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Dana Chanel And Prince Donnell Share Advice On Accountability, Faith And Self-Love

Faith and a relationship with God serves as the foundation for the metaphorical house that is their aspirational marriage.

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Sprinkle of Jesus founder Dana Chanel is at the top of everyone's Explore page - whether it be promoting one of her CurlBible products or creating cute TikToks with bae-siness partner, her husband Prince Donnell. When you think of #RelationshipGoals, you think of going on Instagram Live together and giving status updates of your relationship while planning out your next joint YouTube video and island-themed baecations. For the serial entrepreneurs, love and relationships are all held up by the foundation of communication, respect and faith. The Philly-based millennial power couple evolved from a private message to a marriage built on profit and prosperity. "You helped make our first million dollars. I praise God for giving me the ability to fire my husband's boss," she praised her hubby in an Instagram post.

Their multiple business endeavors across the financial- and faith-based enterprises include Jumping Jack Taxes, which aligns with their mission of building generational wealth while expanding to affiliates encouraged to jumpstart their own virtual tax services. Who would have thought that Donnell sliding in the DMs for mentorship and business advice would later lead to a Philly-bred marriage with a focus on building generational wealth while embarking on a journey of mental, emotional and spiritual strength? The best friends, lovers and business partners have shown all of social media and beyond that love and faith can coexist.

During an exclusive interview with xoNecole, the coupleprenuer opened up about gender roles, self-love and mental health.

Ready, Set, Go.

"Not gonna lie, I wasn't ready at all. I was a 20-year-old dude who just started my career as a personal banker with my life, accident and health insurance license and making $60,000 per year," Donnell admits to xoNecole about his mental preparation for a serious relationship. "I moved into my own apartment, got my own car and I had a few extra dollars on my check every two weeks after bills. To be honest, I felt like I made it."

After living what he thought in his mind was his best life with having his friends in and out of his apartment everyday and a fair share of friendships with various women, he soon came to realize that his life would change after meeting his wife with whom he shared the same alma mater, Community College of Philadelphia. "I remember her third time visiting my apartment and she threw out all of the liquor bottles on the top of my fridge and forced me to go food shopping because I would eat out everyday and she wanted me to start saving money. It was clear that she was different from the majority of women I've dated," added Donnell.

He admits that he wasn't ashamed of not "being ready" for a relationship when it presented itself to him while arguing pointedly that no one between the ages of 20-25 years of age is actually ready for what life has to give them. "We don't have enough experience. Social media places a ton of pressure on millennials to be this perfect person who is rich, has a business, drives a luxury car and seems to have their life in order. Man, that's for movies. As long as you're making a conscious decision to improve your life each day and your partner is supporting you through that journey, that's what truly matters," he advises.

"I'm 25-years-old today," Donnell continues, "and although I run a company that generates over ten times the amount of my yearly income at the bank and have all of these 'luxury items,' it still hasn't made me fully ready for my marriage. Everyday is a new learning experience to become a better man and to love my wife like Christ loves the church."

Courtesy of Dana Chanel/Prince Donnell

"We don't have enough experience. Social media places a ton of pressure on millennials to be this perfect person who is rich, has a business, drives a luxury car and seems to have their life in order. Man, that's for movies. As long as you're making a conscious decision to improve your life each day and your partner is supporting you through that journey, that's what truly matters."

Self-Love and Loving Each Other

As Donnell touches on loving one another and opens up about the practicality of readiness for a romantic relationship, Dana Chanel brings our attention to the importance of self-love and catering to one's self. Chanel agrees that self-love is a responsibility of one's own self, but there's additional work that needs to be done. "It is so important that if you're gonna decide to do life with someone that they honor, encourage and motivate you to continue to evolve as you guys get older," she says. "Never be afraid to join a journey with your spouse if you know it's important to them, ain't nothing like someone screaming in your ear."

Dana tells xoNecole that after getting married to Donnell, she gained twenty pounds of happy weight, but rather than being degrading or condescending, Donnell took it upon himself to encourage his wife and be her biggest support system. "Don saw I was irritated and disappointed in how lazy I had become with myself. So instead of just watching me embark on my own self-love fitness journey, he joined me at the gym [twice] a day, he intermediate fasted with me and encouraged me by being by my side," Chanel shares. "It's so much easier to self-love when your partner isn't just a bystander but is hype about you loving yourself."

This Isn’t Just a Man’s World

When it comes to the roles of gender in marriage, oftentimes the man is expected to be the breadwinner and the woman to be a docile housekeeper and child bearer. In the 21st century, the power couple has proven to the world that they can do it all as not only man and woman - but as equals. As the two began to step into their partnership, they've respected each other in business and romance. "I praise God every single day for blessing me with a husband that doesn't put me in a box as a woman and is my PARTNER!" Dana praises the equality and respect in her relationship with Donnell. "Listen, we are hardworking women. We grind and are just as emotionally and mentally exhausted after a long day of work, so we work together around the house. I cook, he does dishes, he does laundry, I do bathrooms. He doesn't just assume or force me into a duty we could do together. He respects the other roles I play in life as a CEO, a sister, a friend and alleviates pressure."

In their relationship, Dana and Donnell make it a point to uplift and encourage one another while providing emotional and mental support for one another in rough times. We live in a society where women aren't subjected to stand behind their man, but beside them. "When he is weak, I have to put on my cape and be superwoman," Dana adds.

"Something that is important though is [to not] be afraid to ask your spouse to help you out," she further advises. "We make it look really easy when we're struggling to do it all. Your relationship is about providing your spouse the best possible circumstance to grow and flourish, not feel burdened by obligation. Y'all are doing life together, remember that. Don't wait for a nervous breakdown before you ask for help. Ain't no gender roles, we're gonna do whatever necessary to be aware enough to spot each other's weaknesses and be an extraordinary family no matter what position we gotta play."

Courtesy of Dana Chanel/Prince Donnell

"I praise God every single day for blessing me with a husband that doesn't put me in a box as a woman and is my PARTNER! We grind and are just as emotionally and mentally exhausted after a long day of work, so we work together around the house. I cook, he does dishes, he does laundry, I do bathrooms. He doesn't just assume or force me into a duty we could do together. He respects the other roles I play in life as a CEO, a sister, a friend and alleviates pressure."

Faith, God and Hustle

Aside from holding one another accountable and being a stable support system, faith and a relationship with God serves as the foundation for the metaphorical house that is their aspirational marriage. "Faith is the foundation of our marriage. As a husband, I can't properly lead my family without the Holy Spirit's wisdom and guidance. Especially during those times when things get tough," says Donnell. In times of COVID-19, couples and friendships are deteriorating, but yet they find a way to communicate through Christ and keep a healthy relationship afloat.

"Faith is a superpower we all possess but don't fully tap into because we can't see the results right away - but faith isn't enough to make a relationship [or] marriage last," he continues. "It requires that other word called 'work' that people are afraid of. These 'relationship goals' couples look real good on social media and these marriages look like fairy tales on television. But what happens when it hits the fan?"

For more of Dana and Prince, follow them on Instagram @danachanel and @princedonnell.

Featured image via Dana Chanel/Instagram

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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Featured image by Shutterstock

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