Welcome to Thursday.
Today’s newsletter comes to you with a bit of a somber tone. I’ve been following a story this week about Joseph Thomas, an engineer at Uber who committed suicide last August. His wife attributes his death to the stress of the job. I was really torn as to whether or not I wanted to share such a tragic story. My initial plan was to mention Uber’s latest diversity news for today’s intro.
Then I saw a quote from Thomas’ father.
“If you put a hard-driving person on unrealistic tasks, it puts them in failure mode,” said the elder Joe Thomas. “It makes them burn themselves out; like driving a Lamborghini in first gear.”
Burnout is real. Before I became a freelancer, my doctor told me, “your job is killing you.” No lunch breaks. Twelve-hour shifts on an overnight schedule. I had to leave. Unfortunately, millions of Americans endure stress-induced work environments just to make ends meet. We’re in a gig culture and this idea of being your own boss is tempting. The truth is, not everyone is in a position to up and quit their full-time job to pursue their passion. Even when you’re hustling to build for yourself, the pressure can take a serious toll. Joseph Thomas’ life and struggle are not to be ignored.
This is a time to reflect and take inventory on which areas in life are toxic for your mental health. Self-care should be a top priority.
I’m unPLUGging until Monday. Enjoy the rest of your week!
What are your plans this weekend? Check out Startup Weekend in Charlotte. There are a few FREE tix available. Click here to sign up. Use the code: PLG.
JPMorgan Chase and Morehouse College are teaming up to help bridge the gap of women in the tech industry with the development of a new program, Ascend 2020 Atlanta.
LA-KEYA STINCHCOMB | CBS 46
“Right now, I’m working on designing a cheaper adjustable prosthetic socket for amputees in developing countries. But what I really want to do in the future is start a clinic for amputees in Rwanda.”
LESLIE NGUYEN-OKWU | OZY
Through his BRANDNU Design Group, Ford is promoting a loose-knit group of like-minded practitioners nationwide, and he’s organizing free, weeklong summer camps in Hip Hop Architecture for children.
STEVEN LITT | CLEVELAND
Now a senior at Emory majoring in biology and African studies, Alexa Dantzler founded Students Obtaining Atlanta Research (SOAR) her first year at Emory to encourage female students of color from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to become STEM researchers.
MEGAN MCRAINEY | EMORY
Aside from increasing revenue in minority communities for startups, Aaron Saunders wants In3 to be a place where current and future business owners of color can have support from people who look like them.
CHANDELIS R. DUSTER | NBC NEWS
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