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Home HEALTH Shukura Wells on Navigating Paid Leave in Michigan

Shukura Wells on Navigating Paid Leave in Michigan

Shukura Wells, 28, was a mortgage underwriter and is launching a business that supports black-owned cosmetics brands. He lives in Detroit with his four-year-old daughter, Zendaya, her boyfriend, Dazz, and his three-month-old son, Dakari Gold. He had no paid vacation.

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I had my son on June 25 of this year. And a few weeks before giving birth, I got fired from my job. I was working for a mortgage company in Detroit, but the real estate market has been slow and our department took a real hit.

I thought it would be okay because the severance pay would cover me until November, my health care was still covered for six months and I thought it would give me time to pursue the beauty business that I recently started. But I guess I thought I was a superwoman, and even being heavily pregnant and early postpartum, I could do what I needed to do with my website: reach out to companies, feature their products on my site, promote everything. But I didn’t, and in the first few days after giving birth, all I could think about was money, stressed about what we had and what we didn’t have, and the fact that the severance money I had was running out. I didn’t mean to cry, but when I said it out loud, she felt real.

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