Stories FUBU with Angela Abreu

Stories FUBU with Angela Abreu

We are highlighting a previous episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.

Angela "Angy" Abreu is a Dominican-American mom, writer and community organizer. Angy firmly believes that “if it does not exist then you must create it.” In 2015, feeling dismissed as a Dominican American writer in many literary spaces, she decided to create the Dominican Writers Association, a 501 c3 non-profit organization solely dedicated to highlighting content that not only promotes the works of Dominican Writers but also provides them with the tools and resources necessary for their development. Angy is the Creative Director of Dominican Writers, and along with the Board, she manages and creates content that serves the Dominican Writers community.


In this conversation, Angy Abreu takes us on a journey through her experience between professionalism and authenticity.


 These are some of the episode highlights:

“Being you regardless of what people think, not doing the code switching, be respectful but be you. Don’t fake it just because you’re in a certain room with certain people.”Angy Abreu

When it comes to authenticity, Angy believes you must be you at all times and that you must set boundaries or people take advantage of you. Angy reports being outspoken from a young age because as a child she was silenced a lot like many children in Latinx households. Where you are not allowed to speak up for yourself or it's deemed a sign of disrespect. As a result of this suppression, those same children grow up fearful of using their voice to advocate for themselves or others. 

“The professor wasn’t understanding the nuances of Dominicanidad that I was expressing in my stories. It was Caribbean life and because she wasn’t understanding, it was deemed incorrect.”Angy Abreu

As an avid reader and voracious writer, Angy became inspired to create a space where Dominican voices could exist with all its nuances. After noticing that her written work was not being considered valid by professors that didn’t understand where she was coming from, Angy made it her mission to support writers in creating the stories that are authentic to the writer and the reader alike. Angy says, “I find it so insulting that just because you haven't experienced something you doubt it. Therefore, it didn't happen and it's not real, so you shouldn't be talking about it.” 

Due to her many questionable experiences within corporate America, Angy has had to learn to advocate for herself and her well-being. Working in a place where one is constantly being spoken to in a condescending manner can lead to a hostile work environment which could then lead to stress and other ailments, like it did for Angy after  returning from maternity leave. As it often occurs in workplaces where Black and Latino’s are managed by white people, Angy chose to resign due to her boss’ way of mistreating her and because of his assumptions that she had to accept his misconduct as a new mother. She went on to say...“If I'm not authentic with myself, I can't teach that to my kid and I think that’s harmful.” 

“I’ve had so many issues in corporate America that I’ve had to put my foot down. I don’t know what it is with corporate and people in high positions… and if you’re Latino or Black, they feel they can talk to you or treat you a certain way.”Angy Abreu

Angy’s source of inspiration is her son. I think that when we are in positions of leadership, especially as a parent, we must remember that even when we think our children, siblings, or even neighbors are not watching, they are. They pick up on what we say and do therefore, it is imperative we present as our most authentic selves, if we want to serve as sources of inspiration for younger generations and if we’d like to teach them to advocate for themselves and others.

By standing in our own power, we give others permission to stand in their own. And this is exactly what Angy does for so many– but especially for her son; “I taught my son that he matters, that his opinion matters, don’t let people talk to you a certain way or treat you a certain way, and if you have a curiosity or question about anything, I need you to advocate for yourself.”


Angy is inspiring to change the narrative around professionalism.

Listen to this episode to learn more about her journey: Spotify & Apple Podcasts

Have a story to share? Let us know here for an opportunity to be featured in the podcast!

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