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How I Learned to Negotiate Salary

It wasn’t until my late-20s that I started to get serious about asking for more money than I was offered. At the height of the Great Recession, I quit my job and moved back to my hometown. I applied for any job I could find, and surprisingly, I landed a gig a month later. It was a big step down, but I was grateful to secure something as quickly as I did. I didn’t bother to negotiate my salary. (more…)

Audacious Woman – Chanelle John

Twenty-four year old Chanelle John is making big moves. She’s the creator of a yoga class designed specifically for Black and Brown people, and it’s the first of its kind in Boston. WBUR – Boston’s NPR News Station – featured Chanelle recently in a piece that discussed the need for creating welcoming spaces for Black and Brown folks who don’t look like the typical model yoga student: young, white, slim, and female,

Chanelle doesn’t want to stop at teaching yoga. Through her Yoga Diversity Initiative she hopes to encourage more Black and Brown folks to become yoga instructors. The initiative has given out two yoga teacher training scholarships, and provides mentorship.

To learn more about Chanelle visit her website.


Some Perils of Working in White Work Cultures

For Black people, navigating professional spaces where White folks dominate the work culture is like navigating obstacle courses where the price of failure can be your career and livelihood. Of the many roadblocks to success — like enduring every possible racial micro-aggression, not sharing cultural references, and generally proving your competence and value to people who doubt it at the onset — the blurring of professional and personal lines definitely ranks among the shittiest.

In these white-dominated cultures — likely every place you’ve had a professional job — there’s an expectation that you’ll morph into some boundary-less person and allow your personal business to become fodder for a gossip mill under the guise of “bonding” and “relating”. The jig, though, is that they’re not going to tell you they expect this. Saying what they mean and meaning what they say is not a thing they have to do. Why say what you mean when you can just smile and do under-handed shit behind the scenes to compel people to do what you want them to do anyway. [As an aside, in my experience, when Miss Anns dominate the culture these phenomena are far more pronounced and even more unbearable.] (more…)

Audacious Woman – Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes has been doing the damn thing lately. After the success of How to Get Away with Murder and deals to write and produce more hit shows, Shonda was about due for another dish session with Oprah. You’ve probably heard by now that during the interview Oprah and Shonda discussed their disinterest in marriage (if you haven’t, check out the video below).

It’s no small thing that both women have rejected traditional partnerships. Never mind broader societal pressures, there’s a lot of pressure for women in our community to “get a man”. And, there’s a lot of shit Black women catch for orienting their lives towards their careers and goals, and not towards pursuing traditional relationships. (more…)

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