Zach sits down to talk community engagement and economic empowerment with Tamyra Gordon, Executive Director of Blavity.org. Blavity.org drives Black economic advancement, wealth creation and business ownership forward through entrepreneurial fellowship programs featuring grants, education & mentorship.
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Zach (01:00): What’s up, y’all? It’s Zach from Living Corporate and updates, house cleaning. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, first things first is that we’ve had a variety of shows. So like live shows, incorporating video into our media platform that we’ve been really proud of. So when we talk about the show we’re talking about the Group Chat, we’re talking about the Break Room, and we’re talking about the Access Point. The Group Chat is really, a series of panels with black and brown thought leaders talking about DEI in ways that your HR team at your job, probably is not going to like. The Break Room is for black psychologists, psychiatrists talking about mental health, wellness, and healing for black folks at work, in very frank unapologetic ways. And then, the Access Point is all about preparing black and brown professionals, or aspiring professionals, or mid-careers for the workforce. By having conversations that they’re just not going to teach you, or not going to tell you about in your college classrooms. And so, each of these shows have incredible hosts, and have been, and continue to be live shows on our network. So if you go to liveingcorporate.tv, you’ll actually see those shows.
(02:17): What we also are excited about again, we’re trying to make things accessible. Accessibility is, of course, the name of the game, especially when you’re talking about content that’s centering and amplifying black and brown folks at work. And we want to make sure that it’s available to everybody. And so, we’re excited about the fact that each of those shows are now also, podcasts. That’s right. So the Access Point, the Break Room, and the Group Chat are all podcasts on the Living Corporate network.
(02:42): So, from a scheduling perspective, that means, that you used to hear some of those shows over the weekends. We would play some of those reruns, or even some of the newer shows. We will play some of that content on this podcast. Now, each of those shows are their own pods. So make that you actually search for those shows everywhere you listen to podcasts, and you will be able to check them out. Now, you can also click the links in the show notes to learn more about those shows, and give them five stars on Apple Podcasts. That’s what I need y’all to do.
(03:13): Living Corporate will continue to promote and publish Real Talk Tuesdays, See It To Be It on Wednesdays, and then the Tap In With Tristan on Thursdays. All right. So that’s not going nowhere. Really excited about the shows that we have. Excited about our network, continuing to mature, and grow, and expand, and just learn. Right? As we continue to want to make sure that we are not only having dope content, but dope content that’s accessible to everybody.
Zach (03:40): Now, with that being said, really excited about the guests that we were able to have on Living Corporate today. And the reason why I’m excited about this guest is because of who we are as a platform, was not just like a notion. Like there was actually, other groups and orgs that we looked at to really say, man, like, who inspires us and what are we trying to be? And what’s really exciting is like, as we’ve continued to grow, we’re able to actually see, we’re actually able to meet the organizations that inspired us to even be here. Like, that’s really cool. It’s kinda like when you kind of meet your heroes. And so, there’s a couple of those organizations that stick out to me. And one of those organizations is Blavity.
(04:26): So Blavity for those who don’t know, Blavity is a lifestyle platform for black people. So you think about blogging and just different types of media, lifestyle around just like what it means to just exist and navigate this world. as a part of the African diaspora. Blavity is huge in that. Blavity has a bunch of different like brands under its umbrella, but they’re all focused on being black, and navigating the world. And so, I’m excited about the fact that we’re able to actually have Tamyra Gordon, executive director of blavity.org. For those who don’t know blavity.org drives black economic advancement, wealth creation, and business ownership forward through entrepreneurial fellowship programs, featuring grants, education, and mentorship. They just launched their inaugural fellowship program, supporting 12 black founders. And they’re actively looking, and continuing to look for ways to impact black community for economic empowerment. So, I’m really excited about this conversation that we’re getting into. And before we do it, before we talk to Tamyra, I want to make sure that y’all tap in with Tristan. After that, we’ll get to it.
(09:26): Live Corporate is brought to you by the Access Point. The reality is this is the largest influx of black and brown talent corporate America has ever had. And as a result, a variety of talent entering the workforce are first-generation professionals. The other reality, most of these folks, aren’t learning what it means to navigate a majority white workplace in their college classes. Enter the Access Point, a live weekly web show within the Living Corporate network that gives black and brown college students the real talk they need, and likely haven’t heard elsewhere. Every week, our hosts and special guests are dropping gems. So don’t miss out. Check out the Access Point on livingcorporate.tv.
Zach (10:11): Tamyra, how you doing? Welcome to the show.
Tamyra (10:13): Thank you so much. So happy to be here.
Zach (10:15): It’s an honor. I’m really excited. Now look, like most black folks in the world, I’ve known about Blavity for a while, but I’m less aware of blavity.org. So can you share a little bit more about blavity.org and your journey and being the executive director?
Tamyra (10:31): Yeah, I’m so happy to. So, blavity.org essentially is a sister organization to Blavity Inc., which has been around for the last seven years specifically to support and elevate black people. And the founders of Blavity Inc. founded blavity.org and they chose the wealth gap, and we chose ownership and entrepreneurship. And I think the real differentiator is that we also chose joy. And like dare to think what’s possible when black people create from this place of joy. The vision of Blavity generally is, let’s see all black people happy. How do we share our news? How do we share our stories? What do we do from this lens of like abundance and we’re okay. And not the trauma informed news that we see day to day. And now, we get the opportunity and this newly formed non-profit we launched earlier this year to say, now, if we gave black people the permission to actually operate from that place of joy, what could they do?
(11:29): And I’m a mom, I’ve got a five-year-old son and my husband’s a Morehouse man. And so they are always about the entrepreneurship and wealth creation, as just like part of their DNA. But he tells my son everyday, he’s like, yo, we’re creators. We build things we’re capable. And the notion really behind blavity.org is to like, consider that in the full family structure. Like what if our brilliance and excellence and like dope blackness that everyone wants to emulate could be sustained? And like, what if we [inaudible 00:12:00] the stories about ourselves in that? And so, we picked entrepreneurship and I think part of the value that I bring to the organization is that I have been in access work for the last 15 years. My son is named after Camden, New Jersey. I’ve lived and worked in Camden. I have students who, I just left too early.
(12:19): And I was, if I have a baby, I’m going ito name him after my original babies. And the work has been just like, how do we open up spaces so that while I’m sitting at the table, like I’m holding five seats open. Like I get into a room I’m bigging up everybody else. And so the whole idea of the journey now, is how do I keep the doors open that Blavity Inc has like blown open and held our blackness in them, because that’s also a huge part. To be able to not just come in black, but like sustain and hold your blackness in that space is huge. And like part of why I was so excited about Blavity, the brand, but now we get to extend that to say like, we’re going to create a seat. Y’all are going to sit in the seat and then y’all are going to hand those seats down. This has to be sustainable. This has to be generational. And wealth is more than just the money that we’re accumulating. It’s all of our behaviors, it’s our relationship to it. And so .org now, is a vehicle among a lot of others that are in this space and doing the work but really leveraging that power of Blavity and black gravity to say like, what’s possible, if we’re good and we’re doing this from a place of being good?
Zach (13:27): There’s so much that you said there like that I just. The first thing around just even just an abundance mindset, opposed to a scarcity mindset. And then everything else you said, that just seemed like just such a natural expression of that. This idea of sharing spaces, increasing seats at the table, of bringing along, lifting as you climb. And so often we were just talking offline about my nine to five job, in addition to this nine to five job. But anyway, I was, which is Living Corporate. But you know, there is often this idea, especially when you see black folks in these like really corporate spaces, there can be an idea of one, there can only be one. And two, that the game is to be sold and not told. And it’s like we’re not going to really be able to really get further if we’re not really willing to share.
Zach (14:16): We’ve talked about this several times on Living Corporate is, you know, I’ve talked to several other folks leaders at the Greenlining Institute, and other activists, and things of that nature and talk about the fact that really, we, as a black, we, as a people are not going to be able to practice the same capitalistic patriarchal, systems that white folks perpetrated on us, if we want to collectively rise. We’re going to have to radically shift our thinking and just practice with one another. If we’re really talking about like shifting and changing our communities and changing, shifting the culture for the better. And to your point around access, I feel like there’s this common, there’s a conversation that constantly cycles around the black community. And I say ‹black community’ with quotation marks.
Zach (15:02): But black community, and financing education. So this idea that like, man, if I just teach these extremely poor people to stop buying Jordans and cell phones and invest in stock, then they’ll be wealthy. It’s paternalistic to me, I find it wildly offensive. It’s also simplistic and pretty dumb. I’m curious though, you said the word which just like activated me even further. I’d love for you to expand more when you say access and even just some of the work that you did before blavity.org. What do you mean by access? And then, I have a follow-up question about what blavity.org is doing, but I’ll start with just, can you unpack the concept of access?
Tamyra (15:42): Yes. This is such a good question. And you said two things, you said access and you said abundance. And so I want to just sort of hold those two things together. Because this notion of we shouldn’t have Jordans or like if we didn’t stock our closets with whatever we buy, that somehow that would translate to wealth is crazy. And peeling back the access, like part of our barrier to access, part of, I think, the symptom of not having access is that we remain in this space of scarcity. We remain in this, like in the struggle, in the hustle and just the day to day, like I’m just trying to make it to tomorrow. And black people in general, what access then provides us is a space to luxuriate. And a space to enjoy the things that we’ve now afforded ourselves.
(16:31): And I think about everybody else, any other version intersection of person, you make it to a place where you can buy the Jordans you want, like, that doesn’t then mean you don’t have wealth. My wealth affords me the things that bring me joy that represent abundance to me. And so, so often we don’t have that. Like we’re always in this place of I don’t have, I don’t have, but I need to look like I have. And part of that are the narratives that are handed down. So I think about the work leading up to Blavity, and also like what we’re doing with the entrepreneurs that we’re serving. I’m thinking about the generational hand downs. And black people have been handing down a whole lot of nonsense. And at the root of it, trauma, wealth, and stories, narratives are like the three things that we receive hand over foot, every generation we’re passing a piece of that down. Some of it’s not as much as others, but we have received a lot of false stories, a lot of false narratives, and we received a lot of trauma.
(17:35): And so, that informs our relationship to wealth, the way we’re willing to talk about it, the way we’re even willing to think about it. And so, wealth is not my access to cash and like, can I buy this thing? Wealth, my ability to enable the next generation to be a little bit further than I was, when I started. And so, that mindset, that narrative starts at the dinner table. Black folks are not talking about how much we make, or what our house costs, or what this was, we don’t. We want to talk about like bridging the wealth gap, but we’re scared to talk about money. And so, where do we start to infuse some of these behaviors so that we’re passing down narratives of wealth and behaviors of wealth to actually equip ourselves to then pursue it? At the end of the day, like our wealth should allow us to get the things that we want to get.
(18:23): We deserve at least that. And like Jordan and all of that, Jordan brand in general is about black excellence. So naming them as the thing, like that’s a representation of who we are. Michael Jordan puts that and infuses that into his brand, long before it was cool to do that. And probably in retaliation to a lot of folks who were saying, you can’t just be black, like you’re Michael Jordan. So there’s something really special about our relationship to Jordan in general. But if we bridge that relationship across all of the things that we do, and then think about how we make it sustainable, like that’s the wealth piece. It’s not that I’m gonna spend all my money and I can’t take it with me. And so, I’m just gonna let it go. Like you have to think about, so what will that mean for my five-year-old?
(19:11): How I set up my life, how I move the things I talk about, set him up in his relationship with money. He’s five and so the car that we drive and how we like coach and talk to him about his relationship to money matter. Like mom and dad work hard. Like we work and we saved, there’s a plan for that. And we’ve built a team around us. And I think that’s the real part, because we have sensationalized and glorified what it means to be self-made and the struggle. And, but I got these, like I got these fours, I guess those are Jordan’s in my generation. But like, I love the [inaudible 00:19:49] but like I got the new, whatever. That be the stamp of approval versus COVID hit, my business is being impacted, and if the homie Trump didn’t have to pay taxes last year, like small businesses that are run by one person should not have had to pay taxes last yea., Or like, there’s a way for us to be navigating the systems and leaning on folks that are in the community. And really leveraging like other black people to navigate this and not making it so faux pas to talk about. That will help us change our relationship to wealth, so that then we’re mirroring behaviors that actually get us there. We should have stock in Jordan. Like, we can have both, this is not about one or the other, it’s just about recreating that narrative within ourselves.
Zach (20:40): Yeah, it’s interesting. And so, when you talk about access, I know that blavity.org just launched their inaugural fellowship program supporting 12 black founders. Talk to me about, as you continue to unpack access for us, like talk to me about how this program drives and supports access.
Tamyra (21:01): Yeah. So we were lucky enough to get a partner in Adidas earlier this year that helped us launch our program. So our inaugural class is graduating at the end of October. So that’s super exciting. We have 12 businesses, a total of 13 fellows across those 12 businesses. And part of the task, like part of the access work for us was not saying like, oh, we’re just going to open up all the doors and do all the things. I’m a non-profit at heart. My career has been in non-profit, and the gift and the curse of being non- profit is that when we think about access is that we got to do all the things ourselves. I think it’s still that like self-made is me. And if I’m in this community, then I have to wrap around them and do all of the things.
(21:44): And I think the really strategic part of blavity.org was just well, what is it? What’s ours to do in this? What space do we take up? How do we want to show up in closing the black wealth gap, or doing our part in it? We’re not going to close it. But we’re going to make it a lot easier for them, the Baton to be passed to the next person who picks it up, and works to close the gap. And so, the access for us comes about in three ways. The vehicle that we’re using is black gravity. That’s what Blavity stands for. So it was founded on it’s that power of like all of us sitting around the water cooler, around when we were in the office. Like that power, when you walk into a store and you’re like, oh, there’s five black people right there.
(22:23): Let me go, let me go and talk or like walk by that aisle. That there’s something really powerful in our connection. And so, one, it’s taking the name. It’s taking black gravity and saying like, what happens if we’re just all in a room talking about the same things, being vulnerable, asking the questions and creating a safe space to do that in? So the first vehicle was that one.
(22:45): The second one was just education. It was like, all right, what are we equipped to train people on? What are we equipped to give them answers to? And we don’t know what we don’t know. And our founders, they are young, they are accomplished. They have figured some stuff out, so much early on. And so, the benefit of the hindsight that Morgan, Aaron and Jeff can provide to, our founders specifically, but anyone on the platforms they’re on gives them the platform to excel. Where like they get to know that early, they get to experience the stages that Morgan, Aaron and Jeff experienced in creating Blavity to then inform their own business practices.
(23:23): And then, we work with our partners like Adidas and Comcast, and give them access to professionals that are in the space, who have created big brands like Ivy Park and and Easy. To say, like, here’s what I do. So we’re taking that access that we’ve created through the media and Blavity piece, and offering that up to folks in a really open and transparent way. And the third vehicle to access is the amplification. Like if we are on stage and we have millions of followers hitting our web pages, coming to the Afro Tech conference, looking at our social media, then our job is to bring others on stage with us. And so, how do we use the platform that has been created, to say like you come too. Or Hey, local baker, we’re using you. We’re not going to Dunkin’ Donuts or some conglomerate. We are walking the walk, we are talking the talk and also showing and using the stage to re-amplify the work that’s going on.
(24:23): So for the 12 businesses that we worked with this past year, regenerated over 150 million impressions across nine different brands. That black folks don’t usually have access to like, Wall Street Journal, and Reader’s Digest. And we had a food product featured in Tech Wire, which like never happens. So that amplification vehicle was so important, because if folks don’t know about us and they can’t invest in us. They can’t hire us. They can’t select us as their diversified supplier. Which like is [inaudible 24:5] were coming up. So we started, we’re six months in, we’re figuring out how to scale what it is that we’re doing, but really leveraging those three points of access since that’s like the thing that we know Blavity can do really well.
Zach (25:11): I mean, it’s just so smart. And it’s also inspiring because like you said, like Blavity is not old. Balvity has been around seven years. But they took their model, and all these relationships, and branding and marketing and like just awareness building, that they were able to do in those seven years. And then like are effectively leveraging it to figure out, okay, we have these relationships and we have this capital in this space and what are we not going to do to affect change? So that’s really, really exciting.
(25:42): You know, the other part around just sharing., Even like you said, like there’s a small business, there’s a local business and you’re like, you know amplification is so invaluable now, especially when you think about like, I don’t know. I just think like the algorithms are the new gatekeepers, Tamyra. That’s really like, you can put out really dope stuff and literally, only five or six people ever know about it. And it has nothing to do with the quality of your content, or the substance, or the amount. Like, this is a bunch of dope stuff that people, even now, like I can tell you how many people haven’t heard of Living Corporate. And like, we’ve had, I mean, Tamyra, like we’ve had a hundred plus brands on. We just did a mobilization with Pfizer. We just were in the middle of doing a partnership with LiveRamp. Like we have done this, but, you know, I’ll say for me, it’s just as like a bootstrap founder, someone who does not have whatever, and who doesn’t really spend a lot of money on like ads. It takes more. It takes more than just putting out dope content.
Zach (26:44): Like I felt like even like 15, 16 years ago, or just like when Instagram and some of these before the [inaudible 00:26:50]. I’m just gonna say it again, before the algorithms changed. It was like, you know, you could post something and it will go to the top of your feed, and everybody gonna see it. And so, you know, even if you only have 17 followers or a hundred followers, you’re going to get the reactions to [inaudible 00:27:06] in person. But again, things have just changed. So, salute to y’all, that’s super dope.
(27:10): So let me ask you this. We’re talking about right now, we’re talking about closing the black wealth gap. We’re talking about actions to take in that. And there’s all types of different levers in that regard. I’m curious, what do you see the future of investment in black creatives, black communities, black programs being like for this decade? Are there any trends or anything that you’ve seen that gives you hope or that gives you anxiety?
Tamyra (27:37): Yeah. And first, I just want to say congrats, getting partnerships like that is huge. And it takes a lot of work, especially for our businesses. So I just want to name it, that’s dope and congratulations.
Zach (27:50): Thank you. Appreciate it.
Tamyra (27:50): And then I think the call to action here, I’d like to answer the question around philanthropy. The trend right now is black is cool. And we’re in, and folks are redirecting a whole lot of dollars to black organizations, and black serving organizations. Having been in the non-profit world on the philanthropic side of the house, I also know that there’s ways that those dollars need to be spent or seen. And those don’t go to organizations typically that are small or up and coming that don’t have the data, or statistics, or long-term metrics to back up, why they should get an investment.
(28:29): But those businesses are, when you think about 96% of black run businesses, entrepreneurs are sole entrepreneurships. They are one person doing all of the things, figuring all of it out. So, when grants opened up with big institutions and foundations, when new CSR departments pop up, you’ve got the COO operations custodian, trying to figure out how to also access the funds that may be available or not, because I’m actually too small to even qualify for them. So, I think while folks are really set in good intentions right now, because I really do believe that. That folks are like, okay, I’ve got, again, access to the capital and the resources that could create some generational impact, but I don’t know who to give that to. And it’s easier to give to the ones that I know. And that’s not a knock on the big ones. They’ve been around a long time, and all of the names that come immediately to mind like they deserve the resources too.
(29:29): And it is usually the smaller organizations that have been at the grassroots level, who know their communities that are being missed. That are not getting. Like, they’re just never on the radar of philanthropy. And so I think the invitation in some of the trends, you know, before this coolness of giving black and doing the black thing, sort of fizzles out. And I heard Killer Mike say that we’ve got like a five or seven year runway, post George Floyd around like black being cool. And so we’re a year past that, we’re 18 months into that. So the call to action here for philanthropy is, one just consider folks that you don’t normally consider. And that might not be you, you may need to go to organizations like yours. You need to go to organizations like mine and say, who else do I go to?
(30:21): Like, how can you put me on to those I should put on? And allow [inaudible 00:30:25] some of those connections. Rather than taking on the burt, taking on the lift yourself, because you’re not as informed as those of us who are on the ground doing it. And they need to just invite new narratives around their giving. I think that’s the other call to action. Is that there’s a way philanthropy runs that we know is not inclusive, which is why it has changed, or why this trend now exists. We’re going to have to consider what that narrative now looks like, and feels like. And mitigate some of those barriers that have always existed for black organizations seeking investment.
Zach (31:02): To your point, it’s an interesting season. And I realized, you know, even just when it comes to like black experience in America, it’s not linear. Like there’s a certain cyclical nature to it. And so, to your point, right around like this runway, I agree. I agree with about like that five to seven. I think seven years would be wild. Like I can’t imagine, but maybe. Certainly, I agree with like on the five years, and so what are we doing in this moment? We also have aspirational allies, folks who listen to Living Corporate, individuals who, may just represent themselves, but sometimes they represent large institutions. Like what role do they play in this space, in this work, at this time? And then, if you were to give them, I don’t know, like two or three things, or however many numbers of things that they can really be doing to help, and really invest and pour back into black entrepreneurs, black communities, historically impoverished, or excluded spaces. Like what are some of the things that those aspirational allies, be they individuals or institutions could do?
Tamyra (32:12): Such a good question. I had a conversation with a really good friend of mine. She’s also a mentor. She’s a CEO at a National Association for Black Accountants. And she completely shifted my perspective on the word ally, which also has become part of the trend. Even in philanthropy and investments generally. And what she does is she invites potential partners or aspiring partners to be accomplices. And she’s shifted and like really worked hard to shift that language because if you’re an accomplice, you’re doing this right next to me. Like you’re in the weeds, you’re not watching me and like holding my hand and saying like, I got your back. When it gets hard, I’ll pick you up. It’s like, no, no, no, we are in this. We are doing it at the same time. And, we are invested in this case, in black liberation together.
(33:03): So I think one is, aspire to be an accomplished. I don’t need any more allies. I don’t need anybody cheering me on, asking me what books to read. Like I need you to be in it with us, redirecting your finances, redirecting your resources, even when it’s complicated. And I think that is the challenge. And so, if I’m offering practical advice, it’s that aspirational, accomplices, they need to choose black businesses. And it’s harder to do that. Like in the days prior to COVID, when you’re ordering lunch for folks, like Panera or whatever I can get, that’s easy and frequent, and there, I do that. And the gap that exists in our wealth and within the system is that we’ve created in a lack of access, a lack of ease to getting to black businesses. And so we don’t do it. It’s just not easy. I’m going to order on Amazon. I’ll get my supplies from here. I use vendors that everybody else uses because that’s what’s always been there.
(34:04): So I think first is, we have to commit as accomplices to choose black. Even when it’s really, really hard. And that’s their vendors, that’s banking institutions. I spent the last year and a half running a business with my husband, working in partnership with Liberty Bank and Trust in New Orleans. And you know, them and One United Bank are the top two banks, two black banks in the nation. And still only 50, $60 million, when Wells Fargo is worth several trillion. So we have to think about when we reroute to our institutions, like they’re still behind. Like even the top of whatever they are, are still behind.
Zach (34:50): Word. Word.
Tamyra (34:50): When our corporate card, they’re practically your vendors, your banks, your corporate cards, your event locations and where do you buy your clothes?
(35:02): Where you get jewelry? Like you don’t need jewelry from Target. You want a ring, you can actually get it from like a local person who making that for you. [inaudible 00:35:08] that’s one. It’s just like, get really intentional about or intentional in that commitment. And then, hire folks who’s job is to do that. I’ve spent the last 18 months mapping out ecosystems across cities, big cities, L.A., Chicago, Atlanta saying, here are the black businesses in your area. There is no excuse. You can use them. If you are a non-profit, here’s how you do that. So, that’s one.
(35:36): I think the second one is similar to some of the notes from the last question is just like, you have to spend time with the black organizations in your community. So, if I’m a corporate aspiring accomplice, then I actually need to like be here. So, we’ve got So Far Center coming into Inglewood, and we’ve got all this stuff happening in L.A. And I’m not too sure how many of those folks are like hanging out in Inglewood and Lamar Park and like really understanding the richness of the culture and businesses that live there. And so,, we need to be in relationship with one another and COVID has made that hard. I think it’s disconnected us as humans, even more so. And so we’re going to have to figure out how to reconnect, and like really get to know one another again. Especially because we know that black businesses are not easily assessable. When the pandemic hit last year, black businesses closed at triple the rate that every other business did, because the gap that was needed to sustain was about $10,000. On average, black business, black, small businesses only have about $9,000 of reserve comparing to majority white businesses. They had about 120, $130,000 in reserve. So these are not big numbers, but when you talk about the impact of last year–
Zach (37:00): The differentce. That’s a huge difference.
Tamyra (37:03): It’s one in [inaudible 00:37:05] years.
Zach (37:03): Nine Gs is like. Yeah. Nine Gs. That’s like, I mean, that’s a thread.
Tamyra (37:11): That’s a thread.
Zach (37:11): That’s a thread. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow.
Tamyra (37:15): And when you think about just the exacerbation of that gap. Like if we’re going to undo systemic racism, like that’s trendy, we’ve been hearing about that. We’re going to close the wealth gap. Like this is not going to be done through one chapter of NAACP. And they are dope. That is not a knock. I’m out here. [inaudible 00:37:34]. But like the local cleaners, the coffee shop, like the local black economies, the barber shops, like staples of the community have to be invested in and they were disproportionately impacted. So just sort of wrapping a bow on the idea of like aspirational accomplices, we’ve just, we’ve got to choose it. And knowing that it’s hard, knowing we’ve got to figure it out.
Zach (38:03): So I love the fact that you didn’t even go into; Again,what excited me about, as we were talking, the prospect of having you on the show. What excited me as I looked at your profile was, I knew that when I talked to you, I wasn’t going to get like, these, like really can, pedantic or like insultingly shallow answers. Because in nothing that you said, did you say, Hey, college degrees is going to make us rich. Like we had a whole conversation. This was like a couple of years ago on Living Corporate. We were talking about the connection between education and wealth generation. And it’s like, you know, there’s a study out there for those who don’t know, I’ll put in the link in the show notes called, Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard Isn’t Enough for Black Americans. And it talks about the fact that actually, the household wealth gap increases.
Tamyra (38:47): [inaudible]
Zach (38:50): Yes. Yes. So like, you have people out there, black folks out there where like bachelor degrees in the household, wealth is like $27,000, compared to the white counterpart, which would be literally, sometimes 10x that.
Tamyra (39:03): Yep.
Zach (39:03): And so, it’s more, not only is it not that, in terms of what’s going to help close that gap. It’s about practicing and operating communally. It’s investing in participating in the stuff that isn’t sexy and cool, like a dry cleaners or an ice cream shop or someone, Hey, look at my glass. I need to go get some new glasses. Like me, let me go check them, you know, let me see what my options are.
Tamyra (39:26): Yep.
Zach (39:26): So, yeah. Oh, you know, look, Tamyra this is dope. And I knew this, that we were going to be able to have a great conversation. And frankly, we could probably talk for a lot longer. But I’m gonna wrap this up, because you put a bowl on it, so I’mma tap the bow. All right. So, before we wrap up, outta here though, any parting words or shout outs, you have?
Tamyra (39:43): There’s a couple. And you named something, so I’m just going to say, my background has been in higher ed access, all that work. And there’s a whole nother conversation that we could have about college being a wealth decision, and not be emotional, sort of one that we think about it as. And what that would do for the wealth gap. So I just want to name that like college degree. Yes. I think we need access to education. Black folks definitely do. We can also attack that as part of our wealth decisions. So, just circling back there. But, thank you. Thank you for having me. I was so excited for this conversation. I’m excited to sort of like put Blavity’s story out there. And less about me and my work, and like Blavity as an org, but because what I think we’re doing is so important to how we mobilize the investment in generational wealth.
(40:36): And we’re not going to do it by ourselves, but the goal here is to be partners that will be good ancestors. And I had a friend say that to me. And I was just like, yes, all I want to do is work well enough, that on the other side, I represent a good ancestor. And I want to be in community with folks like that. And so, I just want to name that, if folks are working hard out there and wanting to put that out in the world in a way that will make them good ancestors on the other side of this, consider blavity.org your vehicle to that. We are blavity.org. And so, if you want to look for more information, that is also our website. And then I’d be remiss to say that if anyone hasn’t, or doesn’t have plans to attend the Afro Tech Conference just coming up in November.
(41:21): Blavity Inc is putting on Afra Tech Conference again, in the virtual world this year. But .org got a chance to host a conversation with two amazing black leaders. They happen to be women, but they are also just, it was like one of the highlights of my week there. Respectively from Bank of America and National Association for Black Accountants and it’s a conversation to not be missed. So, if you can’t attend the whole conference, I just invite you to come to the social impact panel because it’s a really dynamic conversation. And you get a little bit more insight into blavity.org, and how we hope to show up in the world.
Zach (42:00): Come on now Tamyra.
Tamyra (42:00): But I [inaudible 00:42:02] fully appreciated this, so much.
Zach (42:04): No, Tamyra, thank you so much. Sol, y’all heard all this stuff right here. So blavity.org. So look, I’ll leave very, very little wiggle room for y’all to have any excuse. We’re going to put the link in the show notes. All right. So, if you’re driving or something, I’m not asking you to pull out your phone and look at your phone right now, please. For the sake of whoever’s in the car with you, please don’t. But, pull over to the side of the road, put your emergency hazzard lights on, you know, put on some shadow. And then click the link in the show notes, to learn more about blavity.org, Blavity Inc, and Afro Tech, and all the stuff that’s going on. Okay. So, Tamyra’s been great. Well look, we consider you a friend of the show. As well as blavity.org continues to grow, y’all do what y’all are doing. Please know, y’all come back over here. Like we center and amplified black and brown folks at work, and we do that by having dope conversation with people like yourself. Y’all, I will catch you all soon. Tamyra, talk to you soon.
Tamyra (42:52): Thank you so much. Take care.
Zach (42:54): Peace.
Zach (43:03): And we’re back. Yo, shout out to Tamyra Gordon. Really appreciated our conversation, excited about our community continuing to look for ways to leverage the influence that they have, to then do other things. Like what does it mean to just like, kind of sit in your same space with the wealth that you’re accumulating? And sometimes it takes somebody else to help you understand that you do have something here, that can then be leveraged into something else. And so I just really am inspired and encouraged and frankly affirmed when I see other platforms recognize what they’re doing in one space. And then try to expand and do other things. Like we have this one life to live. It’s important that we try to make as much of an impact as possible. So again, shout out to Blavity, the entire family over there, and specifically shout out to blavity.org. Make sure y’all click the links in the show notes to learn more.
(43:54): Hey listen y’all, I continue to say every week, the best thing y’all can do is give us five stars on Apple Podcasts. Give us five stars on Apple Podcast, click the link, check out the merch, drop a support, a dollar or two. We have like little ways that you can actually be like a sponsor, or just like give and contribute to our network. As we continue to center and amplify black and brown folks at work. It’s actually through y’all’s support that we’re able to continue forward. We have a ton of folks over here on our team creating really, really great content. And that is only possible because of listeners like you. That’s right. That’s like a PBS flick. You know, PBS would do that. That’s true though. Really. Until you’re on this side, you don’t really appreciate and like, you can’t really go too far without actual engagement, buy-in, and support from your audience. And so, I just want to thank y’all and continue to encourage y’all to continue to support us. All right. So next time y’all, it’s been Zach. Take care of yourselves, be gentle with others, but first off you’ve gotta be gentle with yourself. Love y’all. Peace.