This week’s conversation is with Emmy Award winning journalist, Jemele Hill.

Jemele is the co-founder of Lodge Freeway Media and a Senior Staff writer for The Atlantic.

She was previously the chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture.

Prior to joining The Undefeated, Jemele co-anchored SportsCenter with Michael Smith.

In August 2018, the National Association of Black Journalist awarded Jemele with Journalist of the Year Award and in July 2016, Jemele participated in The President and the People: A National Conversation – a one-hour town hall with President Barack Obama on race relations, justice, policing and equality.

Jemele also recently debuted a new podcast on Spotify, called Jemele Hill is Unbothered.

Unbothered explores the news of the day and the intersectionality between the worlds of sports, politics, music, identity and culture.

In this conversation we touched on so many important topics – everything from courage, vulnerability, and honesty to why this world could use more empathy.

I loved getting a chance to sit down with Jemele and think you’ll feel the same way after hearing her story.

“I truly embrace discomfort because I honestly think that’s the only way you can grow. If I didn’t make myself uncomfortable both personally and professionally, I feel like I would not be where I am.”

In This Episode:

  • The way people see her vs. the way people see herself
  • Why she was initially attracted to journalism… a relentless search for the truth
  • Growing up with two parents hooked on drugs and how that affected her
  • How her difficult childhood shaped her drive, ambition, and need for control
  • How she manages disappointment… preventing herself from getting close to anyone due to past pain
  • Managing imposter syndrome
  • What it means to be an optimist
  • Her first time she was on tv… what it felt like
  • How she handles pressure
  • Why she gravitated to writing
  • Her firm belief that everything happens for a reason
  • Her aspirations for the future
  • Why it can be difficult at times to stay present
  • Her definition of mastery… the willingness to be vulnerable
  • What she hopes the next generation gets right… empathy


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“I was always curious and I think that’s the #1 quality a journalist needs to have. You need to be curious, you need to know why things work the way they do, you need to know why they don’t work, and I was always that way.”

“Despite the fact I’m in a media profession, I don’t like being the center of attention. It’s counter to everything that I am. I’m not saying I’m shy, but I’m definitely not the person that wants to be the center of attention.”

“I believe in telling the truth for people who can’t speak for themselves. I believe in the idea of bringing awareness to things that people would rather be kept in the dark. I believe in the idea of holding power accountable.”

“I saw so many powerless people in my life that I felt like if they just had somebody who could explain the context of which they were living and why they got there, then that might lead to a little bit more empathy and sympathy.”

“By all metrics, I shouldn’t have been successful. Born to a teenage mother, to recovering addicts. What about that would ever say the child that comes from that is supposed to be successful?”

“I think the concept of mastery, for me, is steeped in vulnerability. It’s showing how much you don’t know. I respect people who know what they don’t know. I respect people who say, ‘I’m sorry.”


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Senior Staff Writer at

Jemele Hill is a senior staff writer for The Atlantic, where she covers sports, race, politics, and culture.