Anna Gragert
February 24, 2016 2:48 pm

Five days ago, 25-year-old Talia Jane‘s name spread across the Internet. In a nutshell, here’s why: Talia wrote a letter to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman discussing the fact that some of his employees (including her) are living in poverty. About two hours later, the young woman was fired from Yelp.

Talia Jane / medium.com

After posting this letter for the world to see, Talia received plenty of feedback – both negative and positive. But, ultimately, she started an important conversation about wages and how they relate to one’s quality of life:

One person in particular, 29-year-old writer Stefanie Williams, had a lot of things to say about Talia in her very own Medium letter. “Being an English major isn’t the problem. Minimum wage isn’t the problem (in this case). Do I like Yelp? Not particularly. Do I like that CEOs make pathetic amounts of money? Not particularly,” Williams writes.

“But turning this girl’s inability to work for what she wants into a conversation about poverty (Poverty! She lives in the Bay Area alone and has a corporate job and can afford fancy bourbon! Not exactly the picture of a third world crisis!) and wage issues, it’s utter b–.”

Even so, instead of retaliating (and inevitably continuing the Medium letter cycle), Talia came back with an unexpectedly positive response:

In the end, it would be great if this prompted both Talia and Stefanie to work together on this issue. Because two passionate, talented writers are better than one – especially when it comes to a topic as complex as poverty and wage disparity.

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