March 14, 2024

Dreaming in Color: Arlan Hamilton

Episode Notes

In this episode, we speak with Arlan Hamilton, a trailblazing investor who founded Backstage Capital and Hire Runner.

She founded Backstage Capital in 2015 to invest in founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ, and since its inception, the organization has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups. Arlan has published two books: It’s About Damn Time and Your First Million: Why You Don’t Have To Be Born Into A Legacy of Wealth To Leave One BehindShe also hosts the podcast Your First Million.

Join us as Arlan describes her journey from homelessness to venture capitalist, and tells us how being underestimated has fueled her success.


Episode Transcript

Anum Qadir (00:01):

Welcome to Dreaming in Color, a space for social change leaders of color to reflect on how their life experiences, personal and professional, have prepared them to lead and drive the impact we all see. I'm Anum Qadir, and I invite you to join me in these candid kitchen table conversations where together, we celebrate these leaders' ingenuity, are inspired by their wisdom and learn how collectively we can all strive to do and be better. This is Dreaming in Color.


I'm excited to be chatting with Arlan Hamilton today. She's the founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech entrepreneurship by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women and/or LGBT. Arlan herself identifies as all three. Arlan built Backstage capital from the ground up, despite struggling with homelessness and having no prior connections in the industry. She even secured a million-dollar investment early on from billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban.


Today, Backstage Capital has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups led by underestimated founders. Arlan has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Entrepreneur, and in 2018 she was the first non-celebrity black woman to grace the cover of Fast Company Magazine. She published her first book, It's About Damn Time in 2020, where she details her journey from experiencing homelessness to becoming a venture capital trailblazer. She just released her latest book titled Your First Million: Why You Don't Have To Be Born Into A Legacy of Wealth To Leave One Behind.


Arlan's Story is truly remarkable and I'm so excited that we are skipping an invocation and jumping right into the conversation. Welcome Arlan to Dreaming in Color. So excited to have you.

Arlan Hamilton (01:56):

Thanks for having me.

Anum Qadir (01:57):

The purpose of the podcast is to really hear about how unique life experiences have shaped leaders in the work that they're doing. And your story is a particular one, going from experiencing homelessness to founding a venture fund that invests in underrepresented founders. That's quite a remarkable story. I'd love to just create space for you to tell that story in your own words.

Arlan Hamilton (02:16):

Sure. So I've released two books now about this and I think I still haven't scratched the surface of it. So less than 10 years ago, I was sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco Airport and I had been experiencing various degrees of homelessness and variations of it. Today, I've invested alongside my fund and teammates and more than 200 companies, led by underestimated founders who are women, people of color and LGBTQ+. I'm 43 now, and the path to that started very early 30s, where I had been broke my whole life up until that point, but I also had been tinkering on things and always in the lab, always coming up with new ideas and executing on them, but I could never really make things work out financially. And I knew that there was something special happening, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, what it was called, what type of person I was, that I was a little bit different than most of the people around me.


And in my early 30s is when I discovered what startups are and what Silicon Valley meant, the concept of it. So when I discovered that Twitter and Airbnb and all these other companies were startups, it's like I found myself, I found my people and I understood myself a lot better. So I originally set out to start my own company and in the research I was doing, something came up that said I was supposed to raise money because other people were doing it. So I said, "Okay, that sounds good to me because I don't have any money." And I started researching how one goes about raising money, and that is when I learned that women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ founders only receive 10% or less of all venture funding in the United States. It changed my life when I learned that. Instead of trying to raise $1 million or whatever the number might be for a company, I said, "What if I could raise that to invest in others and that would be my company, this fund?" So that's what I set out to do.

Anum Qadir (04:21):

I feel like oftentimes there's some turning point that many of us have experienced that is like, "Oh, this is actually my calling." Or Here you describe, "I didn't want to just raise enough money for my own company. I wanted to raise enough money for others as well." What drew you particularly to that vision?

Arlan Hamilton (04:35):

It was like a calling. I do call it that because in the past, I had had dreams. And so when you have a dream, you tend to chase dreams. That's even the vernacular of it. And this was the first time I felt it was pulling at me. It was telling me to come to it. I put the startup on the back burner, was going to raise for the fund and then deploy that capital and spend that capital on founders. And it was just really driven by how many incredible founders I was meeting and just hearing the stories from the founders that I thought were pretty brilliant, saying that they couldn't even get an audience with an investor. They couldn't even get in the room to be turned down. That to me was striking.


When I was also talking to mostly young white men who had companies that were not really companies yet, they were ideas or they were just getting started, they were a website, no traction, but they were getting the meetings and then some of them were getting the capital and it was just a very specific, stark, obvious problem that I felt I was uniquely positioned to help solve.

Anum Qadir (05:44):

And are there parts of your identity or lived experiences that you really brought to bear or you think really helped you do that work?

Arlan Hamilton (05:52):

Well, I started with the groups I mentioned, women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ founders because I identify as all three. And so that in itself was a big part of what kicked things off and now it's turned into 200 investments, but I had been learning, you go with what you know as an investor and deal flow is king. These are different things I was learning in these books and on interviews and I said, "Well, I know these things because I've been in this body for however many years and I also have a lot of people that I can reach out to even if I don't know them and relate to," which I think is very important as an investor. So I essentially was doing what a lot of investors were doing. I was pattern matching, but I was just pattern matching for something else.

Anum Qadir (06:40):

In one of your books, you had described, "When the majority of the world looks at you as other, it's imperative to connect with people who have the ability to see you as you." It sounds like it builds on that, but would love to hear you even expand on that more about what does it mean to find the people who look like you?

Arlan Hamilton (06:57):

Yeah, and a lot of it is... When I say superficial, I don't mean that flippantly. I mean it is exterior, which is look like you, which is, "Oh, there's a black woman doing this, or there are black gay people doing that," right? "Or there are just women here and this place is full of men." We all can relate to that. It also means though, just finding a kinship in someone and in a group of people who have your same ideals doesn't mean that everybody's agreeing on every single thing and that it's just an echo chamber, but just a general ideals being aligned I think is also important to the story because there's so much money in venture. So I'll say venture capital and VC, they're the same thing. There's so much money in VC that there's a lot of opportunity for mismanagement of it and for things to go poorly and for people to not have the highest ethics. And I just found that for the most part, not everyone, but for the most part when we're talking about people who don't have a lot, they just treat money differently.

Anum Qadir (08:01):

I'd love to shift a little bit to talking about your framing of really thinking about underestimated leaders. I'd love to hear you define underestimated in your own words and why you think that framing is so important?

Arlan Hamilton (08:14):

Yeah, that term was actually gifted to me, I want to say 2017. I had a meet up with maybe 20 of our founders at the time, which is... It seems so long ago because we have 10X that now, but KG Harris who was working on AI years before most people were talking about it, he stood up and he said, "Let's call it what it really is, we're underestimated." And then he let me take that and run with it. And I think it's so relatable no matter who you are. I've been in rooms full of straight white men or white men, I can't tell you if they're straight but white men. And I've used that terminology and they initially think it's about somebody else, but then I say, "Somebody in here is shorter than the next person to the next guy. Somebody in here has less hair than the next guy. Somebody in here is older than the next guy and they have been told that they're too old for or it's been alluded to." And so that really just balances everything out and people get that.


So being underestimated is when people don't see you coming, they don't understand your value, they devalue you. And my first book is called, “It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage,” we've just really taken on that terminology and it has reshaped both how we see ourselves and how people see us.

Anum Qadir (09:37):

I love that. I'd even be curious for your take on why do you think folks are underestimated in the first place?

Arlan Hamilton (09:42):

There's a lot of racism and a lot of sexism and a lot of homophobia. There's that. Let's be real, that is just a day-to-day occurrence, and I wish it weren't, but it just is. So that's a big part of it. And then I think if you peel back a layer and it's not so sinister, we have a lot of time to catch up for. So a lot of times you don't see us in certain... See us, when I say us, I mean women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, et cetera.


You don't see us in certain positions and so you're not used to it. And so someone else may not be outright racist, but they're just biased. They're not used to seeing a black pilot and they're getting a little antsy. They're not used to seeing a woman in charge of the boardroom and they're asking themselves internally questions. And that internal question that everybody asks themselves, and we all have a bias by the way, but that internal question that gets asked, if it hasn't been externalized, if you haven't talked it through and figured your stuff out, that turns into microaggressions and it turns into underestimating your co-workers or your subordinates or your bosses. Bozeman says this too, that we're walking around truly like dealing with millions of adults' decision not to get therapy.

Anum Qadir (11:05):

Yeah, there's so many layers of it, to your point, of there's the outright racism and then there's so much that we also have internalized. And no one is perfect, but that work of the therapy, everyone could benefit from therapy.

Arlan Hamilton (11:18):

Yeah, that's one thing. Therapy is one thing and just researching. I think that's a big thing that people can do on their own. They don't even have to go outside and talk to anybody. Anytime I hear some big name, some guy who's like a billionaire, usually, and they're either putting rockets into space or they're just at the forefront of AI or have autonomous vehicles in the streets, but they can't figure out how to diversify their board. It's just so foreign into them. "Well, we don't know how to do that. It's going to take some years to do that." Really? Well, that's interesting because you seem like the kind of person who has patience and has the ability to do things that take years. And there's some examples, but it's so prevalent. And so if you don't want to be like that, blissfully ignorant, then you can research. I've had multiple times where I'm like, "Am I doing enough? Am I understanding this enough? Am I saying enough?"

Anum Qadir (12:24):

"What else can I learn?" It feels like such an important part of this puzzle as well. I'd love to continue on this thread of just the work at Backstage Capital. I know in the VC space, actually thinking about profits and returns is a part of it, but what also seems really special is being able to actually be in true partnership with the founders that you're working with. And I'd just be curious, how do you define success in your work, even going beyond just helping companies thrive and underestimated founders thrive? How do you think about your activism more broadly?

Arlan Hamilton (12:53):

I think success is activism, is a form of activism. That is why I flaunt any successes that I have. I also am very honest about failures, but I flaunt very openly and happily the small, the big successes because I want to act as a role model in that way. I want everyone to brag a little bit or a lot of bit. There's all sorts of benefits and perks added, beyond the capital. And I have to say that our job as venture capitalists is to return capital with multiples. That's what we plan on doing. That's what we do every day. But on top of that, the work that I do, I get to every single day of my life, every day without fail. At least one person, if not dozens of people, tell me how much something I wrote said, wrote in a book, said online, said in person, did for their company, phone call I made, any of that has helped them in some minor or major way, all the way from, "Helped me in that moment," to, "Changed my life." Every single day, multiple times a week.


So that's personally a benefit from it, but then the impact that it's had. I have invested in, personally, out of pocket, 30 emerging managers, and most of them have been BIPOC, women or LGBTQ+ as well, and 28 of them have Backstage Capital's my venture funds mandates essentially, and 28 of them did not exist before Backstage. So I have to look at that and I have to wonder, and they've all told me, this is not me guessing, they've all told me that they've been inspired by Backstage. So I have to wonder just what history will bear? What will the story be ultimately of the impact of Backstage?


Today it’s, I would dare say, hundreds of thousands of founders impacted. How many funds impacted, and then the ripple effect of that? And then the individuals. I've met one at CES this year. She was in a course at Columbia. My Harvard Business case study was presented to her and she decided to go into venture to have an impact as a black woman in venture, and she'd been in venture for two years in that class, that one class. And so things like that happening in our Catalyst program where we train future venture capitalists and angel investors. So all of that to me is success. It's already happened. I don't even have to look into the future and say “one day.” That to me is all been so incredible.


Every moment, every single message I get online, every single time someone stands in the book line on my book tour and tells me some story, every one of those means something to me. And since December of 2023, I've been documenting on film much of this. So if you go to, it'll take you to my YouTube channel and you'll see this happen over time. And it's just really exciting.

Anum Qadir (15:57):

I love hearing about those ripples of impact. I'd love to come back in a bit to you talking about flaunting both the small and big successes, but just on this thread, just building off of the ways you inspire folks. I'd also just be curious, what advice do you have for founders as they're in this work or might be experiencing that underestimation?

Arlan Hamilton (16:17):

Most founders that I meet because of what I do and because of what I've done in the past decade online very publicly, are looking for money. They're looking, they're raising or they're going to raise, just like I was when I started. There are so many options for you besides venture capital, besides outside funding. And I think my next chapter and my next decade is all about helping to create 1,000 new millionaires. And I don't think that happens through investing in 1,000 people. I think that is investing capital. I think that's investing in education and teaching a man to fish, where we're building sustainable companies and non-profits that are ethical and that have the ability to generate revenue on their own, that are bootstrapped, et cetera, that the option to get outside funding is truly an option that they can decide on rather than it's something they're chasing.


And so my advice is to look at your options more broadly rather than thinking there's only one shot. If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, "You're my one shot," I wouldn't have to have any other job, any other income stream. There are other options and you are the option. And that to me, is super exciting that we have so much control over our destiny that we don't realize necessarily.

Anum Qadir (17:43):

That's really powerful. I'd also be curious, is there advice you would give to folks in positions of power, whether they have capital or otherwise when making decisions?

Arlan Hamilton (17:52):

I would say to be someone's first “yes,” because I'm surrounded by people who are wealthy. Mark Cuban invested $6 million into Backstage. We have dozens of high net worth individuals as limited partners at Backstage who have invested. I also have interviewed hundreds of millionaires and billionaires over the past decade for various things. So I'm surrounded by them. And a lot of times what people who don't have that kind of capital, and I've of course become one myself, but what people who don't have that capital don't quite understand is that millionaires and billionaires worry too, they get scared too. Some of them are very cash poor. It's just in their assets that they have their net worth. Sometimes they have plenty of money, but they don't know who to trust. They don't know who's after their money and who wants to have a true human relationship with them.


There's a lot of things that they deal with. And so sometimes it can be quite overwhelming to say, "Oh, well, if I put myself out there, then a lot of people want more." Or, "Sorry, I might as well not," or, "I might lose it," or all the things that you tell yourself. So what I would say to you if this resonates and you have resources, is to simplify things and just think about can you be someone's first “yes?” Because that is so impactful. If I think back to Susan Kimberlin, who is the first person to invest in Backstage Capital, she invested a total of $50,000. And venture is a multi multi-billion dollar, trillion-dollar industry, but she invested $50,000 as an angel investor almost 10 years ago. We are $30 million in, and I still talk about her every week. I still appreciate her every week. I still think about what she did every week because she was the first “yes” to Backstage Capital in that way.


And so, if you can be that, it just really outweighs the negative sides of things. And yeah, I would say look for that fulfillment because I know a lot of people who have a lot of resources who are not fulfilled and they're wondering if something's wrong with them or if this is all there is to life. There's a lot more to life. You have to tap into a fulfillment, something that's going to wake you up every day and do it soon.

Anum Qadir (20:14):

And can you maybe expand on that? What does fulfillment look like for you?

Arlan Hamilton (20:18):

For me, so today I was looking at my YouTube comments that I get to say yes or no to them going live. So I'm not sure why people write mean things, but I read right back-to-back and I took a screenshot of it, a woman, I don't know, a bot, I don't know, someone said, "Why should I listen to an overweight lesbian?" Sorry, it's funny to me.

Anum Qadir (20:42):


Arlan Hamilton (20:43):

And they were like, "I don't trust that." And then someone else right below them said, this is paraphrasing, they was like, "I didn't think of it this way. This is so amazing. I'm going to implement this right now. This is great." So that person's going to go off and do great things with that. And I'm like, this sums up my existence online and every day. And the reason I can laugh about it and the reason that... I get horrible things said to me, horrible things. I've had to have security, I have an entire legal department that's for online stalking. It's been a ride, but the fulfillment comes from that second comment. And because that second comment happens so often, I'm already fulfilled.


Don't get me wrong, I'm very ambitious and I also haven't made it yet. I'm still struggling. I'm still like, "I still got to make the deals work and I still got to do this." But I think it was probably 2022, maybe even more recently, maybe 2023, top of, but where I realized, "Oh, I could stop today and I would have these stories that would still come in for the rest of my life because of all the seeds planted." And to me, that's fulfillment. That's it. It's like not chasing the next thing, it's the knowing that what you've already done. So you can take stock of what you've already done, and that will take you much further than you may think. When you're not feeling fulfilled, it's because you're not taking a score right. You're not banking it correctly. You're thinking there's something else out there that's going to do it when in fact it probably has already happened.

Anum Qadir (22:16):

I really love that, especially because this work is so hard and trying to advance equity in the world is so hard. To your point of actually taking stock, pulling up, and then going back to your earlier point of flaunting those successes big and small, I'd be curious, are there stories or moments that you would point to that bring you immense fulfillment or happiness in this journey?

Arlan Hamilton (22:37):

I'm still over the moon. It's been five and a half years almost that I was on the cover of Fast Company. I just think that's so cool. Fast Company was my favorite magazine, and I couldn't afford a copy of Fast Company because it was $7.99. And I remember when I slept at the airport and I lived at the airport, I would go and read Fast Company from outside, essentially. I don't know a cooler turnaround story than that. You're reading it and then you're on a cover of it. Hitting 100 investments, we're at 200 plus now, maybe 210, 215, but hitting 100 was a major deal because in 2014, I said I was going to invest in 100 companies by 2020. I said it to myself and to a few people because nobody really knew me. And then in 2015, I met with a major entity that everybody knows and said the same thing. And I was looking for partnership and I was homeless at that time, but they didn't know it.


And the person in the room laughed at me and escorted me out, friendly, walked me out to the door and said, "Come back when you're more realistic." And we reached 100 investments, not in 2020, but in 2018.

Anum Qadir (23:48):


Arlan Hamilton (23:48):

So that to me is major, and I'll always flaunt that. In the last few weeks, I've been on Tamron Hall, Jennifer Hudson has quoted me on her show. I had no idea she knew who I was. I've been on the cover of Black Enterprise. A lot of things have happened even recently that I think are cool. And then I'm mostly a big dork though, so little things make me super happy.

Anum Qadir (24:13):

What are those little things?

Arlan Hamilton (24:15):

Like when I can learn something and I figure out how to do something and I'll spend a weekend researching it on YouTube mostly, and then I figure out how to do it. Well, I didn't really get to do this, but I tried and I was proud of myself. I tried to learn how to crochet. It lasted one weekend, one good weekend. I went to a trade show just with a backpack. I thought it was all incognito, but it was not the case. But I'm going to do everything that I tell other founders to do. There's nothing that I tell founders to do that I wouldn't do myself.

Anum Qadir (24:49):

And a piece of just forever learning, reflecting.

Arlan Hamilton (24:52):

Yeah, because back when I was broke and hungry, I promised myself, and this was probably 2013, I promised myself that no matter what was going on in my life, the one thing that I would have as a constant was that I would learn something new every day because that couldn't be taken away from me. And I did. I learned something new every day. So when I got to the point in 2015 when I met Susan and I was proposing this idea of this fund that would invest in underrepresented at the time founders, one of the reasons she said yes was because I had so much information that I had banked and I could have a conversation with her and teach her things that she did not know as an angel investor and help her through diligence questions. And so it's a tool that I'll never stop using and sharpening.

Anum Qadir (25:46):

I really love that. I want to jump back a little bit. You had talked about the example of someone who said, "Be more realistic." There's a lot of forces working against the things you're also trying to accomplish and making it harder to support underestimated leaders and founders, especially with the Fearless Fund case and the broader anti-rights movement. And legalities aside, would be curious, how are you thinking about responding to those forces and what keeps you going?

Arlan Hamilton (26:15):

Yeah, with the Fearless case, I'm an LP and they're a fund and have been for years. And as soon as it really happened, I flew out to Atlanta to be with the GPs and to speak at an event to say my piece. And there's a video on my YouTube channel where I talk about the case early on with our apprentices, our investing apprentices who are all very bright-eyed and ready to make a difference in the world, and they're seeing this harsh reality. But at the end of the day, all of it is wrapped in hope and optimism. And I say that a little bit frustrated because I'm like, sometimes I'm frustrated by how optimistic I am, but at the end of the day, that's the way we're able to do this work, is like there's hope. There are the things that make it worth it.


There have been multiple times in this country where mostly white men, but everyone, have literally or figuratively burned down what has been built by black people. And I mean literally a lot of times, and that's no different than Edward Bloom setting this whole thing in motion for the Fearless Fund or what's happening with Hello Alice, which is also a portfolio company of ours, and they're going through similar things because they have grants for women of color. They're lighting a match and they want to watch it burn because they're hollowed out in my opinion, they're a shell of a person, their soul is missing.


Someone asked me in that call with the apprentices, "Should we think about changing what we call ourselves or changing how we describe what we do?" And my true response to that, and again, it's on tape for people to see, is there probably needs to be both. There probably needs to be some sort of hacking the system. You want to burn this down? Okay, we'll build something else over here and that you can't penetrate. But for me personally, what I want to do, this is the second half of the answer that I gave, is if something was called the Black Fund, it's going to be the Blackity Black, Black, Black Fund from now on. We're going all the way in on this. That's how I want to respond to this. And I think that both need to happen to be effective because they will shut us down.


I wake up almost on a daily basis, very well-prepared to receive cease and desist or, "You can't make any more investments until..." So far, it has been non-profit targeted. It's been grants that are targeted, and we don't have grants as of now. So I don't know if it'll ever get into that territory, but I'm prepared for it and I would fight it and I would be proud. What did my mom say? She says, "I've been called worse things by better people."

Anum Qadir (29:08):

Helpful perspective. The part that I appreciate in that too is what you named. You need all the pieces of the puzzle, right? There are the folks who are still going to be loud and proud about the work that they're doing and be clear about what it is, and then the folks who may need to change some of the language or whatever it might be, but they're still doing the hard work on the ground as well.

Arlan Hamilton (29:27):

The one thing we cannot do is argue and fight each other because it's exactly what they're doing this to stoke. They're stoking fear. They're trying to stoke fear and confusion in fighting. So we have to be brave, very clear and very aligned to battle that.

Anum Qadir (29:46):

Part of this podcast too is also to continue talking about joy, and we talked a little bit about fulfillment. I'd love to take our namesake and ask, what does the world that you're dreaming of? What does it look like?

Arlan Hamilton (29:59):

It's a subtle dream, even though everything I'm doing is so not subtle. Just waking up on any given day, a founder waking up on any given day and being able to just create and build and not have to fight all the forces around them because of what their orientation, gender or race may or may not be. That is a world that is exciting to dream about, and I think we can get there.

Anum Qadir (30:30):

I love it. Arlan, I'd love to jump into a couple of rapid-fire questions.

Arlan Hamilton (30:34):


Anum Qadir (30:35):

Part of the theme of this season is reimagining the world in, "radical ways." So in that vein, what is something that is considered radical but should not be?

Arlan Hamilton (30:45):

Women making more money in sports.

Anum Qadir (30:47):

What books should every founder have on their bookshelf?

Arlan Hamilton (30:51):

I would highly recommend “It's About Damn Time” and “Your First Million” by yours truly.

Anum Qadir (30:56):

Got it right here.

Arlan Hamilton (30:57):

Hey, both of those are great, honestly. And then I'm surrounded by books. I would say “We Should All Be Millionaires” by Rachel Rogers is one of my favorite books ever. “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey. I read it every year and it helps me in a different way every year. “Buy Back Your Time” by Dan Martel and “Clockwork” by Mike Michalowicz. They're similar, but they're written 10 years apart, and they will help you really shift how you run your business.

Anum Qadir (31:28):

Love it. I'll be adding those to my list. What is your favorite way to practice self-care?

Arlan Hamilton (31:33):

Watching General Hospital.

Anum Qadir (31:34):

Sounds good. Thank you so much, Arlan. Really appreciate the conversation.

Arlan Hamilton (31:38):

Thank you for having me here. I loved it too.

Anum Qadir (31:41):

My conversation with Arlan made me reflect on who defines our value and how do we define value for ourselves? My identity as a Muslim American and South Asian American has certainly invited plenty of stereotypes in the way others see me. Some of it, I undoubtedly internalize and am continuously unlearning well into my adulthood. As Arlan mentioned, it's on others, especially white folks, to figure their stuff out and unpack their biases and whatnot.


And at the same time, how do we as people of color or other marginalized identities also reclaim and define our value, especially in the spaces we operate in, being the, "Only one," who looks like us in the room or where we're underestimated? W.E.B Du Bois once said, "He began to have a dim feeling that to attain his place in the world, he must be himself and not another." Being myself is a superpower. My identity is a superpower. By not living into our superpowers, where are we selling ourselves short? Where are we limiting our impact in this world? I'll close with a quote from Arlan's brilliant book. "Someone right now is looking for you. Someone is looking for a person who reminds them of herself and makes her feel comfortable. Right now, you as you are, your authentic self, you are that person, and if you put on a costume, she's going to walk right by you."


And that's a wrap. While the episode is finished, the work continues. Thanks for listening to Dreaming in Color. A special shout out to the folks who make it happen. Our wonderful show producer, Denise Savas, our creative director, Ami Diane, our video editors, Jenny Lu, Stephen Chaya, and Dave Clark McCoy, our graphic designer, Diana Jiminez, our audio engineer, Theresa Buchanan. And a huge shout-out to our ever-brilliant Bridgespan production team and family. Darren Isom, Cora Daniels, Christina Pistorius and Ryan Wenzel. What a crew. Be sure to subscribe, rate and review wherever you listen to podcasts. Catch you next time.

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