Silicon Valley needs to stop asking, “But where are you from….really?”

Today’s intro is by Valerie Villarreal, a product manager at Instagram. 

There’s so much folklore and hype built around Silicon Valley as “the land of immigrants,” the meritocracy where anyone is welcome. But for me, it seems we only really value immigrants if they speak the language of Python and Javascript, keep their heads down, and start shipping.  

I do not have the lived experience of anti-Black racism, but as the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I have experienced cultural and classist “other-ing” for the last 15 years. My LinkedIn picture appears passable as white—until they see my last name, until they hear my thick East Los Angeles Mexican accent—and then at least 25% of the time, I am still asked in the first five minutes of a conversation, “So, where are you from…really?”   Read more...

It’s a great week to get on NeedHop

Today we’ve got a message from Paul Carr, Chairman Mom’s founding head of product and the founder and CEO of our sister company, NeedHop.

First off, a huge and heartfelt thank you to those of you who have already created a mentor profile on NeedHop. The Chairman Mom community has shown up strong there so far. Last week was by far our biggest week for new mentors, i.e. folks sharing their advice and experience with people who are willing to pay $$$ for it.

If you haven’t already downloaded the app (iOS / Android) and spent 30 seconds activating your profile, this would be a REALLY good week to give it a try. Here are six reasons why… (People love lists, right?) Read more...

You don’t have to get up yet

I’ve been working from bed a lot of today. I’m not sick, I’m just so, so sad. 

We all have this new normalized baseline of “sad,” don’t we? We have somehow absorbed the pain of immigrant kids being separated from parents and put in cages. Of school shootings. Of all those stories in the #MeToo movement. Of cops shooting unarmed Black men and women. Of the fact that Breonna Taylor STILL doesn’t have justice. Of a leader who says “Black Lives Matter” is hate speech. Of Dr. Anthony Fauci saying that we could reach 100,000 cases per day from COVID-19 in the U.S. Of the people of color being hit disproportionately harder again in all this. Of women giving up a decade of labor gains in the blink of an eye. Of J.K. Rowling feeling the need to repeatedly cisgender-splain “women” as if brave children like mine are some assault on her privileged identity. (And my child is comparatively privileged. Black trans women have a life expectancy half that of their cisgender counterparts.) Read more...

I lost my best friend and my business partner in one lunch meeting

Today’s intro is from our contributor Amanda Munday, who’s the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir.

In the Chairman Mom universe, we have three exciting events happening this week. Tonight, Amanda and CM’s very own Catherine Connors are talking about when partnerships go bad at 9pm EST/6pm PST. Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 8th), Eve Rodsky is discussing how working moms can find equality in quarantine at 9pm EST/6pm PST. Lastly, on Thursday, July 9th, Liza Dube is chatting about how to use your privilege to fight the system at 8pm EST/5pm PST. We’ll see you there!

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…

Today’s intro comes from CM contributor Adimika Arthur, a public health expert, hospital executive, and founder of Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M). She fiercely advocates for vulnerable populations and loves to help people better understand health equity, healthcare, and health technology through storytelling, connection, and sisterhood.

I awoke one morning several weeks ago and decided this pandemic had taken too much control of my life. The uncertainty and lack of clarity around when I could see my newly widowed mother and close-knit extended family, the lack of summer camps, and the potentially limitless lack of business travel prompted me to look at the road as an option of temporary sanity escape.  Read more...

Back to the city

Newsletter editor Lily here.

Welp, after almost three and a half months at my mom’s apartment in upstate New York, I made my triumphant return to New York City.

To be completely honest, I had no idea how I was going to feel being back. Obviously I knew that the city I was rejoining wasn’t the same one that I left in mid-March. Things would be different. People would be different. The whole vibe would be different.

Admittedly the first day or two was a little strange. It felt like I knew where everything in my apartment was and yet it wasn’t mine, like I was living in a surreal fantasy world. Read more...

I’m pivoting my small business when I don’t want to

Today’s intro is from our contributor Amanda Munday, who’s the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir.

COVID-19 has hit many of us in the face. It’s a bit awkward to write about my personal struggles to a mostly U.S. subscriber base from up here in Canada, where our infection rates are much lower and our government support for small business is more extensive (read that with my intended sarcasm and eye rolls, not bravado). Let me be very clear, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the good old north. Canada has a long history of racism against Black and Indigenous people, systemic barriers against women and non-binary individuals, and a lot of posturing designed to look like support when it’s anything but. I wrote here about why the government support for small business is simply too slow to save me. Read more...

Changes coming to Chairman Mom

It’s not a surprise in 2020, but a lot has been changing at Chairman Mom in a rapid amount of time. 

We started a little experiment with virtual events that now has us on a pace to do 150 events a year, pulling together anywhere between 60-500 people per week. We released an app

And because many of you have told us the newsletter is what you love best about Chairman Mom, but you want way more from it—and more diverse voices—we’ve added three new contributors in order to amp up the insights and points of view we’re bringing you in this space every day.  Read more...

Resources to find, support, and invest in Black founders

Today’s intro is adapted from this Medium post on Cleo Capital’s blog with permission. Sarah Kunst, managing director of Cleo Capital, is hosting a virtual Chairman Mom event TONIGHT at 9pm EST/6pm PST on how to be an economic ally to Black women. Join us!

The recent Black Lives Matter protests have sent a long overdue wake-up call to many people around the country about the daily racism inflicted upon Black people in the United States. As we continue to fight for equality in every aspect of life, it’s important for allies to understand the many ways in which they can show their support. Read more...

Respect the deus ex machina

“Respect the deus ex machina.”

I said these words during a recent virtual Chairman Mom event about burning your life to the ground and starting again. We were talking about how you know it’s the moment for radical change, and I said to “respect the deus ex machina.” I’d never thought about it before I said it, but so often we get a dramatic sign that things in our lives are NOT at all working or serving us. The challenge is whether or not we listen.

I can think of a few Chairman Mom threads that speak to that, but this one is probably the most staggering and the recent. So often we are sent signs by the universe (or whatever/no power you believe in.) But it’s up to us to listen. Read more...