Angela Rye is a well-known figure in political and social activism circles. A law graduate, the highly accomplished media personality has had a glowing career in championing social justice and political engagement. She has also pushed for mental wellness in the Black community – a cause that she believes in passionately.
Rye is the CEO and principal of the political advocacy firm, IMPACT Strategies. The firm, which was formerly based in Washington D.C. focuses on boosting economic empowerment, political engagement, and social involvement among young professionals.
Seasoned Media Personality
As a media personality, Rye has worked as a political analyst on NPR and commentator on CNN and ESPN, among other networks. As a special correspondent at ESPN, Rye is tasked with providing perspective on social justice, culture, and race issues related to sports.
“Sports plays a critical role in our culture, bringing joy to us all in the midst of unprecedented challenges,” Rye said in a statement about her ESPN role. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to give culturally relevant stories a voice on this iconic platform.”
In her role, she covers the stories of Black athletes making history and leaving a positive mark in their community with each passing year.
Rye’s Mental Wellness Advocacy Efforts
In addition to her political activism, Angela Rye is also very passionate about bringing issues of mental wellness in the Black community to the forefront. She used her appearances on various platforms to voice her concerns, including:
Summit 21 Keynote
Back in 2018, Angel Rye delivered a moving keynote on implementing social change at Summit 21. During the third annual conference held by 21 Ninety, Rye delivered a moving speech in between powerful prayer and meditation sessions. She highlighted the need for the Black community to own its own media spaces, saying, “When we don’t own our spaces, our voices can be disappeared.”
On emotional and mental health issues, she added, "When I think about the state of Black America, I think it’s strong yet so fragile. That our wounds are so deep and we’ve survived so much trauma we’ve never fully known freedom.” While highlighting the achievements of Stacey Abrams, the first Black woman to run for governor, she reiterated the need to support each other. She stated there was a need for Black women and the Black community at large, “to develop our political power on every single level.”
‘On One with Angela Rye’ with Dr. Joy
She also uses her podcast – On One with Angela Rye – to shed light on mental health issues. “On Black Mental Health with Dr. Joy” Rye was able to discuss the relationship between mental health and the black community, with her special guest Dr. Joy Harden Bradford — a licensed psychologist. In this installment, Rye and her guest discussed the importance of proper self-care and the need for more mental health professionals in the Black community.
“So much of what we have been taught, especially as Black women, about who we are in relationships, is sacrificial. It is somebody else’s needs, it’s somebody else’s wants always coming over our own,” Dr. Joy said on the podcast. “When you are doing that, who is taking care of your needs and your wants? I think that it is fine to be loyal in relationships but it should not come at the expense, all the time, of you and your self-esteem and self-worth.”
Mental Health During the Pandemic
In 2020, Rye was very vocal about the mental toll of the extended lockdown. During a time when being locked indoors contributed to increased levels of stress, she teamed up with other Black wellness gurus – such as Queen Afua – in advocating for mental health issues in the community.
“Journal, get your book, get your pen, light a candle, do your prayers, have a cup of tea, maybe, and then ask your Creator for help,” Quen Afua told Rye in a conversation for Essence. “You need help, you need support, you need love, you need prosperity, you need to find another way, you need work that can support you, but you love and then listen.”