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Issa Rae Is #TeamLeaveThatJob To Pursue Your Passion

But, not until you have these three things in place.

Issa Rae

Career advice is something that comes a dime a dozen in an our American overworked hustle culture. It mostly sounds like, "rah rah sleep when you die" or whatever some millennial has said before. Boomers taught us to find a job, and work your way up with that company until you retire from there one day.


Millennials came along and decided that Boomers' way of thinking was dated, especially when factoring in cost-of-living. But truth is, when it comes to Corporate America, working is all about playing smarter, than harder, which is the aspect that Gen-Z has figured out, and damn near normalized. In fact, Gen-Z boldly shows up denouncing all of this, and instead, realized that we need to just get what we want out of these jobs and get tf on.

And they can thank many of those before them, and having access to readily available advice at their fingertips from industry giants.

Regardless, there's still etiquette to working in the States. And if one person knows a thing or two about the topic, it's our good sis Issa Rae. She understands the struggle and decided, for herself, to break out of the mold and take ownership of her career path, whichhhh I guess you can say is working out pretty well. But even she had to learn a few hard lessons along the way. In a recent video with Vanity Fair, she discussed her #LeaveThatJob journey, and the lessons she learned about doing so.

The segment, titled Issa Rae Re-Answers Old Interview Questions, is where she responds to an interview questions she's been asked in the past, with her new perspective. Her previous response is then played, to which she also offers up commentary to her old responses.

Vanity Fair/YouTube ​

So when she was asked what her "ah-ha moment" was in the Hollywood, of course her current response was full of all gems.

"I guess I'm just more hip to how and why things are made, and who is kind of in charge of saying 'Yes.' But the politics of this business have just become more clear to me in a way that I could at least, intentionally, go around and avoid making things that the studio system thinks is great or poppin. Mind you, I'm a business person and I don't want to make things that suck and that won't sell, but I do want to make things that are very true to me."

She continues:

"And I have found that while Hollywood is like, 'we love original voices, we love originality', all those things, they really don't. So it's just about finding those people who do appreciate that and who are willing to take risks."

But her 2012 response is what made her cringe at the thought of merging what she's learned in the almost decade since.

Vanity Fair/YouTube

"My dumbass..." she responds.

"I thought representation meant like, 'oh I get an agent and manager, money is about to just start coming in, whew finally! It's happened for me!' And I quit my job, and was broke as fuck...so this was not an ah-ha moment, this was a very dead moment for me. It worked out, but I should have held on to it a little longer to save, because whew, there was a struggle."

She then proceeds to give some of the best advice for us looking to move on from jobs to pursue passions with a more mature perspective.

Vanity Fair/YouTube

"Before you quit your job, you should have savings, you should have a plan, and also make sure that you have a support system, whether that's your friends, or a team in place to help you make stuff. You have to have accountability partners to keep you on track."

Because her journey into being a boss was a lane she created on her own, her self-made approach to creativity is why her advice is on so many people's radar--and rightfully so. But her ultimate advice, that she never strays from and has been what she commits herself to, is simple:

"Find [your] people. One of the things that was so important for me was just finding those people who I could rely on and who I could grow with — it's not easy to do things by yourself. Because I'm a shy person, it was hard for me to introduce myself to people and ask for help, but I found that as soon as I started doing the work, people started coming my way."

Issa Rae Re-Answers Old Interview Questions | Vanity Fair

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Featured image by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Teen Vogue

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
Sign up

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