Millennial On A Mission: Chi Chi Ude + Courtney Whitaker

Great Friday to you all!

This week’s Millennials On A Mission are both creatives who have a passion for film, entertainment and the arts. Inspired by the #OscarsSoWhite movement, they created Reel Chats as a way to have honest conversations about the lack of diversity that currently exists in Hollywood movies and television shows.

I’d like for you to meet Chi Chi Ude + Courtney Whitaker.

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Hailing from Atlanta and New York City respectively, Chi Chi and Courtney currently both live in Los Angeles, pursuing careers in the entertainment industry. A graduate of Princeton University where she studied political economy, Chi Chi currently works for a talent and literary management firm. “I’ve been in different areas of entertainment including television and talent,” Chi Chi says, “but at this point in my career I love what I’m learning.” Courtney is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, where she graduated with a degree in English. “As a writer and creator, my writing skills help me complete scripts and material for unscripted content,” she says. Currently, Courtney works as a junior development executive for a major network. 

MOAM: What inspired you both to pursue careers in entertainment? Who are some individuals you admire in and out of your field of work, and what challenges have you faced in building #ReelChats? What have you learned from them?

Chi-Chi I’ve wanted to be in entertainment from a young age, but the biggest shift was in college. I took a course on pop culture and was amazed by all the different ways media reflected and informed society– it’s a phenomenal relationship. That moved me from music into television and film. Donna Langley, Ron Meyer, Ice Cube are all people I admire for their innovation and hard work. As far as challenges go, I’ve learned that this business is a marathon, not a race — I’ve got to be patient.

Courtney My mother inspired me to chase my dreams at a young age. She always told me I could do and be anyone in the world I wanted to be. It stuck with me and I’m doing just that today. Shonda Rhimes, Ava Duvernay, Taraji P. Henson and Michelle Obama are all women I admire. They remind me of the strength of my mother. As far as challenges go, I currently struggle with time. So many projects, so little time.

For Chi Chi and Courtney, being a Millennial On A Mission means to stay focused and centered. “There’s a lot of distractions out there, especially with social media,” Chi Chi says. “You have to stay focused on your purpose, and if you don’t know it, find it!” Chi Chi says by focusing on what she wants and not what others have, and remaining grateful keeps her on track. And a piece of advice that Courtney would give to her millennial peers? Don’t ever let the fear of success keep you from achieving your goals. Success can be a crutch and an excuse to not become bigger and better,” Courtney says. “Use it to accomplish all of your “missions” and to continue to be a millennial that inspires.” 

To learn more about #ReelChats, visit their website and YouTube channel. 

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