#5SmartReads - March 13, 2023
Madison on mental health in Veterinarians, free public transportation, and soccer's newest power couple
Madison works as a full-time freelance writer across numerous verticals. She's recently added Part-Time College Counselor to her work life, which has pushed the launching of Grief Cards (a line of sympathy cards that don't suck) to the back burner. This spring, you can find her in working from a Kansas City-area Panera or on the kickball field as captain of her team, Babe Ruthless.
Our Business Is Killing (Slate)
Once upon a time, my elementary-aged self aspired to be a veterinarian. Considering what I now know about my mental illnesses + my horrible grieving capabilities when it comes to pet loss, I’m incredibly thankful that I didn’t pursue that path!
Now, to pause and think of the day-in, day-out experiences of pet euthanasia, hidden away in clinically sterile vet offices everywhere -- I think it’s a necessary sort of heartbreak. I doubt there’s a world where this job is ever “easy,” but I do believe there’s a world where all veterinarians are systemically secure and fairly compensated; one, too, where no pet owner has to choose between financial ruin and healthcare for their purest family members.
DC Council Votes To Eliminate Bus Fares (Morning Brew)
Fare-free public transport is life changing, and it’s heartening to see other metropolitan areas joining this movement.
Here, Kansas City’s new (and still expanding) streetcars continue to run fare-free, following the example that our bus system has set for years. If your city hasn’t yet considered this path, look into which branch of your local government is in charge of fare setting; every population benefits from this type of transportation access.
And if your city does already offer fare-free transport, use it! For better or worse, successful case studies from similarly sized cities will continue to blaze this trail for the foreseeable future.
Debbie Millman- The Personal Brand Paradox (WePresent)
I’ll be honest: I came to Debbie Millman’s work via that of her wife, Roxane Gay.
The eloquence Millman possesses when it comes to matters of design and brand work is endlessly impressive and thought-provoking, and this read is no different.
In it, she meditates on a few questions: What can our world look like when personal brands are being chosen over human experiences? How can this convoluted aspiration impact our empathy? And what’s so different between reputations and brands?
Big Tech Layoffs Hit Diversity And Inclusion Jobs Hard (The Seattle Times)
Sadly, it’s unsurprising that “last in, first out” and “cost-cutting measures” and “building lean teams” policies tend to impact employees from under-resourced, overlooked communities long before it impacts their white and male counterparts.
Relatedly, we’re months into tech layoffs that continue to showcase an industry that is only interested in any DEI work insofar as it’s “easy” to do. The risks of this boom-bust pattern in DEI hiring -- especially in the tech world -- are extensive and dangerous.
As we’ve most recently seen with creations like the dangerous Apple AirTags and racist AI avatars, tech that is created by non-diverse teams will, once again, harm the communities that have historically been harmed. It’s always been a vicious cycle, and these layoffs are perpetuating it once again.
Sam Kerr & Kristie Mewis- The Powerball Couple Taking Over Football (Gaffer)
Excuse me for being a bit sappy, but seeing queer, out, female soccer players being featured in publications always gives me goosebumps.
Sam Kerr and Kristie Mewis are incredible athletes in their own right, and the public nature of their romantic relationship has only helped to expand the visibility of their sport, their other work, and their love.
While some may see this as more of a “puff piece,” I’m a firm believer in the importance of visibility and the normalization of everything that these women represent, especially in a World Cup year.