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A writer and singer-songwriter centered around perspective and diversity. Words found on Medium’s Level and Marker. Follow me @JoshuaDairen on Twitter and IG.

Companies that can’t offer Black workers money, security, and positions in leadership should expect to lose their talent

Photo by Adeolu Eletu

A friend said something to me about white-collar jobs that has stuck with me for weeks now. He said that the reason there’s so little representation in the corporate world is because there’s so little room for Blacks to be mediocre.

He didn’t mean mediocre in the sense of underperforming. He meant mediocre as in meeting goals and just being good enough without the added pressure of having to be a top performer day in and day out, especially when compared to their counterparts.

And then it hit me, as it should hit you too. …


Words are never going to be able to save lives the way legislation can

Photo by Maria Lysenko

I grew up in the sweltering heat of Alabama. Not in the city either. I’m talking about the country. So if there is one thing that I know more than anything else, it’s guns. At a ripe, young age, I had a rifle in my hand, I was wearing camo and orange, and hanging out in tree stands with my stepfather searching for the next prize buck that we could turn into deer sausage.

I had the time of my life. I learned gun safety. We’d go to our 100+ acre field and I’d shoot at cans with my cousins…


I left the South not thinking I’d miss the place that helped shape who I am

I moved to Colorado and I told everyone that I couldn’t wait to get away. Maybe it’s the politics or the heat. Okay, it’s probably the heat, but after living in the South and seeing what else the country had to offer, there was a little voice in the back of my head that kept telling me it was time to pack up and leave.

My fiancèe found a job that she wanted and we did just that. We left and thought we wouldn’t look back.

I didn’t think that I’d get homesick, but I did, and it snuck up…


We may think we’re ready to go back into the world, but are we?

Delmaine Donson — Getty Images

I sometimes think to myself that I can’t wait until we can get back to a place where going to a restaurant doesn’t feel like a life or death situation. When you’re stuck inside, you have so much more time to fantasize about what life will be like when we get the chance to safely go to concerts, Top Golf, and travel again without being stuck wearing masks.

It’s been a year since the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of Americans into lockdown. At first it felt like no big deal. We believed we would easily find a solution that would…


This isn’t your granddad’s sport anymore — the potential for student-athletes to get compensated the way they deserve has dramatically increased for the better

Photo by Thomas Park

We’ve bought schedules with their faces on them and jerseys with their names on the back. They never saw a red cent. We talk about them like they’re professionals, even though we clearly understand that student-athletes are maturing adults who still have so much life left to live. The reward for their efforts has been nonexistent.

In the last decade, we’ve seen dramatic changes across the country in almost every single way that humans interact. The pandemic changed how we live. Meme stocks became the heists of the century. …


A conversation with my dad and stepdad about the keys to positive parenting

Photo: Olof Nyman/Pexels.com

The landscape of the modern American family has changed over the past few decades. Family structures as a whole have become more fluid and unique; finally, unconventional types are becoming more universally acknowledged and accepted.

Black families, however, were never entirely allowed the freedom of the modern family landscape. From the moment they stepped foot on this continent, they were ripped apart from the seams. That general separation set a nagging stereotype in place. Unfair? Yes. But the idea of the “broken home” serves as our nail in the coffin. …


There are people who can’t fathom Naomi Osaka walking away from the French Open, but she chose herself and we can learn from that

Photo Credit: Rena Schild via Shutterstock

Everyone has a lot to say about Naomi Osaka right now. How dare someone with so much fame, money, and status say “no” to us, the general public, let alone the general media. As a matter of fact, how dare she not just shut up and play tennis for our convenience and enjoyment? She’s an athlete with sponsorships and cashing checks worth more than some of our entire estates. She has the money to fix everything!

And it’s that sentiment that proves that she made the right call prioritizing herself and her mental health. …


Cats require the same kind of love and care that children do — preparing us for kids in the most interesting of ways

Luna the cat

I’m standing at the humane society, not really wanting to be there as my girlfriend, now wife, scanned the cages and play areas of all the animals. I didn’t want a cat, yet here we were, getting a cat. My entire life had been dog-obsessed so naturally I rejected the notion that a cat could be worth our time.

All of the stereotypes about cats being jerks was a deeply rooted narrative that I choosed to believe without any real proof of my own. Mostly from dog owners and having dogs. And don’t get me wrong, I love dogs as…


Traveling isn’t about the destination — it’s about the journey and the experiences you have while doing so

Photo by Dino Reichmuth

I used to claim wanderlust. Traveling endlessly sounded good, but in reality, all I ever really liked was being new places rather than do all of the work it took to get there and stay there. What I really meant was that I wanted to be catered to and have a revolving door of money to support my traveling habit without ever having to think about it or be “inconvenienced” having to plan and execute it.

I will say, I’m relatively adventurous. I go on hikes, I hang out around lakes and rivers, and I like to go to big…


We all need someone to talk to, but even more than that, we need someone who can help us in the process

Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans

I stared at my Zoom screen really wondering if I was going to be able to open up to a complete stranger about my life and my gripes. My therapist reassured me that everything was fine and we started our session. I never traditionally had a therapist unless you count my wife, my mom, or my close friends. I vented to them. They gave me the best advice that they could and I took it.

As good as that was in the short term, after sessions of spilling my guts to my therapist, I realized something. I had so many…

Joshua Dairen

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