047 Diversity Matters

Finally, the world is shifting, and over here at Hello Seven, we don’t want it to stop. In the past, it’s been too easy for the White male 1% to ignore the injustices of systemic racism, but we want to keep the conversation going so that nobody can dismiss this movement as something that shouldn’t be discussed in the workplace.

I’m here today with several members of the Hello Seven team – Sam Herd, Jacqueline Paumier, and La Tondra Murray – to discuss the disgusting realities facing Black women in the workplaces of our country. Diversity means so much more than just having some brown faces around, so we’re sharing how to create workplaces that aren’t totally toxic for people of color and what you can do to be part of the solution.

Tune in this week as my team and I discuss our experiences as Black women in the corporate world, and why it’s time for you to start running things differently in your own business. We have spent too long being told how to look and act if we want to be taken seriously and be successful, and enough is enough.

If you’re struggling to see how you can apply what we’ve shared today in your business, or have any additional questions, our team is here for you. Click here to arrange a free call with a member of our team to discuss your business and get you moving in the right direction. Note: This is not a sales call.

Are you ready for a revolution? Then download the free guide called Million Dollar Behavior. In it, you will learn the 10 behavior shifts you need to make to build wealth, claim power, and have an impact.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • My team member’s past experiences of being Black women working in a White man’s world.
  • The pressures on Black women to look or act a certain way to be taken seriously in the corporate world.
  • Why we have to take these protests beyond the streets and into the offices and boardrooms.
  • The importance, as an entrepreneur, of really considering what kind of workplace you want to be running.
  • How we are taking our self-care seriously over here to alleviate the pain and pressure our community is going through.
  • Why it’s not enough to just have some brown faces around and call it diversity.

Listen to the Full Episode:



Featured on the Show:

 

Rachel Rodgers: Yeah, I mean on John Oliver on Sunday he shared that Black men have a one in 1,000 chance of being shot by the police. That was a huge blow to hear that. And it’s like you know, but to hear the stat just makes it even more devastating, which is why I’m like, “Listen, we’re going to raise hell and we’re not going to be nice about it and we’re not going to shut up about it.” Because we have to, what other option is there? Does this continue and pretend it’s all good? No, we’re not doing that, absolutely not.

Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. I’m your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother of four children, a lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro-wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let’s get it going.

Welcome friends to the Hello Seven Podcast. I’m so excited today to be here with my squad, several members of the Hello Seven team and I’ll let each of you guys introduce yourselves. So, Sam, do you want to start?

Sam Herd: Sure. Hello everyone. My name is Sam; I am the Program Assistant for Hello Seven. I help the delivery team execute on all of the programming and make sure our clients are happy.

Rachel Rodgers: Love it. And Jacqueline.

Jacqueline Pamier: Yeah. Jacqueline Pamier, I am Hello Seven’s Community Manager. I help with copy, I basically just to get to hang out with our amazing members and interact with them and that’s it, yeah.

Rachel Rodgers: You guys are so humble, it’s hilarious, okay. Please don’t let them lie to you. Maybe it’s so much more than they are saying but okay. Okay, La Tondra.

La Tondra Murray: Hey, everybody. I’m La Tondra Murray, I’m a Resident Coach here at Hello Seven and I work with all things delivery, working closely with the team to execute our programs and support our members.

Rachel Rodgers: I love it. I love it. And for anybody who’s new to us, what we do at Hello Seven is coach women mainly. But we do have male members, we have non-binary members, all are welcome. We pretty much serve everybody except White guys, because every place else basically serves White guys. So that’s kind of how we roll. Although we have had a few cool White dudes in our programs in the past.

But that’s what we do, we help women gain economic power by helping them build businesses that are profitable and scalable and generating lots and lots of revenue, because we feel like the economic fight is an important part of this. And I think empowering Black women to have more money and women in general, women of color, putting more money in the hands of people who aren’t White male one percenters, is, I think an important part of this fight.

And so that is what Hello Seven does through our programming. So tell us a little bit about your identity, how do you think of yourself, share that with us, whoever wants to go first.

Jacqueline Pamier: I can go first. Alright, this is Jacqueline speaking, just so we know who’s speaking at the moment. So my identity has definitely evolved over the years. I mean you guys know this, but my father’s African American and my mother is Egyptian, she was born and raised in Cairo until the age of 12. So for a long time my identity was mixed, it was mixed, it was Black people kind of look at you and go, “What are you, what’s going on there?”

I know one of the most hated and disgusting terms to me is, “You’re so pretty, what are you mixed with?” Like you’ve got to be mixed to have something else going on in there, yeah, exactly, [inaudible]. So it was just mixed, I was the other box and grew up in a White community. I went to predominantly a White school out in sunny Napa, California, wine country. And I want to say, I was aware that I was Black, I wasn’t against the fact that I was Black, I wouldn’t call myself ‘whitewashed’. But I don’t think I really embraced everything that came with it until I was pregnant.

And I’m trying to remember the – I hate to say it, there were so many, but there was definitely a specific police shooting that happened that time. And my husband’s Cuban but looks African American as well. And it was that moment of I don’t care how mixed you are, I don’t care where you live, what school you went to, you have a brown boy coming out. So when you, you know, as a mom you have that oh shit, the cop’s not going to realize that when he rolls down the window, he’s not going to ask, he’s not going to say, “What are you mixed with?” He was kind of feeling danger.

So I think from thereon it just kind of evolved, I think even being in Hello Seven has helped me embrace who I am more because there’s no need to code switch or really identify as anything. So yeah, I identify myself as a Black woman, as a woman of color, of multiple descents.

Rachel Rodgers: Awesome. I love that and I so relate to that too, I think of myself, you know, I talk about economic empowerment a lot but it doesn’t protect you physically necessarily. I mean I guess it can if you live in a neighbor – like most of my neighbors are White. We have some Black neighbors and we’re always like, “What’s up?!” We get mad hyped when we see them, like we see you with your million-dollar home, I see you. You made it. No, I’m just kidding. But we do get high when we see them.

And you know how you just like there’s this Black mad. I’ve been in Hong Kong, I’ve been in all over the world, wherever I am I see a Black person, I’ll be like, “I see you. I see you brother, I see you sister.” But no one’s going to say, “That kid is a lawyer’s kid, or that kid is a – he lives in a nice neighborhood.” They don’t care; they just see brown and see it as a threat.

Jacqueline Pamier: Yeah, paper bag test.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, exactly, exactly. Okay, La Tondra, do you want to share?

La Tondra Murray: Yeah, absolutely. So I identify as a Black woman. So my mom and dad are both African American. And it’s so funny, I was thinking, Jac, as you were talking, there’s this sense of sometimes as you grow up; people are like, “Oh, you’re just regular Black.” Like there’s this unfortunate tragedy and so…

Rachel Rodgers: Oh, my goodness.

La Tondra Murray: So it’s funny for me, so I’m a Gen Xer, grew up as a military kid, born in England. My dad was in the Air Force, so I have always lived in really diverse environments. So lived off the coast of Portugal. I grew up, like I said, just in a bunch of different parts of the world. And predominantly in White schools growing up, and went to college, went to Spelman College for undergrad, and that was my first opportunity to be in a space really where I was around other women of color, and of all sorts of colors.

And that was a really pivotal part of my life, and a pivotal part of my identity, particularly moving forward into a world where I was myself, but was often judged for, in some cases, not being Black enough. And in other cases being too Black and so there was always this notion of where do I fit in, and how can I just be myself?

And it’s taken a long time for me to get to a place where I’m me, accept all of who I am. And certainly as a mother, certainly as a parent of both a girl and a boy, Black children in America. And a son who is both Black and differently abled, there are all sorts of things that come to mind about just positioning and who you can be and who you’re seen as independently of what you’ve done or what job you’ve had. Nobody looks at me from the outside and says, “She looks she has a doctorate.”

Rachel Rodgers: I love it.

La Tondra Murray: By chance might you have advanced degrees, like no one said, no one ever. And so just moving through and knowing that the world will not see accomplishments, or possessions, or neighborhood, or degree. And that’s true of me and that’s true of my children. And how do you prepare yourself to thrive in that kind of situation? How do you prepare your kids in particular to thrive?

Rachel Rodgers: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And we laugh, but it’s – I mean we laugh, we always, I feel like especially when we’re in only Black spaces, there’s a lot of things that we laugh at. There’s a lot of things that we joke about because it’s part of our process of managing it, coping. It’s part of what makes us incredibly resilient. But we know how serious it is and how fucked up it is to live in that world where you’re just prejudged in all of these different ways. And no matter how far we come, it’s just like it’s still there. So, okay, Sam, how about you?

Sam Herd: Hey. So if I could do my life over again, I would have gone to HBCU. And I love that you went Spelman, La Tondra, if I could do the college all over again it would be HBCU.

Rachel Rodgers: Same.

Sam Herd: But I went to a small liberal arts White catholic school in the middle of Texas. So I am mixed, my mother is White, my father is African American. But I grew up with my mom. My dad wasn’t in the picture. I grew up with my sister’s dad who is also a Black man. And my sisters and I have three younger sisters who are every color brown. And so it was very clear that we were – we kind of had similar features but we had different skin colors. And be like, “Yeah, you’re sisters, I guess I can kind of see it, not really, are you sure?”

So growing up with my White mother but she lived in – I wouldn’t call it a predominantly Black neighborhood, but our school was pretty Black. And yeah, so I grew up around Black people but I was very sheltered, and I lived with my mom. When I went to school I was a Black girl in that school, and then I had my awakening. I really didn’t then think about my color of my skin, it just – I didn’t think about it. And then I went to college and I had that radical reawakening and finding myself, and doing the most and overcompensating in some areas.

And being super radical and organizing, and just doing a lot because I threw myself into a school where Black people didn’t matter, and what is going on here? And it just became something that I had to experience it, I had to deal with microaggressions and I had to deal with teachers talking out of the side of their neck and doing the most. And yeah, but I identify as a Black woman.

Rachel Rodgers: Yeah, same. So I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood, Flushing, Queens, shout out to Flushing. So in my school, diversity was such a big thing, it was talked about all the time. Because Flushing is where the World Fair is, there was a lot of immigrant communities. So we had, you know, some of my closest friends were from Trinidad, and from Germany, and from Korea, so just really all over the place.

So my closest friend group was – they used to call us United Nations when we used to walk down the street, because there were like Black, White, Asian, everything. That was my sort of elementary school or whatever. But once I got to junior high school I really only hung out with Black people. And my mom was White but my culture was Black. So that’s who I grew up with. And I grew up fighting people in the street; I had a lot of physical fights. That was part of my childhood.

I remember I sat down with a White therapist once and she was taking my mental health history. And she just wanted to hear about me tell stories about my life. And I was telling her about my stories and she was like – her face had this look of horror, like oh my God, this is what you’ve been living with. And she’s like, “It’s so violent.” I was like, “Oh, this is not how you lived? You didn’t grow up whooping ass?”

But my father I feel like had a lot of anger being a Black man, he was very protective of his daughters, he talked to us about a lot of things and just straight up told us what the truth was. He was very real with us.

And my mom, I think even with Black daughters and a Black husband was still clueless in a lot of ways, and had no idea some of the things that we would deal with as we got older. And I’ve had clashes with my mom, and we’ve had big family fights and feuds over holidays and things like that. And I think she’s a lot more aware now. But it’s been a long journey.

So for those White women out there who are listening who have a Black child, or a Black husband, or a Black best friend, that don’t mean shit, I’ll tell you that right now. But I do identify as a Black woman. And I agree that it was like a coming into, at first it was biracial, and I agree, Jac, I used to get that same kind of thing, like what are you mixed with? People would think I was Hispanic. People would think I was like of Middle Eastern descent. They would just come up with – and I’d just be like, “I’m Black.”

Jacqueline Pamier: But what else are you?

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, but what else? Exactly. And I mean when I was really young, my childhood, I would say, “I’m Black and I’m White.” And people would be like, “Well, then you’re Black.” And I’d be like, “Okay.” But really, I’m Black and I’m White. And I just felt like it was a betrayal to my mother to not acknowledge her. I think I did have a period where being biracial was a little bit confusing at times, like felt like I wasn’t fully accepted anywhere. But then as I’ve gotten older, I’ve just gotten clearer on who I am.

So, thank you guys for sharing that. I think identity is such a personal thing, and it’s such a nuanced thing that I just thought it would be interesting for context for people to hear a little bit about how we identify ourselves.

So let’s talk about the workplace. I’m interested to hear some of your experiences as Black women in the workplace, both here at Hello Seven and other places. What are your thoughts about working as a Black woman? And the reason why I want to talk about this specifically is because I think it’s important to take the protest, not just into the streets, but into the boardrooms, into the offices, into the Zoom room.

I think in the past we’ve been expected to pretend that the shit that’s going on in the world is just not happening. And we just go to work and just it’s about green. And that’s shifting, and I want it to keep shifting, and I want to never ever, ever, ever, ever go back to not acknowledging this movement and what has been happening for Black people for centuries, and just pretending that we’re somebody else at work, that’s bullshit in my opinion. So I would just love to hear a little bit about what are your experiences like?

Because I think for people who are listening, especially people who are CEOs, or employers, or entrepreneurs starting businesses. You’re going to hire people and you really need to think about what kind of workplace are you going to create for the people that work there. And what is their experience working for you?

Because I think we focus so much on diversity, let’s have some brown faces up in here, we need brown faces in the photo. But then is it inclusive, do they feel like they can be themselves in the workplace? Do they feel heard? Do they feel seen? Because otherwise you’re not going to keep them, you’ll have them for five minutes and then they’ll leave. So just having brown faces isn’t enough obviously. I hope it’s obvious to you all at this point. But yeah, tell me, you guys, about your experiences working, what comes to mind?

La Tondra Murray: I can definitely start. I mean I think for me, I’ve had a very corporate experience, corporate and academic experience in addition to my work here at Hello Seven. And I think there’s this notion of how can you bring your whole self to work and be recognized, but also be kind of authentic? How can you walk that line?

And I know for years, it makes me laugh when I think about it now, but for years I really stressed about my hair. And it seems like such a – I’m sure people may think it seems like such a surface thing, such a superficial thing. But for so long – and look, let me just say to you for the record, so lest there be messages that come in. Do you fry it, dye it, lay it to the side, curl it, whatever you do? So this is not an indictment about what anyone chooses to do with their hair, by any means. I think do, you do whatever you want to do.

But for me for the longest time I relaxed my hair. Because I felt like that was the only way I’d be acceptable, in order to be viewed as top talent, in order to be viewed as a person who was worthy of being promoted to management, or to be an executive role. Particularly in a corporate space, I needed to look a certain way, I needed to behave in a certain way, and the outside…

Rachel Rodgers: La Tondra, can I just say that in law school I remember going to a career session during law school, where they literally told us that, “You need to not be wearing locks. It’s unprofessional. Cut your locks, you’ll never get hired.” I mean they literally said this, I was like, “What’s happening?”

La Tondra Murray: Yeah, and other Black people saying this.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, yeah.

La Tondra Murray: So I mean let me be clear, it wasn’t…

Rachel Rodgers: We had White people and Black people saying it.

La Tondra Murray: Yeah, exactly, both. But to have someone who looked like me say to me, “Don’t do that, you need to have a little bob, you need to…” The bob was just the gateway to who I needed to be in order to be successful, to be effective. And it’s just fascinating to me, I mean to even later in my career, there’s been this notion of how do I show up? How do I remain authentic to who I am? How do I speak up for myself? And how do I also check people when they say crazy things, without coming off as the angry Black woman?

How do I walk that line and advocate for myself without being seen as someone who’s unhinged and who simply can’t manage her emotions, or who always makes it about ‘race’? So Hello Seven has been a breath of fresh air, to be in a space where I can unapologetically show up as myself, be who I am in my corny joke-ness, my intellectual reflection, all of it, all of it. And that’s a gift, that’s a gift that I can be La Tondra, Black La Tondra, but that doesn’t mean that I’m one dimensional. And it doesn’t mean that I’ve got to fit into a box, so.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes. Oh my God, yes, preach to the one dimensional. Oh my God, because apparently, we’re one collective blob as Black people. Mother fucker, I swear to God. Yes, that makes me so happy to hear too, La Tondra. I remember you, we had our first team retreat and that was the first one, you had just started with us and you just started sobbing in the middle of the team retreat, like, “I can be myself here. Oh my God, I’m going to be myself.” And it was so beautiful. And just where you like just, you know, everybody’s emotional now.

La Tondra Murray: Yeah. I mean that’s some powerful shit, when you can show up. And it’s so funny, I was like, “Okay, these people are like calm down, it’s been 12 hours.” But it had been 12 hours with Hello Seven, it had been a lifetime of filtering myself and editing myself.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes. Yes, that’s a word right there, a lifetime of editing and filtering, yes. And that’s what is over. So for all you White people who think that we just got real high. No, we’ve been this way, we just haven’t shown it to you. And now we are unapologetically showing to you, that’s where we’re at right now.

Sam Herd: It’s so beautiful, La Tondra, I was just thinking, trying to reflect on my previous employer, which I worked in Austin, Texas, which is a pretty liberal city. And it is chockfull of very liberal White people who are very on the surface level doing all the things, they’re checking the boxes, they’ve got the little signposts in their yard. And they share posts and things, but I just remember feeling so incredibly lonely in my office.

I just felt so isolated and so lonely because even though my previous employer was like, “Diversity.” It wasn’t a lot of Black people, I was the only Black person, and for several, several months at a time. Because people of color would be hired and then they would be fired, they would be gone or be transitioned out. And I was the only person left, and it just felt so lonely when things popped off or when you heard about another shooting or another killing. And you’re just, you’re lonely and you still have to show up.

And I just remember being so sad and I internalized that a lot, I was very just unhappy in my previous job. And yeah, I just remember being very, very lonely and isolated, and there wasn’t any other face like mine. And I couldn’t confide in anyone.

Rachel Rodgers: Yeah, that is a real problem and one of the things that Erica Heinz, who’s a diversity, equity and inclusion expert, who’s going to be at our town hall, which would have passed by the time this is published. One of the things that she says is to create affinity groups.

If you’ve got more than one person of color or Black person, whatever you want to kind of, either it’s just Black people or people of color. But having affinity groups in the workplace where they can get together, where no White people are listening and share what they’re really experiencing. That alone, just creating space for that in the workplace can – I don’t want to say, solve it, but it will definitely make people who feel isolated in the workplace feel better. I think that’s important.

And I remember when I worked at Vera Institute of Justice, which is a think tank in New York and D.C. One of my still closest friends to this day, Peragani, she’s an Indian woman and she would lead these diversity talks and these antiracist conversations at Vera. And get all these White people together and make them cry, basically is what she did once a week.

And then she had a separate group where she got all the people of color together and they just talked about, you know, and we were doing work in criminal justice, that’s what Vera does. And we’re working in criminal justice trying to make it a fairer system. But then there’s White people working on it and White people leading it, who have all of their White supremacy that they’re bringing to everything that they do and it’s not talked about.

And she was like, “Oh hell, no.” And so she asked them, “Hey, can I do these groups?” And they said, “Yes.” That made that workplace more tolerable for people.

Jacqueline Pamier: And I also think that speaking to what La Tondra said when she said, getting it from Whites and Blacks. I think for us, well, it’s twofold. So as women we’re very much given the message of sit down, be quiet, keep it to yourself. And then as Black women all together you have these sayings, “Don’t rock the boat. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

And I do think a lot of those have come up in a way to oppress us, but I think especially from previous generations of Blacks that had to kind of climb that corporate ladder and they were put in there almost as a want to protect us. Like, hey, I’ve been there, you know, for those who have kind of climbed up when there was no other Black people in the office, when that’s literally it. And say, “Hey, stay in your lane, yes, I get that you want to say these things, you still have a family to feed at the end of the day. Just kind of watch where you’re going, don’t make people feel uncomfortable.”

So I think it’s generationally we’re kind of moving towards a place where we can actually speak on these things and not have to worry about showing up to a very awkward water cooler on Monday morning, feeling very uncomfortable with everybody. But I think especially in this space, I mean on Monday morning we woke up the weekend after everything happened with Natalie who all of you guys know. The very first thing, she was just having to go and make space and say, “How are you? What’s happened? What are you feeling? Let’s go one by one, let’s talk about this.”

Where I have people that I know who are very close to me who were like, “I had to go all week and just kind of white knuckle it and pretend that nothing happened. And not just white knuckle it, I had to still show up. I had to still show that I could hit those deadlines, and still keep up my pace. I have to show that my Blackness in this moment isn’t a hindrance to my productivity.” So it’s a privilege, it’s a huge privilege.

Rachel Rodgers: Yeah, how fucked up is that? Like basically you’re killing us literally, and we have to pretend that it’s not affecting our work product.

Jacqueline Pamier: It’s being treated there was a like a death in the family when it really should be treated like somebody came and shot someone while you’re sitting at your desk, that’s how it should be.

Rachel Rodgers: Exactly. Yeah, I mean on John Oliver on Sunday he shared that Black men have a one in 1,000 chance of being shot by the police. That was a huge blow to hear that. And it’s like you know, but to hear the stat just makes it even more devastating, which is why I’m like, “Listen, we’re going to raise hell and we’re not going to be nice about it and we’re not going to shut up about it.” Because we have to, what other option is there? Does this continue and pretend it’s all good? No, we’re not doing that, absolutely not.

So speaking of that, tell us about your self-care, because I think this is something that I think a lot of people think of Audre Lorde as the sort of mother of radical self-care. And it’s really important for us as Black people to take exceptional care of ourselves because of the bullshit that we are dealing with in the world every day. And some of the things that we hear, some of the things that we experience every day, and we just have to be like shrug it off and keep going, sometimes that’s what we have done, we’re not doing it now.

But how do you guys take care of yourselves and just make sure that you’re okay living in this really shitty world that we live in?

La Tondra Murray: It’s so interesting, Rachel, because I think for me the idea that I don’t have to do the emotional labor of explaining things and being the national appointee for all Black people, to explain things. “Well, so here’s what’s happening, guys, here’s what’s happening.” I feel like that’s been the role for so much of my life, I felt like I had to play. That I had to interpret and that I had to explain, that I had to help people get clarity, and just the freedom of knowing in this moment, nope, nope, Google.

Rachel Rodgers: Exactly, I aint explaining shit.

La Tondra Murray: I aint explaining shit, talk to your woke White friend, this shit is not new, so talk to someone who is pre-woke and see if they can help bridge the shit for you. I mean so for me the freedom from that emotional labor has been self-care, just releasing that. And then also literal rest in the last couple of weeks, there is a point in the day where my body says, “We shall nap now.” And I literally go and get on my little loveseat in my office and get a little throw and I nap. And I’m allowing that, I haven’t always done that, but I’m allowing it now.

Rachel Rodgers: I love that, yes, take naps, La Tondra, fight the resistance with naps.

La Tondra Murray: I fight with naps, that’s right.

Rachel Rodgers: Damn it. Yes, I love it.

Sam Herd: I love that so much. For me I am a physical touch bitch, I am a Cancer, I’m very feelings oriented. I’m very touchy feely, so for me, self-care has been very physical. And I’m sorry, mom and dad, but there is going to be a lot of sex, there’s going to be a lot of… One of the things that I experienced in this sort of round, because it wasn’t the first time I had done this, when Black Lives Matter movement first started to come to the surface and Trayvon Martin was killed and Eric Garner, and just that whole sequence of events happened.

That was a rough period of time, and I remember exhausting myself out and I was very much alone as well, I was physically isolated from people in addition to that. So I remember wearing myself out. And this time around I was just so tired of seeing the violence, because it’s murder porn, that’s what it feels like. And everybody’s [crosstalk], and it was just so much. And for me I just was tired of feeling – seeing the violence. I wasn’t feeling it; I don’t want to say that. I definitely don’t want to undermine what that is.

But just seeing that violence was really hard, and so I felt like I needed to combat this with love on the Black body. Because we have plenty of historical, like you can go read, you can go watch 12 Years a Slave. We have plenty of evidence that Black people experience pain and all that. But there’s no joy, there’s no happiness, and I feel that that’s the way we dehumanize Black lives. I like work like just consolidating everything into violence and anger and pain, and all of that. I’m like there’s so much more to this, how can I feel pleasure?

How can I make Rashad, who is my boyfriend, feel loved at this time, we’re going to touch on each other, we’re going to hug, we’re going to cuddle, we’re going to dance, we’re going to feel our bodies.

Rachel Rodgers: I love that.

Jacqueline Pamier: I’m going to get me some Black love.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes. I know, that’s right. I love that so much, that is so good and so true. There is a quote from Bell Hooks that I put in our newsletter a week ago, and I don’t remember it by heart. But she was talking about joy; it’s not just about surviving and being resilient, and overcoming. No, that’s not winning. Winning is experiencing joy, experiencing love, experiencing happiness. And so that’s an important part of self-care for me too, I love that, Sam.

Jacqueline Pramier: And we do hold trauma in our body unfortunately, [crosstalk]. So, yeah, same, dancing, a lot of dancing lately just to try to literally move it, you almost feel like you have a hardened shell around you, like a mud dirt shell, and when you move you’re just kind of cracking through it and letting those feelings come out.

Historically I do have a habit of switching into workaholic mode, and kind of burying myself into that and numbing myself. But where we’re at now, it’s actually very interesting because even if I want to switch into workaholic mode, my brain is listening to this very lush community that’s facing exactly what it is and trying to numb myself to, which is beautiful. So I just get to sit with our members, are amazing Black women in our community.

We’ve had so many of them that I’m sure you guys have even seen this, even before this, this most recent incident happened. Are posting things like, “I’m working so hard, I’m trying, I’m getting my act together. I’m building wealth. And my son is turning 16 and he’s going to go get his license and I feel like what’s the point.” And actually being able to hear those things and hold space for them have been self-care as well as caring for our community in the same time, it’s been a very healing experience.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, I agree, being in community is beautiful. I mean that’s why we do what we do at Hello Seven, that’s why we create this basis that we do. And we talk about it head on. We’re not going to delete everybody’s posts because they mention White supremacy. No, we’re going to be like, “Correct, White supremacy, it’s fucked up, let’s talk about it. White people, here’s what we need you to do. Black women, this is what we’re about to do.” We aint having shit. Yes, I agree and I love that.

I love that, I think community is a big part of the healing process, and being in community together, being joyful, resting, all of it. I have been taking naps; it’s a new thing for me. I put on my sleep mask and I’m like, I’m going to rest now. I used to not be able to nap because I’d be like go, go, go, go, go, go non-stop, non-stop.

And exactly what you said, Jac, of kind of numbing myself and just being like, just work harder, just make all the money in the world and then you’re going to fuck everything up. That was like my internal mantra. And now I’m like, no, we’re going to fuck everything up and we’re going to take a nap. So that’s important, I agree with physical activity. I’ve been doing a lot of walking in nature, riding my Peloton and just get on the Peloton and ride it and cry. It just helps me to have physical, and literally move some of that energy out of my body, which is why I like it.

Hot baths are important as well and long conversations with you guys, and with my husband, and with just people in general. And I just love too that even the White women on our team, we’re having conversations with them, they’re leading conversations about this. They are saying, “How can I do better?” And that’s really – it’s important and it’s also a good reminder for me, see, there’s the White people in the world; there’s some good ones, okay, cool.

Sam Herd: Yeah, we need a reminder.

Rachel Rodgers: We need that reminder because sometimes we’re like, “Fuck it all to hell, I’m doing with all of you all.”

Sam Herd: All my memories that I love is my mama.

Rachel Rodgers: Exactly, and even her sometimes, I ain’t going to lie.

Rachel Rodgers: So, yes, we need that reminder. So, you guys, any parting words that you want to share with our listeners, any thoughts that you have in closing?

Jacqueline Pramier: I think this is definitely, there’s a scale of emotions that I think we all have gone through of, you have the anger, the sadness, and sometimes you repeat and you go back to the anger, you have to process a few times. But I think this has definitely highlighted the importance of what we do more than ever right now. Just witnessing women that actually have the freedom to say, “This is fucked up, I’m not standing for it,” and not have to worry that someone’s going to rip a check out of their hand as a result, is so, so huge right now.

And so I think, if I was to say anything, it would be to those women that, exactly like I said before, that are saying, “What’s the point?” Well, this is the point, this is the exact point right now. This is why we’re fighting so hard, this is why we’re working so hard, this is why we’re taking the time for self-care. It is all as an army who needs to be – should be free and able to speak clearly and truly, and not stop speaking.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, I love that, that’s beautiful Jac, I feel like I have nothing to follow that up.  Go ahead, Sam.

Sam Herd: Nothing groundbreaking, but find community, find people, reach out, because I am just remembering, not that I should have forgotten, but we’re also in the middle of a pandemic. And so I know some cities are opening up and people are interacting more. But it’s really easy to feel super isolated at this time, because some people are still practicing shelter at home, or shelter in place.

And so find community, even if it’s virtual, join a group, something, because it can get really lonely. And not having a place to – someone to connect to, to reach out to, it just kind of – I feel like it festers when you’re by yourself. So find community, find some people to reach out to.

Rachel Rodgers: I think that’s very good advice, Sam. La Tondra, anything to share?

La Tondra Murray: I was just going to say, use your oxygen mask. I hate to go back to the plane analogy, especially since none of us have seen planes in a long time. Use the oxygen mask, if you’re not fuelled, if you’re not rested, if you’re not steady, then you can’t do anything for anyone else.

Rachel Rodgers: Yes, correct, that’s the word, and take your naps you all. And I would say too, I have to say as CEO of Hello Seven, it brings me so much joy to create a workspace that I never knew before.

To just be able to create a workspace where you Black women are feeling heard and seen and happy, that just brings tears to my eyes. It makes me, like this is the point, you know what I mean? This is the literal point, so you too, guys, can create an amazing workplace for other amazing human beings, so you should go fucking do that and stop creating these toxic fucking workplaces, please. Thank you.

Alright, well, thank you all for being here. You guys are amazing, I love you all, I appreciate you all.

Sam Herd: Thank you.

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