“Get Paid For Being Woke” educates students on careers in social justice


Graphic courtesy of Public Domain Vectors (CC0 1.0)

The “Get Paid for Being Woke” speaker event on Jan. 21 aimed to educate attendees about social justice careers.

Hosted by De Anza College’s Office of Equity, Career Technical Education and Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, panelists spoke about the skills needed for the job and on-campus resources that support interested students.

“We all have challenges in different ways,” said panelist Angelica Esquivel, program coordinator for VIDA. “We [people interested in social justice] found something that we are passionate about and were able to bring that social justice lens into the work that we do.”

Corrina Barrera, 21, a newly turned social justice major, said that she was uncertain when she switched her major but the event helped assure her.

“I didn’t really understand where I was really going with it,” Barrera said. “The event helped me realize that the career paths and goals I have align with being a social justice major.”

The speakers said that students must volunteer and network with others to build a career.

“If you’re not volunteering, then you’re not showing people what you’re made of, what you care about, and what your passions are,” said panelist Tamara Alvarado, program officer for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Alvarado said volunteering for a couple hours a week shows consistency and is more appealing than a prestigious college degree.

“I don’t care where you went to college,” said Alvarado. “I care that you’re dependable, that you’re smart, and that you’re creative.”

Panelists also mentioned that a mentor can provide recommendations to future employers and help them find career opportunities.

Additional De Anza resources for mentorships, volunteer work and social justice are available through VIDA, Inter-club Council, the Office of Equity, the Puente project and Social Justice and Multicultural Education.