2024 People’s Choice Awards Nominee for Daytime Talk Show
Inspiring Woman Overcame Racism to Launch Nonprofit Providing Mentors to Young Black Women
January 17, 2024
A Los Angeles woman is using her experience battling racism in the workplace to provide a support system and safe place for Black girls.
Jennifer Hudson welcomed Nicole Lynn, founder of The Collective Identity Mentoring, to “The Jennifer Hudson Show.” Nicole’s organization provides mentors to young Black women and gender expansive youth to teach them how to handle the adversity and hurdles of being a Black woman in America.
The Collective Identity’s program is a stand-alone mentoring program structured around the traditional one-on-one mentoring model.
Nicole expressed to Jennifer that Black women’s experience often goes overlooked, and this exclusion puts young Black girls and women at a higher risk of harm. Her organization focuses on young Black girls and women because they are often the only Black person in the room within the workplace.
She told JHud that after experiencing racism in the workplace, she wasn’t sure how to respond to her colleague without getting in trouble with HR. She tried to reach out to other Black women for guidance, but she couldn’t find any.
Nicole figured this was a problem for most Black women, so she decided to found her organization to provide mentorship to Black girls so they are equipped for possible challenges and are set up for lifelong success.
The Collective Identity, which launched in 2022, covers topics from financial literacy to self-love and responding to microaggressions in social situations — anything that is a part of a Black woman’s experience.
The organization currently has 10 mentees, all of whom are current students at the University of Southern California and come from different backgrounds.
On the show, Jennifer welcomed two mentees, Maya and Chanel, to discuss how the program has affected them. Maya shared that The Collective Identity has given her the opportunity to be a part of a community outside her hometown and grow as a young Black woman by building new skills and having new experiences.
Jennifer gave the girls a brand-new experience as a talk show host, inviting them to ask her questions as the host of their own talk show!
Jennifer also surprised Nicole and all her mentees with a behind-the-scenes tour of “The Jennifer Hudson Show” as well as a private tour around the Warner Bros. lot!