Good Trouble with Jotaka Eaddy

Audio Description

Advocate. Connector. CEO. Talk show host. These words all describe Jotaka Eaddy, whose accomplishments include helping abolish the juvenile death penalty in America and a career with the NAACP before a bold move into the tech industry. Today, Jotaka pays ode to her "original investors" and discusses the Black community's need to restructure a relationship to money.


00:00 - 00:48

When I went into tech, I was in my mid-to-late thirties. I had never negotiated equity options before in my life. I didn't know what that was. The only thing that I knew to negotiate was good vacation, salary and health benefits. That was it. I didn't know anything about equity. I didn't know anything about a cliff. I didn't know anything about a CAT table. I didn't have the benefit of being taught that. And so I think it's important for our children in our communities to begin to understand this lingo, this language, this world, because without it, we will consistently be behind. And I think it's really important for us to be OK with building wealth.

00:54 - 00:57

This is Changing the Trajectory. I'm James

00:57 - 01:28

Head of Diverse Market Strategy. and I'm Maci Philitas, the emerging wealth strategist here at Bernstein. Thank you for spending some of your time with us today. It's Black History Month and we are honored to have my dear friend Jotaka Eaddy here with us today. I've had the honor of being a member of her personal cheer squad that celebrates her every day, not only for her impressive accomplishments, but for the incredible person she is, for her unique journey and all that she represents. She's also a phenomenal singer, guys! Thank you for joining us, Jotaka.

01:29 - 01:42

Well, hello my dear friend Maci and James. It is is really, really great to to join you today, and I did not know you were going to talk about my singing. So I used to leave

01:42 - 02:18

part out. I feel like everyone knows Jotaka. Instead of saying six degrees of Kevin Bacon, I feel like we should just say six degrees of Jotaka Eaddy. For those of you who don't know her, she is passionate about increasing diversity and impact metrics in government, business and tech. She is the founder and CEO of Full-Circle Strategies LLC, a social impact consulting firm specializing in strategy development, management, consulting, public affairs and community engagement. She has more than 20 years of experience in policy, advocacy and movement building.

02:18 - 02:58

Believe it or not, when she was in college, Jotaka helped win a US. Supreme Court case that abolished the juvenile death penalty in the United States, and for years she served as a senior adviser to the president of the NAACP before her career in tech. Jotaka is a force, and she is responsible for helping many Black women get into office, including Vice President Kamala Harris through her Win with Black Women campaign. In addition to all of this, Jotaka has her own talk show on Oprah's OWN network called Speak Sis. Jotaka, you have been up to some good trouble, sis.

02:58 - 03:12

Well, you know, I am honored to be in good trouble. You know, Congressman John Lewis always said, you going to get in trouble, make sure it's some good trouble. So, and I'm happy to have done it with some amazing women and men along the way.

03:12 - 03:41

Let's start at the beginning, Jotaka. Obviously, your background is really impressive and fascinating, but when we think about where it all started, you've come from a very small town of 1400 people in South Carolina. My family on my mom's side is from Farth, South Carolina, not as small as your hometown. So talk a little bit about your upbringing growing up in that town and how it informed and influenced your perspective and how it shaped your scope of work today.

03:42 - 04:41

OK, so first of all, we're going to have to go back to the fact that you are from Florence, South Carolina. So Jacksonville is 30 minutes from Florence, so most of my family occurs in South Carolina. Cousins! We may be cousins, we're going to start doing the whole grandmamma., grandpapa.. So I grew up in a really small town Johnsonville, just right outside of Florence. Living in the small rural town of Johnsonville, you know, I grew up in a place where the people of Johnsonville, they had a lot of love, a lot of grit, not necessarily a lot of money and not necessarily a lot of opportunity. But it was a community that really poured into me as a young woman. And so I grew up believing that I could do and be anything that I set my mind to because I grew up around people who reinforced that not only in the words that they said to me, but also in how they treated me, how they lifted me up.

04:41 - 05:32

And so I'm incredibly grateful, incredibly grateful for the people of Johnsonville, for those people that, when I had the first opportunity to attend a national conference in Washington, DC, it cost three thousand dollars and it was an extra $3000 that my parents didn't have, but it was the people of Johnsonville and the surrounding communities of Florence and Champlico and Hemingway, that community in my church, especially those are the people that dinners and baked cakes and had cake sales to raise the money to send me to this conference, to put me on an airplane, many of which had never been on a plane themselves and still have never been on an airplane themselves, but they saw something for

05:32 - 05:39

And so when I think about my own life, I think about my life as if I was a startup company.

05:39 - 06:12

Those were my original investors, and so I've worked my entire life to honor that investment in my life, to honor those people for everything that I do, no matter if it's in my personal life, my professional and career life, to work in a way to always put those people, the people of Johnsonville and people like the people of Johnsonville and those people that helped me back to the center, because often those are the communities that are most overlooked, underserved and underestimated.

06:12 - 07:10

I totally get it, and I don't want to spin this entire episode on South Carolina. But my grandmother, my mother's mother, passed away at 101. She was living in New York City, in and around Harlem. And I remember, she said, when it's time for me to go, I want to go home. So we took her back to Florence. She's buried there at the family church. But I also took the time to kind of revisit Florence, to walk across the tracks my parents did when they went to school. I saw the house my mom and grandmother, her siblings grew up in, you know, two rooms in my house, right? It's kind of bigger than this house that they had in Florence. And it just really kind of grounds you. But there's just something about that town, still seeing people there who when I asked, they know my grandmother, they knew my mom and her siblings. So I just really appreciate that perspective of original investors, it's really grounding

07:10 - 07:27

when you think through that. Now we fast forward a little bit. Fortune magazine dubbed you the Olivia Pope of Silicon Valley. Why do you think that is? Tell us a little bit more about that. And how did that move you into Full Circle Strategies and a lot of the things you're doing today?

07:27 - 07:48

Well, the first thing is that there is a key differentiator between myself and Olivia Pope is the idea that [...] I always joke about that. I think we sort of back up and look at just my entry into the industry. I'm an advocate, I'm an activist. That's where I started my career. That's where a lot of my work is rooted.

07:48 - 08:47

And so I came into the industry from the NAACP. I was the senior adviser to the president of the NAACP and was leading the voting rights strategy at the NAACP and all external affairs on behalf of the Office of the President. And I was recruited into the tech industry and at the time I was very reluctant. But I also was someone that was very nontraditional, someone who had worked in politics. Someone who had worked with a lot of leaders across the country. And I began to leverage those relationships and that knowledge for the companies that I was working for and also other, just leaders in the industry. And so I slowly became known as someone that was a connector. And for me, the goal has always been if I can help connect the dots and those dots can help create impact, then that is what I want to

08:47 - 09:15

So much like Olivia Pope, I believe that I always wear the white hat and I'm always on the side of a good. And so that kind of followed me, that reputation and it kind of caught on as being someone that could really help not necessarily commit crimes, but do all kind of things that I could do to help a company really think about how they scale impact and how they build transformative relationships.

09:15 - 09:26

You often talk about not focusing on the highs without acknowledging your lows. You encourage us not to focus on the social media highlight reel, but rather to lean into the lessons learned throughout the journey.

09:26 - 10:12

So why is that so important to you and also to our culture? I think is so incredibly important for us to acknowledge both our highs, celebrate the highs, but also acknowledge the lessons learned in the lows. I believe it is the lows that really define us. It is how we move pass the test. I believe, you really can't have a testimony without a test. And I feel like it's been a slippery slope. Social media has led people to think and believe that life is just the highlight reel, that we don't wax and wane. And I think it's incredibly important to acknowledge those moments. But

10:13 - 11:06

more importantly, to gain valuable lessons, so I'd speak very publicly about not only my highs, I celebrate my highs, I think it's important for us to celebrate ourselves and to celebrate those milestones. But equally as important, I think we should also talk about the lows, because for me and what I have learned in my own journey is the moments that I talk about my lows, I believe I reach more people. That is when I have the response of people who privately say, I'm so glad you said this because I thought I was the only one that dealt with this or that I was the only person that this ever happened to. And I'm so glad to feel that I'm not alone, and I think it's important for us to do that more in society.

11:06 - 11:29

Yeah, absolutely. It's that, is this normal or, this is normal. I'm sure as an entrepreneur, you've kind of had those highs and lows on that journey. And I remember in my experience there were times that I was like, Is this going to work? You know, is, is this normal? And then I'd read stories about extremely accomplished entrepreneurs, and I was like, oh, OK, I'm not homeless yet. There's still a long way to go, and this is all completely normal.

11:30 - 12:04

Yeah. And I think about my own moments. I mean, the first time I went into the tech industry was widely public. You know, I was the senior adviser to the president of NAACP. And I went into the industry at a time where there was a lot of conversation about the lack of diversity in tech. It was around 2013, so this was like at a point, I don't believe it was at an influx in terms of the diversity in the industry. I think it was the influx in terms of the conversation around diversity in the industry.

12:04 - 12:40

But when I went in eight months after the very first job that I took in the industry, the company had a reduction in force and I was impacted by it. And so here I was. I left a very secure, stable career. I left a career, not a job, I left a career and took a chance on this startup company and this whole Silicon Valley thing. And I was sitting there like, oh my goodness, I don't have a job and I felt a range of emotion.

12:41 - 13:21

So I felt a sense of, What did I do? I made a mistake. Why did I do this? I felt like a failure, I felt like I had let down all of those people in Johnsonville. The people that I grew up with, my parents, I remember feeling really sad and and just depressed about it. And it was a situation that I had nothing to do with. I just was impacted by it. And I remember sitting there in the dark. In my room, literally in the dark.

13:22 - 13:59

And it was during the early phase of Facebook when video was just coming out, and a video popped up in my feed and it was a video of Oprah Winfrey speaking at Stanford University. And in the video, the moderator asked Oprah, Is there any last things you want to say? And Oprah goes, Oh yes, there is. There are no mistakes. There are no mistakes. She was like, that marriage that doesn't work out; that job that doesn't work out. There are no mistakes. It is simply the universe moving you in the direction that you are divinely meant to walk.

13:59 - 14:38

Mm-Hmm. And that is important for you to understand the lesson and to walk that path. And that was the moment I decided that I was going to empower myself in this moment and get out of my own funk and decide that, indeed, there was not a mistake, that I was actually on the path that I was supposed to be on, and here I find myself some years later, not only having had a very successful career in the industry, but I find myself with this show on the Oprah Winfrey network. Oh my gosh! What are those things?

14:38 - 15:12

Because that night I tweeted at her, I said, Hey, Oprah, we haven't met yet, but I want to thank you for reminding me that there are no mistakes. And I went on and I would tweet at her and say, you know, I will have a show on your network. And it was this kind of in jest. But the manifestation that some years later that I would have a conversation with her, I was telling her about this situation. And it was for me full circle to find myself in this moment in this space right now.

15:12 - 15:40

some years later, from that very low moment, that very, very, very low moment feeling like I had failed myself and everyone around me to find myself now very successful. Leading my own company, investing in other companies and having a show on the Oprah Winfrey network is a manifestation for me that is important for people when they see this highlight reel, when they see this work. All of these things that they need to understand that that moment happened to.

15:41 - 15:46

That's incredible. So have you had a chance to tell Oprah about the tweets and bring them to her attention?

15:46 - 16:44

I did. I did. I told her. I was like, I tweeted you, but you did not reply. You know, she said, I was never supposed to see those tweets. You were supposed to have the story. So, you know, one of those things where like, you have those moments in which just sort of look at your life, and for me, I'm a spiritual woman, and so I'm very grateful to a higher power over me, the higher power of God and just the real blessing over my life and the lessons that I've been able to gain. And for me, that lesson is a lesson that really, you have to embrace moments that don't go your way and understand the lesson, and you got to push through, even with, it seems like there is a bunch of fog and a bunch of haze in front of you that literally you just got to keep pushing through.

16:44 - 17:10

I think that every single day when we wake up, we're given a choice. You can either evolve. Or you can repeat. Hmm, that's good. And it's important for us. And some days we're going to repeat, not every day you're going to evolve, some days you're going to fall in the slump of just repeating. But I think it's incredibly important for us every morning to wake up to say I choose to evolve.

17:11 - 18:01

Well, I mean, that's a word right there. Jotaka just took us to church, but that's so true, you know, a quote that I tend to live by, and, Jotaka, I think you've heard me say it before, is God doesn't always call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Right. And even though you hadn't been in tech before, you acquired all the skills that you needed in order to be and who you were in tech and are in tech, but also in order to make the change that he wanted you to make on the industry and our society. And so we've talked about before our tendency to want to self-select out. And so how do you overcome this? Are there steps that you take to do so and kind of realign your perspective and your vantage point to the bigger picture?

18:02 - 18:57

Yeah. And I think just stepping back a bit in terms of I talk a lot about this notion of getting in your own way. And I personally have often been in my own way. Even when I was recruited into the industry, I was very happy with the work that I was doing, and I got a call in and it said, I think you should go into the tech industry. And I immediately was like, no, that's not for me. I don't know how to code. That's not my world. I don't know anything about it. I can't be successful and I didn't feel like one, the industry, and definitely not tech and definitely not corporate America, was a place where I could thrive, nor a place where I thought that I could actually make a real impact on the world.

18:58 - 19:26

And so I was reluctant for a number of reasons. My own imposter syndrome, this idea that I wasn't good enough and despite having won a US Supreme Court case or having lobbied in the United Nations or helped change state constitutions to expand voting rights, all of those things I had done in my life, I didn't think that I was good enough for the industry. I didn't see a place or a space for myself.

19:26 - 19:58

And because of that, for I think about eight months, I self-selected myself out, and I think sometimes we will get in our own heads, will get in our own way. We'll tell ourselves that we can't do something or it's not for us and we won't even attempt to try. When in most cases, not only, and I think particularly for women and particularly Black women, not only are we qualified, but in most cases we're overqualified. We're great. We just don't take that step.

19:58 - 20:21

And I think when you don't take that step, not only are you not putting yourself in. I think sometimes you may be missing important assignments in life and it's important for us and the steps that I take. Number one is, you know, it's a lot of just pausing. And I think we have to pause a lot more.

20:22 - 21:13

And number two, for me, it's really engaging my personal board of directors. I would not have made the decision to go in the industry if it wasn't for mentors and women like Minyon Moore and Tanya Lombard and Leah Daughtry and Donna Brazil and Yolanda Caraway, who really talk to me and said, You have to do this, that this industry is the future. We need people like you in the industry. And that was really a deciding factor for me to go in that direction. And so I think having a board of directors like, if you think of your life as, you know, who's on that board, who are you getting feedback from on a constant basis? Who's going to give you honest feedback and not just cosign and really push you?

21:13 - 21:34

And the third thing for me really was stepping into my power and not being afraid of my power. And sometimes we will shrink ourselves in our own minds, our own power. And I think it's important for us to understand that power and just be willing to step. Take the step, take the lead. Do it.

21:36 - 21:51

Yeah. And how did you gain comfort in stepping into your own power? I mean, that's something, that's an idea that I think either can be scary for some or one where they're not sure where to start. Right? So what did that look like for you?

21:51 - 22:29

Well, it was definitely very scary. And I was up eight months later without a job. So you have it, you know, for me, it was just really having a sense that it's going to be OK. It's going to be OK. Even now, when I decided to launch my own firm, that was probably one of the scariest things that I ever did, because it's like you are going to bet on yourself and your entire livelihood, your entire future. Everything is relying on your ability to build this company. And that was very scary. And I know, Maci, you've built your own company.

22:29 - 23:08

And I know you know that feeling. It's something that it's very hard to explain, but there is a sense, and I go back to that powerful affirmation that I received from Oprah Winfrey via Facebook video, that there are no mistakes, that even if it doesn't go my way, there's a lesson in it for me, that there is something positive in it. And I think if you have that outlook on life, you have that outlook on the steps that you take, that it's very difficult for a setback to knock you all the way down. Jotaka,

23:08 - 23:52

I think this conversation and engagement is a match made in heaven. Obviously, there's that South Carolina connection, we have shared goals in the work that we all do. The three of us, some things that stand out, as you know, we definitely aim to lift as we climb, two of the words I love to use as access and advocacy. You know, just really recognizing where we are, the privileges we have. And again, privilege is not always a bad word. But how do we leverage that to provide access and opportunity and advocate for the things and the people that need it? And we kind of all commit ourselves to help bridge in some sense the wealth disparity gap and create better financial outcomes for generations, our families, our communities.

23:52 - 24:17

But that comes with a lot of shared struggles. You know, you've mentioned before that there's a need for us to redefine and restructure our relationship with money and the importance of that for our communities and being comfortable in doing so. How about you just share a little bit about that, about how you think about changing the narrative that we have to be part of this struggle to be part of the movement?

24:17 - 24:52

James, that's really powerful. That's why you're my cousin. So, you know, I think as a society, as a people, our relationship with money has always been a very strained relationship. Literally, most of the people from which I grew up in the communities in which I come from and people who I know and where they come from, did not have a positive relationship with money. It was not an abundance of money.

24:52 - 25:36

So in many ways, I grew up thinking that capitalism was bad. I still think capitalism has a lot of issues and there's a lot of work that needs to happen for capitalism to truly work. It does not work for everybody. But I thought that money was bad. I thought that working in corporate America was being a sellout, and that was also a part of my reluctance to go into the industry, because I felt the only way that you could really do good was if you were in the struggle, in the movement, working for a nonprofit or civil rights or social justice organization, or if you were an elected official, you were running for office and you were representing the people.

25:37 - 26:08

And I think that we have to change the dynamic in terms of how we think about not only our relationship to money... Not all money is good money. I'm certainly not a believer of that, but I do think that it is important for us to teach our children that it is OK to desire wealth, to want to build wealth. That that is a goal to leave your family and your children with.

26:09 - 26:45

wealth, and we have, I believe as a people been so without, that we don't even have conversations about building wealth. And I think that it is by design because what it does, it continues to keep our communities so far behind. And I think that it is incredibly important for us to shift and change the narrative that we should teach our children about what it means to build wealth and to be OK with that.

26:46 - 27:06

Just think about what our kids learn in the home, not in school, because financial education or wealth building we don't teach those things. So if we are not teaching them formally in schools, where are our kids learning about investment and understanding the market?

27:07 - 27:35

When I went into tech, I was in my mid-to-late thirties. I had never negotiated equity options before in my life. I didn't know what that was. The only thing that I knew to negotiate was good vacation, salary, and health benefits. That was it. I didn't know anything about equity. I didn't know anything about a cliff. I didn't know anything about a CAT table. I didn't have the benefit of being taught that.

27:36 - 28:25

And so I think it's important for our children in our communities to begin to understand this lingo, this language, this world, because without it, we will consistently be behind. And I think it's really important for us to be OK with building wealth, now, I don't think that we should do it by any means necessary. Now I do think there's some things that we should do but not necessarily, you know, build wealth by any means necessary. But I think that there is a way that we can and should change this narrative about wealth because it is through wealth and it is through capital that we're able, I believe, firmly to fund our own freedom.

28:25 - 29:23

Amen. I'm so tired of us as a people having to go and ask other people for our own liberation. Absolutely. Imagine if we had amassed enough wealth as a people, then we don't have to ask other people ground freedom, that we can fund it ourselves. And I think to me, that is the real goal; for me, like, I choose now to want to make money so that I can invest in companies that I care about, founders that I care about. To candidates that I believe in. We're going to go into office and actually put policies in place for those people. My original investors, the people, like the people of Johnsonville and people in Florence that are constantly pushed to the margins, and to invest in organizations and issues that are deeply important for the transformation of our nation and our people. And we need wealth to do that. Absolutely.

29:23 - 30:22

Yeah, the the intentionality and purpose is really important coming into this industry. Twenty-three years ago, for me was a way to, you know, kind of get my feet wet out of college, you know, be able to provide, maybe have a family and do those things. But it was still very awkward for me, especially being in the space I'm in now. It was very hard for me to sit in meetings and hear how people who have plenty of resources are really struggling to think about how to make sure this lasts for generations. I'm like, there are way, way more commas on this table than I have ever seen ever in my life. So for me, I had to take the perspective that, you know what? I'm going to provide access and opportunity for everyone else, to take what we learned, to take what we have access to and really bring it to the community.

30:22 - 30:56

I love the fact that probably mid last year we did an episode for Financial Literacy Month and Tanya Van Court was on and... I love her. Goalsetter, right? And my kids have been set up with that. They've got an investment platform. They've got these videos. And I said to my kids, You watch all 12 of these videos and Mama and Papa Bears to give you some money to invest, right? But we just need courageous ideas to show up to create very amazing platforms to drive that.

30:56 - 31:25

The other thing that comes to mind is my wife and I have been on this mission with our immediate family just to talk estate planning for getting the zeros and commas that really ties into that. But just getting into the practice of thinking about how do you not just build but sustain and transfer the wealth, right? Those are the things our community has to get very comfortable with, and it is sometimes uncomfortable to get comfortable. But I feel like that's why people like us exist.

31:26 - 31:38

And, you know, Maci, I think about you, you're brand new to the industry by way of our partnership here at the firm. I'd be interested to get your thoughts on that as well, because your viewpoint might be quite different today.

31:38 - 31:43

No, I mean, I've always had a comfortable relationship with capital.

31:46 - 31:51

I don't know why. For some reason I would [...] struggle.

31:51 - 32:42

I never wanted to stay on the struggle bus. But yeah, I've always been quite comfortable with it, but mainly because I've always, like you, Jotaka, viewed money as a conduit for the change that I wanted to see. Growing up, my dad always said, you know, it's not about making money. Really, money is just a way to keep score. But the question is, what impact can you make with it. And so throughout building On Second Thought and all of that, the focus wasn't on building a multimillion or billion dollar company for myself, the goal and the vision was, OK, Once we exit and have success in that, I can then take this money and invest in projects that will impact our community, that will create a more equitable

32:42 - 33:10

for now, you know, my son and folks who look and feel like us, that will create a society where, you know, we can recoup a lot of the wealth that we lost, right? I mean, the way in which our country grew was by decimating Black wealth, including my family's. And so looking at ways to recoup that. Also looking at how money can transform our environment and, you know, investing towards climate

33:10 - 33:47

And so something I learned early on was that, Jotaka, to your point, if we keep looking to others to provide us with our freedom, we're never going to get it. It's never going to happen because we will always be beholden to somebody else. And so in order to really be free, and I think the system was rigged this way, we have to have our own wealth. We have to be able to invest in the candidates we want who will safeguard our future and who will create legislation that will provide a truly equitable future for us. And so that's why I say I've always been very comfortable with capital because I've always known that that is the vehicle for the change that we want

33:47 - 34:36

to see. I think you're exactly right, Maci. Especially, it's very difficult for us to ask for the capital and investment from people who are not truly invested in our liberation. It's not in their interests for us to be fully liberated. Exactly. But then we find ourselves yielding to the power and wealth of those who are comfortable with us being in the box in which they want to create for us. But something powerful when you amass your own wealth, your own true liberation, and you do not have to confine yourself to the boxes that other people create for you. You can define and manifest your own destiny. And I think that is real power.

34:36 - 35:07

And it goes to your point, Maci, and I often joke about, you know, my own relationship with money. I used to think that money was a bad thing. I mean, I grew up, again, in a really small town, and it was not just on racial lines, but I grew up in a place where there were very poor White people as well. And so it was always us versus them, the people who had versus the people who didn't have. And I grew up, you know, middle class. But still, it was like, you know, you grew up...

35:07 - 35:41

I remember watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I just, I don't know if you all remember that. People still watch that show and just say, Oh my goodness, those people... and I used to watch shows like Arnold and you know, this idea to think that like, Oh, I wish I could get like, you know, a rich, rich family to take... all of those things, I believe are like psychological reinforcements to this idea that, you know, they're the haves and the have nots.

35:42 - 36:40

And so growing up, for me, it was this idea that money was sellout, that if you had money, if you were in corporate, you wasn't not really about the people. And so I had this idea that, well, if I choose to make money, I am not true to my roots, I'm not true to my people. And I think that was for me, had I known what I know now, I would have been.... 20 years ago, I would have been really focusing on building wealth in the right way. And I don't want anyone listening to this to be confused that all capital is good capital, there's definitely capital and capitalism that is very dangerous in that and in the world.

36:40 - 37:21

But I do believe that to your point, when we think about apps like Goalsetter, or you think about people like Tiffany the Budgetnista, that's out there on a mission, and Tanya van Court, that are really helping redefine and teaching our kids about building wealth and investing, it's something that we don't teach our kids. We will teach our kids about all kinds of things, athletics and all these other things. We aren't digging in there. And I think personally, our schools have a responsibility to teach this. But I think it's important for us to bring this into our communities and not just with our children, but with our family.

37:21 - 38:09

When you talk about estate planning, it pains me every time someone passes away and I see a GoFundMe, that is most painful thing that I see. And there's something as simple as thinking about estate planning. You know, there are a lot of people who actually, their families have generated some small level of wealth when someone has passed away because that person had set up for that family to actually be taken care of. To leave something. And I think that we're at a sad point where this generation is on target to actually have less wealth than the generation before us. That is extremely not only sad for me, but it is also a call to action.

38:10 - 39:01

Yeah, definitely, especially when it comes to estate planning. It's something that affects our community on all levels, right? I know multi-millionaires who did not have, you know, their trust and estate in order when they died. And so therefore, you know, they're in court wasting a lot of their money, trying to get these things in order. And I also know, you know, lots of working class people who didn't have it in order and what could have been an inheritance left to their family was nothing due to various aspects of our system that are created to make sure that wealth is not transferred. So it really is unfortunate, not just unfortunate. It's a travesty. Right? It's people's life work, and we're called to leave an inheritance for the next generation. And when we can't do it and when we don't do it, it's heartbreaking.

39:02 - 39:06

The education and engagement is more important now than ever before.

39:06 - 39:53

Well, this has been an incredible conversation. I feel like Jotaka has taken us to church. I feel like I've been delivered. I feel inspired. Thank you for joining us today, Jotaka, and for bringing your whole authentic self to our conversation and for giving our listeners just a glimpse into your awesomeness and why I'm so grateful that you have given me a front row seat to your life. I hope that people take these gems that you have given us and that they really implement them in their lives and so that we can have a future where we do have generational wealth and transfer and we can embrace good capital and the impact that it can have on our society and our culture.

39:54 - 40:15

Well, thank you so much, both you Maci and James, for this opportunity, this conversation, thank you for having this platform. I think it's incredibly important for us to have these conversations, to embrace these conversations and thank you for just tallowing me to join you and to find out that I have long lost cousins.

40:16 - 40:26

So here's how we might be able to figure this out. One quick question and Maci's going to kill me, ketchup or mustard? On your baloney sandwich? On your hotdog.

40:27 - 40:28

? On a hotdog.

40:29 - 40:31

Oh, both!

40:32 - 40:35

Oh, that's my cousin. That's my cousin. That's my cousin.

40:36 - 40:55

So listeners, I hope you enjoyed today's episode. We'd love to hear from you. So please e-mail your thoughts, questions and any feedback to diverse Please be sure to share, subscribe, comment on and rate us on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcast and check us out on Twitter at BernsteinPWM.

James Thompson
Senior National Director—Diverse and Multicultural Wealth Segments

The information presented and opinions expressed are solely the views of the podcast host commentator and their guest speaker(s). AllianceBernstein L.P. or its affiliates makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy of any data. There is no guarantee that any projection, forecast or opinion in this material will be realized. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The views expressed here may change at any time after the date of this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. AllianceBernstein L.P. does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. It does not take an investor’s personal investment objectives or financial situation into account; investors should discuss their individual circumstances with appropriate professionals before making any decisions. This information should not be construed as sales or marketing material or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument, product or service sponsored by AllianceBernstein or its affiliates.

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