Malavika Kannan isn’t your typical teenager. At age 18, she’s already established a teen-run media company, written for top media companies, and crafted a novel. Malavika, a first generation Indian-American, uses her skills as an activist, creator, and storyteller to uplift others and enact social change.
Kannan’s activism endeavors range in the political and social spheres. As a changemaker, Kannan is passionate about progressive politics, serving on the national Women’s March Youth Committee to amplify youth power in intersectional feminism. On a local scale, she volunteers with March for Our Lives Orlando to advocate for gun violence prevention. Through local community engagement, she has worked to register voters, canvas, and attend community town hall meetings. Furthermore, she interned for Stephanie Murphy –congresswoman for Florida’s 7th congressional district–and even was selected for the 2019 US Senate Youth program.
“It was incredible inspiring to get to advocate for Florida’s first Asian-American congresswoman, since she paved the way for young women like me!” – M.K
Creator of The Homegirl Project
Kannan is the founder of the Homegirl Project: a girl-led movement empowering women of color. Run entirely by young women of color (WOC), its mission is to increase positive representation of WOC and create a community of committed Homegirls by connecting aspiring writers with inspiring women. In an interview with heARTbreaker Magazine, she talks about her inspiration for starting this project.
“I founded The Homegirl Project because I wanted to create a positive space for young WOC to see themselves in positions of success—essentially, to know that they’re not alone, and that their dreams are valid.” – M.K
With a growing team, the Homegirl Project currently has more than 70 writers across 10 different countries and 5 different continents. Recently, they have launched many programs including #GoalDigger, a resource series for high-achieving women of color, and #HomegirlAmbassadors, an intergenerational mentorship program that pairs girls with nonprofit founders, executives, and other professionals in order to foster career and personal development.
Storyteller through Various Media Platforms
As a writer, Kannan believes that words have tremendous potential when it comes to the business of changing the world. She has written features for various publications, including Teen Vogue, HuffPost, Harper’s Bazaar, StepUp Magazine, Affinity Magazine, and her school newspaper. Additionally, her writing has been recognized by organizations including the National YoungArts Foundation, Scholastic Art & Writing, Library of Congress, and the J.F.K. Library.
“Ultimately, I’m dedicated to using my voice, actions, and stories to uplift others and embody the changes I wish to see in the world. I’m passionate about making the world a kinder place by empowering historically marginalized groups—women, people of color, youth—to speak our truths, spark conversations, and create change.” – M.K