CIA Recruitment Ads: Woke Humans of CIA

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A series of recruitment videos from the CIA have been titled Humans of CIA and they have taken on a woke tone as well as a lot of criticism.

Video Playlist: Humans of CIA

Transcript of video on the top of article

When I was 17, I quoted Zora Neale Hurston How It Feels To Be Colored Me in my college application essay. The line that spoke to me stated simply, “I am not tragically colored. There is no sorrow dammed up in my soul nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all.”

At 17 I had no idea what life would bring but Zora sentiment articulated so beautifully how I felt as a daughter of immigrants then, and now. Nothing about me was or is tragic. I am perfectly made. I can wax eloquent on complex legal issues in English, while also belting Guayaquil de mis amores in Spanish. I can change a diaper with one hand and console a crying toddler with the other. I’m a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender1 millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder2. I am intersectional3, but my existence is not a box checking exercise. I am a walking declaration, a woman whose inflection does not rise at the end of her sentences suggesting that a question has been asked. I did not sneak into CIA. My employment was not and is not the result of a fluke or a slip through the cracks. I earned my way in and I earned my way up the ranks of this organization.

I am educated, qualified and competent, and sometimes I struggle, I struggle feeling like I could do more, be more, to my two sons and a struggle leaving the office when I feel there’s so much more to do. I used to struggle with imposter syndrome, but at 36 I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I’m supposed to apologize for the space I occupy rather than intoxicated people with my effort … my brilliance. I am proud of me. Full stop.

My parents left everything they knew and loved to expose me to opportunities they never had. Because of them I stand here today a proud first generation Latina and officer at CIA. I am unapologetically me, I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are. Know your worth, command your space, Mija you’re worth it.

  1. A cisgender person is a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was identified as female at birth is a cisgender woman. The word cisgender is the antonym of transgender.
  2. Generalized anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about events or activities. Worry often interferes with daily functioning, and sufferers are overly concerned about everyday matters such as health, finances, death, family, relationship concerns, or work difficulties.
  3. Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. Examples of these aspects include gender, caste, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, disability, physical appearance, and height.
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