Issa Rae talks addressing white colleagues during LinkedIn conversation

Rae also spoke of 'finding community' when being the only person of color in the room

In honor of International Women’s Day, Issa Rae talked about addressing white colleagues during a conversation with LinkedIn.

Issa Rae is known for her highly successful showInsecure, in which the main character Issa finds herself in awkward and hilarious situations in her personal life and at work.

While fans gravitated towards and embraced the wonderfully nuanced comedy, the show’s secret weapon is often how it expertly depicts the real truths and dynamics in the workplace.

Now, on International Women’s Day, Issa Rae is opening up about addressing white colleagues in a candid conversation.

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Opening up about navigating these conversations, Rae revealed, A lot of my white colleagues have come up to me just to discuss what they could do, and, you know, I’m always open – some of us can get frustrated, any minority when you’re just like, I feel like I have to learn so much about your culture and you, and I don’t necessarily ask you questions, I do the research. And so for me, it’s like, I hope you do the research before you come to me because I’m exhausted.”

Rae continued, “I don’t want to spend time like going down the line of everything that’s wrong, I think you have to do the reading and the research on your own. I’m gonna be an open vessel, I’m gonna be patient, but just know that upfront.

And so to receive those texts constantly about, What can I do? How can I help? I’m like, I hope you research this first.”

Rae also spoke on finding community when you find yourself to be the only person of color in the room. She explained, “…I think what I’ve learned is I have to at least extend myself in a way before I make a judgment. And then, if I extend myself and then recognize that there’s no one there to receive me, then I can find a community.

But for me, it comes down to finding a community of people who understand and relate, and I understand that that can be hard within your work environment, but extending outside of your work environment and finding other people and establishing a community there to bounce thoughts and ideas and solutions off of is so, so important.”

Read More: Issa Rae launches Masterclass on screenwriting, ‘finding your voice’

Rae has been able to build an empire for herself in a relatively short amount of time. Although her signature HBO series Insecure is heading into its fifth and final season, Rae has a multitude of projects in development, hosted Saturday Night Live last year, and just dropped her official Masterclass series under her belt.

When speaking to young women who are inspired by her path, Rae shares, “I would say to find your community. For me, it’s come down to just gathering people who are like-minded and creating a space where I can be open and encouraged. So I encourage young girls to work with people who are as passionate as you are, and build with them and establish a community.” 

LinkedIn is also hosting TransformHER, “the premier conference dedicated to supporting professional women of color in technology and their allies.”

From conversations with Bozoma Saint John (Netflix), Shelley Zalis (CEO, The Female Quotient), and more, the event will be hosted on LinkedIn Live.

You can register for the official event, here.

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