“Instead of inheriting a broken system, we have the power to change it.” – Yara Shahidi

Illustration titled "Thought Leadership" with five light bulbs, one lit among four unlit. "dailypay" logo at the bottom.

Despite great progress made since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, systemic economic barriers still remain an obstacle of entry for far too many Black Americans. It is a perpetual problem that motivates me in both my personal and professional life.

My contributions towards closing the racial wealth gap started several years ago in my home on a very personal level. I made it a point to teach my children financial literacy, the importance of ownership, and investing. These are essential financial skills that are often absent in Black households.

On a professional level, I was fortunate to find a company with a mission and values aligned with mine.

In the summer of 2021, I worked for a global human resource solutions firm that oversaw key strategic partnerships. I was preparing for an in-person meeting with a partner’s procurement team when I was introduced to a potential vendor, DailyPay.

Upon doing my research, I was immediately drawn to the intriguing concept of on-demand pay, or earned wage access. I was undeniably captivated by the impact DailyPay could have on people’s financial lives. The company’s mission resonated with me and spoke to my personal aspirations to help close the racial wealth and income gap by prioritizing financial literacy that continues to burden Black communities.

After the meeting concluded and as I reflected, it was apparent that I had to join DailyPay on their mission of creating a financial system that is more fair, inclusive and beneficial for everyone. The notion of having your employer hold your earned pay for two weeks or longer doesn’t make sense to me. It feels unfair and a relic of the past.

By empowering people with visibility, control and choice over their earned pay, they are able to pay bills on time and avoid the awful cycle of debt – perpetuated oftentimes by the predatory payday loan industry that discriminately preys on black communities.

Joining DailyPay gave me the opportunity to fulfill my goal to help support a more equitable world for communities often left out of the spoils of the financial system. It gave me a chance to honor the legacy of Black heroes and pioneers from past generations that broke barriers to fight for many of the rights and freedoms that helped shape America.

Nationally, February is the month reserved to reflect, spotlight, and celebrate these heroes. Black History Month’s origins trace back to 1916 and was led by a Black American historian known as “The Father of Black History,” Carter G. Woodson. Woodson launched the celebration of “Negro History Week,” which became the precursor to Black History Month

For me, Black history goes beyond reflection. Continuous exploration of past figures and powerful moments in history that shaped our culture is ceremonial in my home.Without those who paved the way, much – if not all – of what I accomplished would not be possible.

I am continuously humbled and honored when I learn about the accomplishments of many of our unsung heroes. Black History is an action and still being written. And I am proud to do my part to help the next generation of heroes.

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