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Making it to Detroit

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Before last summer you might have known me by my bio as Jochebed Bogunjoko, a person who did a great job pretending to be happy, healthy, maybe even wealthy, and a woman that I never truly was.

That was until July, when I finally accepted the reality I’d been trying to outrun for years; ever since I read the story of my fellow Williams graduate Nakesha in the NY Times in March of 2018, “A Bright Light Dimmed in the Shadows of Homelessness”, and it clicked for me that it would be my story too if I didn't try and fundamentally change the investment world that structures society to produce death, disease, and disability for profit. I knew because investing was my job, and I knew I could only keep masking and pretending what we call "US democracy" hasn't always just been a well-advertised dystopia, for so long.

Well, I tried. And, I failed; but, I did make a difference.

You might have seen the results of my work in this Barron's article about racial equity last year. I happened to see it the day after it was published, having looked away from the coup taking place at the Capitol to read the LinkedIn notification on my phone and quite literally weep. I thought about everything that had gone into writing the thesis I’d started in college now playing out on screen or the business strategy for Tiedemann that I’d nearly killed myself advocating for now being implemented without me.

Or, you might have seen my work nominated for this award along with major executives, or seen my Primer on Racial Equity Investing featured by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, or seen me pushing the leaders of the ASBC and RFK Human Rights Foundation to dissociate from prisons and policing completely, or helping get the Juvenile Restoration Act passed in Maryland, or telling NY's largest foundations that their investments in Big Pharma companies engaging in vaccine apartheid as business planning were financing genocide.

But despite admitting my expertise was invaluable and having budgets for projects and panels I was expected to work on for free or next to nothing, none of this work or the research that went into it was enough to convince investors or investor-serving nonprofits that I deserved just compensation in return for my life's worth.

You see, the reality is this: if you’re Black, Indigenous, disabled, neurodivergent, trans or nonbinary, or just living in poverty, the US government wants you dead, or in prison, for the benefit of my former bosses' and clients' investment portfolios; the wealthy who finance the impoverishment industrial complex that keeps you in debt, unsupported, sick or suicidal long enough for politicians and their corporate owners to profit from institutionalized eugenicism.

So I left my Investment Analyst job and then investing altogether, and that’s how I ended up

here in "the D".