Joey Bada$$ Tackles Closing the Payment Gap for Men of Color

Joey Bada$$, a man of many titles — rapper, activist, and actor — has now added another to his repertoire: founder of the non-profit IMPACT MENTORSHIP.

In the United States, disparities in employment and income are stark across different racial and ethnic groups. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), whites make up the majority of the labor force at 78%, while Blacks and Asians constitute 13% and 6%, respectively. American Indians and Alaska Natives account for 1%, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders less than 1%, and people of Two or More Races 2%.

Income disparities are equally troubling. A study by the Pew Research Center reveals that college-educated Black men earn roughly 80% of the hourly wages of their white counterparts ($25 vs. $32), and college-educated Hispanic men also earn about 80% of the hourly wages of white men ($26 vs. $32). These differences in labor market outcomes are influenced by factors such as educational attainment, occupation, industry, geographic location, and workplace discrimination.

This is where Joey Bada$$ and IMPACT MENTORSHIP come in.

IMPACT MENTORSHIP, founded by Joey Bada$$ and inspired by Unlock Her Potential, provides free mentorship for men of color aged 18 and older across the U.S. (including Puerto Rico).

The program aims to support the professional development and growth of men of color by sharing expertise, experience, wisdom, insights, guidance, and constructive criticism.

I recently had the opportunity to witness the impactful work of IMPACT MENTORSHIP during their summit held at New York’s Columbia University. The lecture hall was filled with men of color eager to absorb the wisdom of industry leaders like thought leader 19 Keys, Jon Gray (co-founder of Ghetto Gastro), actor Malcolm Mays, KidSuper’s Colm Dillane, and the multi-talented Joey Bada$$ himself. These leaders discussed topics ranging from the importance and craft of networking to overcoming challenges in becoming an effective leader.

The thought-provoking conversations left mentees lined up after each session, seeking further guidance from their mentors. Malcolm Mays reminded the group that the mindset to success is:

“It’s not about who’s in front of you; it’s about who’s next to you.”

The focus is on building a community, recognizing that everyone is on their own path, and achieving greatness together.

Joey Bada$$ and IMPACT MENTORSHIP are making significant strides in closing the payment gap and fostering a supportive network for men of color, proving that with the right guidance and opportunities, these disparities can be addressed.