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11 Books by 11 Badass Women All Aspiring Boss Chicks Should Read

My best teachers in life have been experience and books. Everything that I learned and that has helped me develop as a professional came...

Good Reads

Between undergrad and graduate school, I spent well over $60,000 for two pieces of paper to prove that I was smart enough to earn a degree. The road to getting these two pieces of paper wasn't easy (or cheap). When I started working as a professional, I thought I knew it all, I mean I went to college and earned a Bachelors degree and, hell, I even had my MBA. However, between earning both degrees, I realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.

The thing that you are not told as you are writing that expensive check for college, or applying for that dreadful loan, is that you will not learn everything to prepare yourself for a career. There will be so many things that you wish you would've learned in school instead of taking boring Government or Biology classes.

My best teachers in life have been experience and reading I've done. Everything that I learned and that has helped me develop as a professional came from soaking in knowledge from amazing books and of course the butt-kicking that life casually gives me from time to time.

Each book below is overflowing with business and self-help gems that you can apply to your life as you evolve as a professional. It doesn't matter if you are a self-made boss or a working woman climbing the corporate ladder, each book listed below will give you genuine keys to success.

Before 2017 ends, grab 1, 2, 3, or all of these books to channel your inner girlboss and jumpstart your career to elevate the year ahead.

1. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Filled with entertaining and inspiring stories of her own personal failures and successes, You Are a Badass walks the reader through Sincero's own journey to success. This book is career-focused, but the elements in the book can be applied to your personal life as well. With advice like, “Procrastination is the easiest form of self-sabotage – you'll either find a way or an excuse" or “Fear lives in the future. It hasn't happened yet so why create the drama," this book will have you ready to take on the world.

Find it here>>>

2. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P Frankel

This book by Executive Coach Lois Frankel is for any woman that has wanted to get ahead in her career, but has found doing so difficult and doesn't understand why. Often as women, we unconsciously demonstrate behaviors that don't serve us or helps us shine. In her book, Frankel tackles this and teaches us powerful lessons on our image and communication style, and she shows us how it effects us as women in the workplace.

Find it here>>>

3. WERK 101: Get-Your-Life-Together Guide by Koereyelle DuBose

One of the things that I love most about this book is that it is a short, easy read. Often, many self-help books are hundreds and hundreds of pages long and sometimes when you are busy with work and life's responsibilities, it seems impossible to find time to finish a book that is the size of a PhD thesis.

WERK 101 delivers boldness that empowers you to WERK for what you want by first WERKing on you. From discussing how to WERK on you to get the love you want to the career you want, Koereyelle offers a wealth of knowledge for the modern Millennial woman.

Find it here>>>

4. Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch - Naturally by Miko Branch with Titi Branch

This book is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs or for anyone that wants to get a wealth of knowledge on what it really means to build a business with no money or resources. In the book, the co-founder of Miss Jessie's Miko proves that success doesn't happen overnight and that when you do what you were destined to do, your achievements will fall right into place - even with the hiccups along the way.

Find it here>>>

5. The Power Playbook: Rules for Independence, Money and Success by La La Anthony

“What makes people powerful is finding your inner power, because so many people out there give themselves every reason in the world why they can't do something. You have this inner power within you that can take you to the next level. It's all about finding it." - La La Anthony

In her book, The Power Playbook, this radio and TV personality, actress, and business woman proves that with resilience, confidence, and perseverance success is attainable. Through her humble beginnings, La La has made a household name for her success by creating her own career that she loves and she teaches us her own keys to success.

Find it here>>>

6. Eat. Pray. Hustle.: Chasing Dreams God's Way by Havilah Cunnington

This book is very encouraging and inspirational, and it challenges you to think deeper and bigger in not only your career, but also in your personal and spiritual life. I think so often we get caught up in day to day living that we fail to see what we were destined to do by God. In this book turned 20 day Bible study inspired by the life of Abraham, Havilah teaches us to step out on faith and have the courage to do what we were created to do. Havilah shows us that just like Abraham, we are all on the road to the promise of life that God has for us. Similar to Abraham, we are all on the journey of eating, praying, and hustling our way to the top.

Find it here>>>

7. Be You and Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose by Karen Civil

"Understanding Motivation," “Self Motivation," “Positive Attitude," and “Living Civil" are chapters in the book by CEO and digital powerhouse Karen Civil that will teach you how to become your own best version of yourself. By discussing her own personal story and how she worked her way from the bottom to the top, Karen shows us all how to unlock our own potential and use it it the most effective way.

Find it here>>>

8. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Through her meaningful and inspirational stories, this book is perfect for someone that needs an extra boost of motivation and encouragement in their lives. "What I Know For Sure" is the name of Oprah's monthly column from her magazine, O. The idea for the column was inspired in 1998, after she was lost for words when asked 'what she knew for sure' in an interview. Through her series of essays in the book, Oprah drops gems like, "Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive" and a host of others.

Find it here>>>

9. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media. by Aliza Licht

Leave Your Mark is the perfect book for millennials that will help you find your personal brand and learn how to communicate it effectively so that you can land your dream job and be a badass at the same time. Listed on Amazon as one of the top-selling books for job hunting and career guides, Aliza's Leave Your Mark dishes out actionable advice with her own life experiences and stories.

Find it here>>>

10. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

As Sophia said it best in her book, “A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it." In her book, through hilarious and motivating stories and advice, Sophia teaches us how to become a #girlboss in our own space. As the founder of the vintage clothing company, Nasty Gal, Sophia shows how she turned her hobby into a successful company, while dishing out her blunt realities and experiences along the way.

Find it here>>>

11. Unbought and Unbossed by Shirley Chisholm

In this autobiography, Shirley Chisholm shares her life journey from a young girl from Brooklyn to being the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress and the first woman and first African-American to have a bid for President of the United States.

Shirley lived a remarkable life and accomplished so much that would have appeared to be impossible during her life in the heart of racial discrimination and violence in the United States. Shirley's life and book will inspire you to never lose your conviction or put a price tag on your values and beliefs. Through her successes, Shirley proves that by standing up for what you believe in and daring to be yourself, you can achieve more than you ever dreamed.

Find it here>>>

What other inspirational books do you recommend for the modern girlboss? Share the knowledge with us below! #xoReads

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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