How was everyones holiday? We really enjoyed ours! We took 7 families away to Camp McDowell through our organization, enjoyed time relaxing and exploring in The Great Smokey National Park, connecting with family over portal and all the traditional holiday activities we do at home. I hate that the holidays always fly by, but I'm excited to jump right back into exploring Alabama!
The New Year is off to an interesting start. I have had the recent experience of having to chase after an organization over money owed to me for work done in November. While it isn't unusual to receive payment from brands and organizations until 30 days after a campaign, event, etc. At least for me, it is uncommon to have to reach out on multiple occasions and put your foot down about said payment. It was a disheartening situation and touched a nerve because I addressed this exact issue in an event for the organization. I and other Black and Brown content creators addressed multiple issues on how we can be better represented so to end up in the situation felt really bad. In the end, I did receive payment. However, I made sure to expressing how deeply upset, unheard, and undervalued this made me feel and cautioned them to do better.
Although this caused a mild internal uproar, I decided to use this opportunity as a teaching moment. It is a moment to define what I will and won't accept in the future and set a standard that my worth will always come first.
So what does that mean? I will not work for free. Plain and simple. My family and I are not here to help any brand or organization look the part, concerning DEI, or save them money. Want to work with us? Come prepared to discuss how the opportunity is beneficial for both parties. No more helping for free and no more being afraid to say NO. If you value our work, efforts, and what we stand for, there should be no issues in compensating in the way your'e being compensated for reaching out. If you don't work for free, don't expect us to either.
What transformations are you making to be a better advocate for yourself this year?