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Why this Google employee quit his job to community organize

Ike Hollander McCreery was making more than $100,000 at Google Seattle. Then he quit his job to become a full-time volunteer community organizer.

Why? Ike, who’s 26 and white, grew up in the wealthy part of D.C. Toward the end of college, he grew more aware of his class and wealth privileges and wanted to help make the world a more equitable place. But he wasn’t sure how to help people from poor or marginalized communities without having lived their experiences.

So soon after moving here, he joined a small, monthly discussion group hosted by an organization called Resource Generation. RG (as Ike calls it) has chapters all over the country and wants to help people who have money bring about social change.

You can probably see where this is going. Over time, Ike felt a growing disconnect between his tech and his Resource Generation communities. He appreciated that his coworkers were down to talk about class, poverty, gentrification – whatever the issue was. But as Google employees, they got free food, free healthcare, huge salaries. “You name it, we got it,” Ike said.

Meanwhile, being part of the Resource Generation community was making him a better listener, a more supportive person, and then, someone who decided he had to do more. A lot more.

If you’re curious about Resource Generation, Ike is happy to fill you in. In fact, he’s helping organize an orientation for the next round of discussion groups in Seattle. Leaving a high-salary position is definitely NOT a requirement. Neither is a background in social justice work.

All you need is to be between the ages of 18 and 35, and interested in having honest, open conversations about wealth and class, and how to use those privileges to help others. (Not sure what it means to have those privileges? Check out this handy list of questions that Ike’s friend Maya wrote.)

RG wants members to feel totally comfortable opening up, which is why they have these two confidentiality and non-solicitation policies. Interested in getting involved? Get in touch with Ike at [email protected]

By Anika Anand
Anika Anand is a cofounder of The Evergrey. She previously worked at The Seattle Times Education Lab and Chalkbeat.