Author - Lecturer - Strategic Communications Adviser

National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

Aug. 4, 2022

Several weeks ago, I spent time with a dear friend who has been in academia for over a decade. She is an accomplished Black woman who earned her PHD years ago and has extensive teaching experience. Despite her impressive credentials, she recently learned that her institution was paying its Black faculty significantly less than their white counterparts. My friend believed she was paid $50,000 less than her counterparts with commensurate experience.

When the pay disparity was discovered, the institution allegedly said there was nothing they could do prompting some Black faculty members to leave in pursuit of equity, fairness, and respect. As she recounted her ordeal, I was reminded that Black women at all levels fight for respect and dignity at work. One could look at her and think, ‘she has it all together,’ yet fail to appreciate that even with her credentials, she is still underpaid and still battling the effects of racism on the job. What’s more, if my friend is fighting for pay equity, what becomes of Black women who do not have her skill set?  Moreover, no one should have to work miracles to be paid fairly.

National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Sept. 21. The day is an opportunity to raise awareness around pay inequity and how it impacts Black women. According to National Today, “On average, Black women typically make just 62 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The parental status also impacts the wage gap, with Black mothers making just 50 cents to every dollar a white father makes. The pandemic and social unrest about racial injustice have amplified existing inequities in America.”

Everyone who works hard, deserves an honest and competitive pay. But pay inequity exists due to anti-Blackness, sexism, and institutional racism. It is not that Black women are somehow less deserving than others. We face intersecting oppression – of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class – that make us uniquely vulnerable. Some Black women recount not receiving the leadership, coaching, and networking that could help us grow professionally. Others are competent and confident, yet still paid less.

It is important to note that even when we see Black women breaking barriers as the first or only, we cannot assume that all Black women are doing well. We measure our progress not by the exception – the Black women who broke through despite the odds – but by the norm. If Black women are paid between 50 cents and 62 cents to what white, non-Hispanic men earn, we are not thriving to the extent we could. Our work must center those at the margins understanding that our plight is inextricably linked with theirs.



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Upcoming Events

September 10, 2022
  • NM United Women in Faith Conversations on Charter for Racial Justice September 10, 2022  4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

    Jennifer R. Farmer will join a local chapter of United Women in Faith for a panel titled "Conversations on Charter for Racial Justice" and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on employment, and the challenges women and women of color face when returning to work post-COVID.

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October 5, 2022
  • YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester Diversity Week Virtual Speaker Series October 5, 2022  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm virtual
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October 15, 2022
  • Networking Breakfast & Communications Workshop October 15, 2022  9:00 am - 2:00 pm Baltimore, MD, USA
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October 20, 2022
  • National Black Book Festival October 20, 2022 - October 22, 2022   Houston, TX, USA

    Join me in Houston, where I'll be selling the hardcover and paperback editions of "First and Only" at the annual Black Book Festival.

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October 21, 2022
  • National Black Book Festival October 20, 2022 - October 22, 2022   Houston, TX, USA

    Join me in Houston, where I'll be selling the hardcover and paperback editions of "First and Only" at the annual Black Book Festival.

    See more details
October 22, 2022
  • National Black Book Festival October 20, 2022 - October 22, 2022   Houston, TX, USA

    Join me in Houston, where I'll be selling the hardcover and paperback editions of "First and Only" at the annual Black Book Festival.

    See more details

"I have decided to show up fully and authentically. I trust you will do the same. May you find what you need in one of these books."Jennifer R. FarmerExtraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide. Order now from Berrett Koehler or your favorite book seller.   First and Only" was published by Broadleaf Books in February 2021. Order your copy at BroadLeaf Books or your favorite bookseller.


Jennifer R. Farmer is an author, trainer and small-business owner. She is the host of the award-winning United Methodist Women “Faith Talks” podcast, which offers spiritual growth content for women of faith. Farmer is also the author of “First and Only: A Black Woman’s Guide to Thriving at Work and in Life” (Broadleaf Books) and “Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide” (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). She is the founder of Spotlight PR LLC, a boutique firm specializing in communications strategy for leaders and groups committed to social and racial justice. She is also the founder of the Center for Social Justice Leadership, which exists to support leaders and organizations in creating more inclusive workplace cultures. Farmer has provided services to national organizations and celebrities committed to addressing the climate crisis, as well as social and racial injustice.

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Testimonials and Endorsements

Jennifer Farmer is one of the smartest and most talented communicators I know. She’s passionate, knowledgeable and relatable about her work. Plus, when we spent time together, she made sure I never ate alone.

Ari Berman, Contributing WriterThe Nation

When we worked together in the Forward Together Moral Monday movement, Jennifer Farmer skillfully heard me. She allowed me to be myself, while teaching me and the NC NAACP staff foundational communications techniques.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Founder, Repairers of the BreachThe North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP,The Forward Together Moral Movement

I loved this book. It is smart, practical and filled with personal examples that underscore the author’s central message: there are concrete things you can do to promote your organization with or without a large budget. Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget is required reading for anyone wishing to use strategic communications to make a difference.

Celinda Lake, PrincipalLake Research Partners

I sincerely appreciate your work and having you as a team member. You have helped me grow and sharpen my focus for this journey. Thank you. Love and Respect.

Michael Render, pka Killer Mike, Activist, Rapper and Businessman

“Jennifer Farmer is an insightful listener and observer of human interaction. She uses her insights to speak directly to the core issues impacting leadership. Her analysis perceptively integrates gender, race, religion, and overall worldview to offer more nuanced understandings of leadership than the one-size-fits-all approaches more commonly promoted.”

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, author, clergy in residence, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice