[Issue 093] Meet Courtney, ABL's new intern!
After spending my first two weeks in Cartagena mostly working, my partner and I took off the last several days and was joined by my family—my parents, four sisters, one brother-in-law and three nieces. We got tons of sun and beach time in but we also learned about Afro-Colombian history during an incredible visit to Palenque, the first "free town" for Africans in the Americas, founded by escaped slaves.
All that to say that I had an incredible week and have been enjoying my time off from work.
Given that I've also taken a much needed break from following the news during this time, this week's newsletter is an introduction to the newest member of our team, Courtney.
While Lora continues to keep ABL operations running smoothly, Courtney will be helping me dig into my growing list of topics that I simply haven't had the time to focus on.
Read on and please join me in welcoming Courtney to the ABL community!
What's your name and where are you from?
Hi all! My name is Courtney Gold and I’m from a small town in South Florida called Port St. Lucie. I moved to Raleigh to attend NC State and I love it here so much, so this is my home base now!
What did you study in college and why?
I majored in Sociology and had a minor in Spanish. I was drawn to studying Sociology because I am fascinated by people. I was always the kid annoying everyone around me by constantly asking a million “Why” questions - I love that Sociology encourages my curious nature and studying it gave me the tools I need to figure out the Whys and Hows of society and inequality.
What's your dream career?
My dream is to attain my phD and work as a Sociology professor at a Research I University. I want to be published in academic journals and eventually publish my own book based off of my research.
At NCSU, I was fortunate enough to have some really amazing, badass female professors who acted as my mentors. They chose me as their Research Assistant and I worked with them for nearly two years to help them finish a really cool research project on food, health, and inequality, which they recently published as a book! Working on that project ignited my passion for research and inspired me so much in terms of what I want to do for the future.
Why are you excited about joining the ABL team?
I’m excited to join the ABL team as the Research Intern as a way to stretch my research muscles in a new area! I didn’t know a lot about corporate social responsibility, but it was important for me to learn because there are so many important things happening at the intersections of business, politics, and social issues/movements such as environmentalism and feminism.
I think it’s critically important as consumers to be informed and empowered to make conscientious choices about the companies we want to support. Nikita and Lora were already doing such an amazing job with ABL to help consumers do just that by breaking down the headlines and goings on in the world of business and CSR, so I am absolutely thrilled to join them and learn a lot myself along the way!
What's your favorite company/brand and why?
One company I really admire is LUSH -- if I had the budget, I would absolutely pamper my skin with all their products. As a company, LUSH really seems to deliver on their promises of doing business sustainably and ethically:
They are cruelty free and speak out against animal testing and most of their products are completely vegan, and they are completely transparent about the ingredients they use.
All their products are sold with minimal packaging and the packaging that they do use is post-consumer recycled plastic with their own incentives for customers to bring back the empty pots to be reused again!
They value their store and factory employees, and use their platform to speak out for environmental and social causes, such as their continued support of the LGBTQ community and support of National Bailout for black moms on Mother’s Day.
Who inspires you to be your best self?
My boyfriend, Nico, has been my rock for the last 7 years of unconditional love and support. His perspective grounds and balances me. He loves me at my best and at my worst, but I try really hard every day to choose to be my best self for him.
What's your superpower?
My superpower is probably my compassion. I’m an empath which means I take on other people’s pain and joy as my own. Sometimes it’s hard to get through life feeling everything very deeply like this, but I’ve learned that it can be a strength rather than a weakness when I use it correctly. This power makes it so that I can very easily see things from other people’s point of view and help to weigh different sides of every issue because I can put myself in the shoes of people on both sides of the scale.
Is there anything else that you'd love ABL subscribers to know about you?
I’m just excited to get down to business and let everyone get to know me through my work!
You can send Courtney a welcome note at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This week I want to give a special shoutout to all of ABL's Patreon supporters. It is because of YOU that nobody works on ABL for free.
It is because of each of you that I am able to pay Courtney and Lora for the incredible work they do. It is because of you that I am able to provide (a small) payment to each of the contributing writers that I have queued up for this summer's content. It is also because of you that I have been able to hire women and people of color to help me with branding, the website, graphics and every other aspect of ABL's growth in the past two years.
Your support means everything to me, and I want you to know that. And to those of you who also want to support ABL, learn how at https://patreon.com/abovethebottomline.
The Best Women's Soccer Team In The World Fights for Equal Pay. The US Women's National Soccer Team has been preparing for a courtroom battle over equal pay. On March 8th, they sued the United States Soccer Federation claiming that they are paid less than the male teams, and that it is "purposeful gender discrimination". Battles over equal pay for female soccer teams have been waged since 2013, with only marginal improvement. // NY TIMES
Target Sweetens Its Parental Benefits In Tight Labor Market. Target is reportedly extending its parental leave policy to offer all employees, both hourly and salaried, 20 days of subsidized care for their children, or other dependents. It is also offering to provide up to $10,000 for adoption and surrogacy fees. // BLOOMBERG
My open letter to Target: 20 days?!?!
Air New Zealand Drops Ban On Staff Tattoos Amid Discrimination Concerns. Air New Zealand will be ending a ban on staff from having visible tattoos after criticism for discriminating against Māori employees. Māori heritage involves wearing tattoos that represent their genealogy and are culturally sacred. // REUTERS
Facebook Worries Emails Could Show Zuckerberg Knew of Questionable Privacy Practices. According to various people within the company and who are familiar with the matter, the company has uncovered emails that connect Mark Zuckerberg to problematic privacy practices at the company. // WSJ
The Next Big Thing In Fashion? Not Washing Your Clothes. A startup named Unbound Merino has created wool travel clothes that can go for weeks without being washed. Another brand, Pangaia, created seaweed fiber shirts treated with peppermint oil so they stay fresher between washes. Other brands have created clothing from wool or other new materials in an effort to provide clothing options that can go longer between washings, to save water, power, and time. This corresponds with an overarching push to make fashion more sustainable. // FAST COMPANY
High Heels At Work Are Necessary, Says Japan's Labour Minister. In a response to the #KuToo movement in Japan, which calls for the removal of the de facto mandate that women must wear high heels at work, Japan's labor minister has said that it is "necessary and appropriate", in a move to dismiss the petition. // THE GUARDIAN
We Need To Cut Plastic Waste: And Supermarkets Should Lead the Way. This is a deep dive into campaigns to end plastic waste. The author writes about how a few years ago 2.5bn plastic-lined paper cups were clogging up the waste system and couldn't be recycled, and now many cafe chains offer discounts to customers who use reusable cups, but that it is time to go further. In this "episode" of the War on Plastic, he points out Britain's problem of using 8bn plastic water bottles a year. // THE GUARDIAN
This week's headlines were curated by ABL's intern, Lora.