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The Well (jopwell.com/thewell)
Letter sent on Jan 5, 2017

Join Us In Celebrating Our Community’s Most Inspiring Stories

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We were blown away by all the stories and advice our community shared on The Well over the past year, and as we kick off 2017, we want to bring some of the best inspiration and career advice with us.

So, please join us in celebrating the inspiring voices of our community by joining our Thunderclap campaign (just click through the below link — it’s quick!):


Start 2017 strong with Jopwell’s best stories & advice from inspiring professionals & students of color → http://thndr.me/FMCDIb

If you’re interested in the backstory, rewind to the beginning of 2016, when our team found ourselves hearing one amazing story after another from our community of Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American professionals and students. What was missing, we realized, was a single place to share all of this inspiration. So in April, we launched The Well. Nine months and 186+ posts later, it’s been a whirlwind (in a good way).

So thank you to our contributors, writers, editors, commenters, readers, and the entire Jopwell community. You make Jopwell what it is, and we’re very excited for the year ahead.


Porter Braswell, Ryan Williams, Katie Sanders, Monica Powell

& The Jopwell Team

P.S. Here’s a highlight reel of some of our favorite Well wisdom to date:

Earvin “Magic” Johnson weighed in on workforce diversity; Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. spoke to what it’ll take to achieve equal employment in tech; chef-entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson dished on his success; Olympic fencer Nzingha Prescod reflected on her road to Rio; and Viola Davis’s then-assistant gave us a behind-the-scenes look at navigating a career in Hollywood.

Clockwise from top left: Kathryn Finney, Abraham Nuñez, Donnovan Andrews, & Megan Red Shirt-Shaw

We grabbed a whole lot of coffee (30 cups and counting …) with leaders everywhere from UBS to Upward Bound to the United Nations.

Clockwise from top left: Googler Victor Anthony Scotti, Kristin Graves of Black Enterprise, Josh Torres of Asana, and MandyMarcus of Venture for America

Employees gave us a glimpse into their day-to-day, touring us around some pretty cool offices (see: a Day In The Life at DoSomething.org Editors, Pinterest, HubSpot, Vanity Fair, AdRoll, Betterment, GIPHY, Greenhouse, Panorama Education, and more).

Clockwise from top left: Lisann Valentin, Bianca Jeanty & Netta Dobbins, Dre Baldwin, & Dennis Worden of NextGen Native

We got practical, because killing it in any career means knowing the unwritten rules and getting smart about how to play the game. Experts advised us on how to network (Rhonesha Byng) without being awkward; ace that interview (Earnest Sweat); take a dope headshot (Glassdoor’s Amy Elisa Jackson); craft the perfect email (Mandela Schumacher-Hodge of Kapor Center); and, yes, to also ask for help.

Clockwise from top left: Founders & members of Black Valley, President Barack Obama & Tiffany Davis, Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez, & Akintunde Ahmad

Students from across the country gave us hope for the future. You opened up about going from being homeless to finding a home in the Ivy League; taking action to help others break into Silicon Valley; launching companies; beating down stereotypes; bringing President Obama to campus; fostering understanding; and overcoming cultural barriers. You explored what it takes to find confidence where diversity is scarce, and you challenged us to think about what that diploma really means.

Clockwise from top left: Nely Galán, Everette Taylor Jr., Steven Udotong, & Danielle Saunders

Entrepreneurs shared their successes and their failures, collectively demonstrating that the limits society places on us are challenges we can overcome. Shout-outs to SELF MADE author and founder Nely Galán; actor and mathematician Justin Key; Ambitious Grads founder Sequoia (not Capital), Chopped champion Danielle Saunders; and high schooler Steven Udotong, who’s on his way to becoming the first African American to build a nuclear reactor to promote clean energy.

South by South Lawn in October 2016

Leaders in attendance at some seriously legit events helped open-source the highlights for those of us not on the ground. See: The White House’s inaugural South by South Lawn and United State of Women festivals; Blavity’s Afrotech conference; a gala honoring media trailblazers including Vivica A. Fox; and the annual UNCF HBCU Innovation Summit.

S/Os to Alberto R. Tornés of All Star Code, Nathalie Molina Niño, Brittany Packnett of Teach For America, Tammy Tibbetts & Christen Brandt of She's the First, Lakota Children founder Maggie Dunne, Gloria Kimbwala of Square, Vivian Nunez, Monique Carswell, Morgan DeBaun, Jessica O. Matthews, Ariel Belgrave, Michelle Herrera Mulligan, & Carita Marrow.

Clockwise from top left: Walter Thompson-Hernandez, Shine Text co-CEO Marah Lidey, Laron Chapman, & Chelsea Johnson

“Diversity” was 2016’s buzzword, and you unpacked it, speaking to what building inclusive company cultures can actually look like; creating art and film to fuel key conversations; and exploring how race, as well as money and class, can influence our daily interactions.

Clockwise from top left: Town Hall attendees, Ola Ojewumi, Paula Griffith Edgar, & Azure Antoinette

At times, 2016 made us more than a little weary. But we found words, took a stand, honored legacies, and came together to create change. We also reminded ourselves to appreciate that, in the words of poet Azure Antoinette, wherever we are is, in many ways, exactly where we need to be.

p.s. Have a story or topic you’d like to see on The Well in 2017? Hit us up.

Email thewell@jopwell.com with your pitch. Be sure to include your first and last name and the phrase “story pitch” in the subject line.


The Well is the digital magazine of Jopwell, the career advancement platform helping Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American students and professionals unlock opportunities, not only when looking for a job but at all career stages. Sign up to get weekly stories and advice in your inbox.