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Idealists in Action | July 3, 2020

Lizzy Cooke profile image

Lizzy Cooke

5 ways work is getting kinder
plus, new job opportunities that make a difference.
Hi there,

No doubt about it—work has changed a lot in the past few months. Some changes are heartbreaking, like the 47 million unemployment claims that have been filed in the U.S. in the past few months, and work becoming especially difficult for groups like working parents. But amazingly, groundbreaking and positive changes have taken place too.

So today we’re celebrating the wins  🏆  Whether you need a pick-me-up as you prep for potentially another month of working from home, or you’re hard at work on the job search, we hope you find this email helpful (and maybe even inspiring). We’ve got you!

P.S. I'm changing things up a little, so moving forward you'll get this newsletter every other week. That means the next one comes Friday, July 17th. See ya then!

Waving from NYC,



  1. Newfound accessibility: more people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups, are finally able to meet their needs and work from home (some for the first time).
  2. Commitment to antiracism: companies have pledged $1.7 billion to advance racial equity and justice. They can do even more by diversifying staff and supporting people of color in the office. 

  3. Kinder workplace cultures: while many of us were in lockdown (at least half of the world’s population), being a leader at work meant taking care of your co-workers and embracing vulnerability, honesty, and authenticity. 

  4. Lower carbon emissions: in some cities, cutting the commute has lowered carbon emissions. When we’re back in the office, consider making your commute an active one to continue keeping the air clean. 

  5. Gains in employee benefits and protections: for some companies, hazard pay has become permanent and there’s been a “far greater interest in unionizing.” Let’s keep fighting for those protections, like paid sick leave for everyone.

A few weeks ago, we held our very first panel: Job Seeking in Difficult Times. Our senior editor Alexis Perrotta chatted with City Year’s Stephanie Chávez and Elyssa Feliciano from Ceres, as well as a Zoom room of 600+ attendees. Here are the top five take-aways from the event: 

  1. Job listings are still being posted on, but each one is getting more views than usual (around 200 more per listing) so they’ll likely be more competitive.

  2. New jobs that have been posted on have mostly been in the fields of political organizing, victim services, children and family services, poverty alleviation, and education/literacy. 

  3. While now is probably not the right time for a hard-driving salary negotiation, there may still be room for benefits negotiation, especially where the work location and hours are concerned.

  4. Yes, people actually read cover letters! They can be a huge help (or a big red flag), so be sure to research the organization, mirror the language they use on their website and in their resources, and show your dedication to their unique mission.

  5. Recruiters are struggling right now, too. Remember to be sensitive to the current situation, give them extra time to get back to you, and be transparent about where you’re at in your own job search. 

Watch a broadcast of the webinar here

woman delivering food

Tony Taafe created “10,000 Headshots”, a project in which more than 200 photographers took 10,000 headshots for unemployed Americans to help them get back to work.

kid smiling

Sharon Smith-Akinsanya is leading the Rae Mackenzie Group in launching People of Colors Careers, an online platform dedicated to recruiting people of color to work for top companies in Minnesota. 

man donating blood

Lenin Gutierrez enforced mask requirements at Starbucks, where he works. After he got bullied by a customer for it, he received over $100,000 in donations, which will help him realize his lifelong dream of opening his own dance studio.

woman in jester hat

Dani Klein Modisett (left) founded Laughter on Call, which employs two dozen comedians to perform for patients with dementia. Laughter is “comedy care”, and it can help boost patients' memory and ease stress. Nowadays, the comedians perform over Zoom! 

ERASE Racism is hiring a Program Manager in Syosset, NY.

​Vote Forward is hiring a Growth Manager in Oakland, CA.

​Museum of Jewish Heritage is hiring a Director of Individual Giving in New York, NY.

First Book is hiring a Strategic Alliances Manager in Washington, DC. 

​Asian Americans Advancing Justice is hiring a Development Officer in Los Angeles, CA.

​Health Care for the Homeless is hiring a Health Informatics Analyst in Baltimore, MD. a whole lot more! Start your own search at 

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Lizzy Cooke profile image

Lizzy Cooke

Lizzy Cooke is the editor of the Idealists in Action newsletter. She also builds the Idealist community through social media and marketing. Outside of work you can find her reading, running, or walking dogs for her local animal shelter in Brooklyn.