesson we all need to remember right now. As of now, just weeks away from the big day, it’s too late to sign up to volunteer to work the polls with the organization for this general election. What would you like the public to know about the cause and how can people still help and get involved in the future?
I would say that people should still sign up to work the polls because elections will always happen and they will always need poll workers.
I hear that! So, after this Nov. 3 general election is over, what will you be doing to stay involved with the cause or the organization?
It's just the beginning, so the mission is to continue to engage people (citizens and non-citizens) to learn more about how the process works and getting involved for every election — not just the presidential one.
That’s a great point! As we’ve all seen, this particular election season has been taxing to say the least, between keeping up with all the news and mud-slinging between candidates, watching them interrupt each other at debates, and not to mention that all this is occurring during a global pandemic and on the heels of so many social justice protests. How do you unwind and relax at the end of a day?
If it's been an extra tough day, I'll get in the kitchen, turn on some soca [music] and make some Caribbean food (Pelau or some kind of stew!). I'm usually always playing music, (honestly, I'm the queen of playlists) with the candles lit and writing in one of my many notepads, unloading thoughts.
Sounds heavenly! Speaking of playlists, is there any song that you have currently on repeat?
Sponono [by] Kabza De Small; [it’s] a necessary part of the rotation!
Another way we love to unwind is with a nice cocktail. What is your favorite cocktail?
Mezcal neat or one a medium block of ice (Montelobos or Casamigos reposado)
Yum, that sounds delicious! When you discussed this important cause in our IG video, you were wearing our red slashed sweatshirt and looked super fashionable! Can you tell us a bit about your styling process and what you love about Muehleder as a brand?
I usually get dressed based on the mood I'm in, and I believe that no matter what, every outfit deserves that one PIECE. I love that the clothing from Muehleder can complete a look and really level it up — even if it's just a pair of leggings or sweatshirt.
To learn more on how to get involved visit workthepolls.org.