You’re recognized as a leader for never being afraid to speak up for what you believe in. To use your words, for being a “professional troublemaker.” Can you tell us more about that phrase and what it means to you?
“I think to be a professional troublemaker is to be somebody who insists on making trouble for good—doing things that might be scary, that might feel bigger than us. To be a professional troublemaker is to commit to speaking truth. It’s to commit to constantly pushing yourself to grow and constantly committing to being better than you were yesterday.”
You have your hands in so many things. What’s something that you’d like people to take away from your work?
“I would say I created LuvvNation
and it's something I'm most excited about, more than any other platform that I'm currently on because, let’s be real, the internet and the rest of the world can sometimes feel like a dumpster fire. [LuvvNation] is a space for thoughtful people, funny people to come together and have a conversation without fear of trolls or foolishness getting in the way. I think it's really important, especially right now. You have conversations about how other platforms are taking people's data and we don't have control over any of it. So being able to have LuvvNation as my platform is deeply exciting. We have 13,000 members!”
That’s amazing! Are you in there every day, like you are on Twitter and Instagram?
“Yes, me and my team manage it. It's a community that whether or not I'm in there, people are active. People are talking. They're sharing with each other. And that's the goal of any community I’m a part of. Even if I left, I don’t want to be the only one driving the communication. I'm not the only one talking. And you know, my words are not the only ones that matters. So, one thing I love about LuvvNation is how, whether or not I'm in the platform, people are talking. LuvvNation is always lit. It's not like I'm having to start threads before people talk—they talk to each other. They call each other LuvvCousins. Yeah, they call each other cousins because they see each other as extended family, which is an amazing piece of a community. Because what is community if you don't find that connection? If you don't feel like that's your tribe? So yeah, my audience definitely feels like they found their tribe.”
I think women need to back other women up. If you believe in what another woman is saying, give her props. Let other people know that you trust her, that you believe in her, that you are supporting her.
- Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Speaking of community, what advice do you have for other women who are advocating for change this year?
“I think women need to back other women up. If you believe in what another woman is saying, give her props. Let other people know that you trust her, that you believe in her, that you are supporting her. I think what we can really do in this moment is affirm other women who we believe in and just show up for each other in real ways. Not just in with words, but by asking ourselves how are we making sure we're actively supporting other women who are doing great things? How are we making sure we're amplifying other women who are being brilliant? How we making sure that we are opening the doors that we have access to toward other women? We have to be more cognizant of that and be more intentional about it.”
Any new projects coming up that you can share?
“I'm most excited about my book, Professional Troublemaker
. It is the book that I believe I needed 10 years ago when I was afraid to call myself a writer. It's the book that I need now. I usually like to write the books that I want to read…and I know that if it's useful for me, somebody else will find value in it. So, I am really excited about Professional Troublemaker. And I want people to pre-order it. It comes out on March 2, 2021. And today I think it is the best thing I've ever done.”