Mercedes is a 19 year-old survivor, activist, and founder of Safe Squad, an app launching in the summer of 2019. The app is committed to providing peace of mind and safety for genders all across the globe. Championing for access to healthcare and representation in media, Molloy is looking forward to utilizing her platform to advocate for Gen Z as well as disenfranchised communities.
What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism is intersectional. It is not exclusive to a specific demographic, but rather it’s about being mutually inclusive to all regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation. It’s also working to provide equal representation, opportunities, and wages accordingly. Lastly, it’s about, celebrating minorities contributions and ensuring that everyone has the proper platform to voice their opinions and be heard. As I personally know how it feels to be dismissed or left out from meaningful conversations due to my gender and ethnicity. We shouldn’t have to demand to be heard as minorities and our claim your seat at the table. Our voices matter accurate representation in the media and politics matters.
Tell us about Safe Squad, its start and mission.
For a long time I struggled with the fact that I was rapped. I was angry and frankly did understand how people get away with such terrible things, But then I realized that I could not change what happened to me in the past but I had the power to change my narrative and be empowered by helping others who were unable to speak out. For me that was the best part of healing. I became the role model that I always hoped to see. And I am proud to be a part of survivor based advocacy and and be contributing to a solution for a better and safer world. By creating a mobile application which provides ultimate safety of user and peace of mind for their loved ones. Via an automatic SOS messaging system which will alert the user’s chosen emergency contacts with their location. So the next girl out there does not have to say me too. Because frankly it’s a club that no one should be part of.”
Our mission is to Ensure safety in the community at large and the importance of giving back by helping those who are in vulnerable situations and desperately need the issue of safety to be addressed and a solution to be developed. Safe Squad is our Solution. Safe squad is founded on principles of safety. As safety is a fundamental right and there should not be a cost associated with it. We as a company have made it our mission to provide a free service with the help of sponsors.
What sets Safe Squad apart from other apps that are similar?
There’s certainly safety apps available on the market. However, the vast majority require payment. To me their should be no cost associated with safety, as safety is a fundamental right. Safety should be accessible regardless of one’s socioeconomic background and ability to pay. Additionally Safe Squad is not a location services app. The reality is that not everyone wants to be constantly monitored or tracked. I have founded Safe Squad upon principles of both .privacy and protection.
What has been your biggest issue in developing the app? And how has your identity shaped your feminism and activism?
The main obstacle I have experienced has been naysayers — specifically those who have An example of which includes: When I was asked about my app, I was met with condescending remarks about the impracticality of my ambitions. Stating that hope isn’t a successful business model, and I’m young and have my head in the clouds. However, I chose to disregard the naysayers and worked hard to achieve my ambitions. And have successfully lined up collaborations with major companies including Sephora, Kendra Scott and Microsoft. On Sunday, June 2nd, our team partnered up with Sephora at their Valley Fair location to hold a private event dedicated to providing free makeovers to survivors of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault and presenting Safe Squad as a preventative resource. It was a truly special and touching event. It was our goal to provide a mutually inclusive space and allow survivors to have the proper platform to share their stories and spark conversations, with an event that was exclusively for survivors by survivors including artists and staff members.
What advice do you have for Gen Z looking to start their own business venture?
“My advice to fellow peers who are are seeking to start their own business venture would be: When it comes to establishing your own business venture, I would say march to the beat of your own drum” You know who you are and what you’re capable of. So don’t let people stifle you or hold you back. So pursue your goals fully, show your passion to the public, spur a positive chain reaction… Don’t follow the societal trends on who you should be. Reality is your not going to fit into society’s box. We are all unique and are cookie cutters. So forge your own path. Why be anyone else when you can be the best possible version of yourself. Acknowledge that it’s no easy feat, so always be prepared. That means be proactive and do your homework, including research, establishing your brand, the message you wish to promote, learning professional etiquette, and attire. Because you can’t just talk the talk, you got to walk the walk.”
What are your business-related goals for the future?
My ultimate goal is to spread awareness for Safe Squad and help as many individuals in vulnerable settings as possible. For some final success is a goal. At the end of the day, it’s about helping others. To me, safety is a fundamental right, and there should be no cost associated with it. It is something that should be available despite one’s socioeconomic background or status. If I could accomplish this, I would feel like the richest girl in the world, not due literal wealth or materialistic things but instead, by the amount lives I can touch and impact I can make.