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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

Voices From The System

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VOICES FROM INSIDE THE SYSTEM

Working in international aid, Stephanie Kimou was often the only African on staff at white-led institutions

Photo treatment of a world map against a red and black background.
Photo treatment of a world map against a red and black background.

Voices From Inside the System is a GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, and if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Stephanie Kimou, 33, lives in Baltimore, where she teaches international affairs at Georgetown University and runs Pop Works Africa, a consulting firm that seeks to…


VOICES FROM INSIDE THE SYSTEM

This rheumatologist is working against a health care system plagued by implicit bias and inherent discrimination

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, and if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Magdalena Cadet, 44, is a rheumatologist based in New York committed to educating Black women about their health. Racial disparities in health care often…


Voices From Inside the System

Book publisher Lisa Lucas reflects on her career and how the literary world still isn’t diverse enough

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Lisa Lucas, 40, is the outgoing director of the National Book Foundation and the incoming publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books. The publishing industry…


Voices From Inside the System

This hedge fund analyst feels disillusioned with capitalism, but leaving her job isn’t an option

Voices From Inside the System is a GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience with industries that have a history of systemic racism and inequity. We asked them to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

This anonymous, 42-year-old woman works at a hedge fund in Manhattan. A recent Bloomberg study found that hedge funds not run by white men had returns…


Voices From Inside the System

This detective was pushed out of his department in a large metropolitan city for reporting police brutality

Voices from Inside the System is a GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience with industries that have a history of systemic racism and inequity. We asked them to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

This 37-year-old police officer served nearly six years in a large metropolitan police force before he was pushed out for reporting police brutality. According to a…


Voices From Inside the System

A woman who comes from a family with dynastic wealth explains what it really feels like to profit from a profoundly unfair system

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

This anonymous 44-year-old white woman from Ohio, now living in Los Angeles, comes from a family with dynastic wealth. According to a 2018 study


VOICES FROM INSIDE THE SYSTEM

Lola Rainey is a former Arizona county prosecutor who left her work to become an abolitionist

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Lola Rainey is a former Pima County prosecutor in her 60s from Tucson, Arizona. She now works as an abolitionist with a focus on…


Voices From Inside the System

Bail bondsman Topo Padilla works in a $3 billion industry where Black and Hispanic detainees make up nearly half of the jail population

Handcuffs
Handcuffs

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Topo Padilla, 55, is a bail bondsman and president of the Golden State Bail Agents Association. Bail bonds are a $3 billion industry, and two-thirds of…


VOICES FROM INSIDE THE SYSTEM

A corrections officer reflects on 15 years of working among incarcerated people

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

This 38-year-old white corrections officer has been working in New York state prisons for 15 years. According to the Sentencing Project, one in three Black men…


Voices From Inside the System

Tiauna Jackson became an agent after her friends couldn’t find representation they liked. Now she’s taking on a system that prefers lip service to actual change.

Studio setup with lights and camera with a blank slate ready
Studio setup with lights and camera with a blank slate ready

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Tiauna Jackson, 38, is a Black talent agent and owner of the Jackson Agency. After working as an accountant for nearly a decade (“mostly for wealthy…

GEN

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