What I do at Capital B
I’m the senior vice president of revenue and programming here at Capital B. That means I’m responsible for building a sustainable business to support our work and developing platforms, such as events, that help us showcase our journalism and connect with our audience. Doing this job as a journalist is supremely cool because I get to live at the nexus of both sides of our operation and try to find ways to make sure we can produce our biggest and most ambitious journalism for years to come.
Why I came to Capital B
I’ve always been passionate about ensuring that the work I do in journalism is accessible to and reflective of the communities I am part of. In the past, I’ve been able to use my reporting or individual projects to show that stories that center Black people are vital. But it can be daunting to continuously convince people what inclusivity looks like in storytelling, especially when you’re one of only a few people holding that responsibility. When Capital B came along I realized that I could do that work every single day with other people who cared deeply about the same things. It doesn’t get better than that.
Where I’m from
This has always felt like a bit of a squishy question for me. I spent roughly the first decade of my life in Brooklyn, N.Y. My family moved to Westchester, N.Y., and then to central New Jersey—in both of those places, the communities that we landed in could not have been more different than Brooklyn. I missed what felt like my real home and used any excuse possible to go back. As soon as I was 18, I hightailed it back to New York City for college and spent most of the next decade there.
Spending so much time in New York, especially in early childhood, had a pretty substantive impact on who I am and how I view the world. I thought that everyone was surrounded by people who spoke different languages, ate lots of different foods, hailed from different places, had different skin tones, and saw the world in different ways. Even within the Black population, there was so much diversity of background and beliefs. My stint in some pretty white, cookie-cutter suburbs disabused me of those notions.
I’m not trying to paint New York as a utopian society by any stretch, but growing up in a diverse community, and then moving to places so totally different, made me curious about the world in a way that really helped point me toward a career in journalism.
The song I’m listening to on repeat right now
We’re always playing a lot of ‘80s and ‘90s R&B in my house. Right now I’m listening and singing along to “Rock Steady” by The Whispers multiple times a day.
My favorite Black storytellers/creators (past or present)
Wow. This feels unfair. I’m going to share two people whose legacies I have been thinking about a lot recently.
I consumed a huge portion of Toni Morrison’s work over a single preteen summer (and obviously more since then). Her writing altered the way I saw the world and my place in it at just the right time and her work will always be special to me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about Nancy Hicks Maynard over the past few years. She was one of the first Black women to become a reporter at The New York Times not all that long ago. She went on to help found the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and, with her husband, bought the Oakland Tribune, making it the only Black-owned metropolitan daily newspaper at the time. As a Black woman in the news business I spend a lot of time thinking about what the road was like for those who came before me, and feeling especially grateful for their commitment and endurance.
Where you can find me
I’m @gillianbwhite on most platforms, including Twitter and Instagram–which are the places that I’m most active.