Digital Recap: Black Lives Matter
George Floyd protests in Charlotte, NC. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.
Black Lives Matter
“If we can get an entire generation hooked on cigarettes, we could do something to solve racism without having black people be the mouthpiece or the ones advocating for that change.” -Creative, holding company agency, “Agencies Face a Huge Obstacle in Responding to Racism: Their Own Failure to Act”
Decades late to the conversation on anti-racism, marketing and advertising agencies have a lot of ground to make up. While the conversation is a start, our industry needs to take action – to promote racial diversity in leadership across departments, to change hiring procedures to remove racial bias, and to insist on inclusion in the advertisements we craft. Take time this week to read more on turning this industry into one that is actively anti-racist.
Responding to Racism as an Agency
In his article for Adweek, Doug Zanger gets feedback from six black professionals in the advertising industry on what employers should and shouldn’t do. Our key takeaways:
- Action and transparency are more important than words of sympathy.
- Black people, as victims of racism, do not bear the responsibility to remedy issues related to diversity and inclusion.
- Mental well-being is critical right now. Consider providing paid time off to people of color.
- Hold clients accountable.
Read Zanger’s full article: “Agencies Face Huge Obstacle in Responding to Racism: Their Own Failure to Act.”
Reduce Bias When Hiring
Writing for the Harvard Business Review last year, Ruchika Tulshyan discusses ways businesses can move beyond good intentions and achieve diversity in the workplace. Here’s what she recommends:
- Accept that you have biases.
- Learn about the experience of underrepresented communities.
- Ask yourself where bias might show up in the choices made during recruitment.
- Reduce peer influence when assessing a candidate.
- Understand the personal benefits of reducing bias.
For further insight, read Tulshyan’s article, “How to Reduce Personal Bias When Hiring.”
Small Steps Change the World
Kennedy Mitchum, a 22 year old recent graduate, wrote a series of emails to Merriam-Webster to request that the definition of ‘racism’ be expanded to include systemic racism. The editors agreed and confirmed that the definition would be revised. This one-woman email campaign will affect even deeper change as the dictionary makes plans to revise other race-related words. Imagine, with the resources and influence agencies have, how much of a difference we can make to create a more equitable world.
Read more about Kennedy Mitchum here: “Merriam Webster Revises ‘Racism’ Entry After Missouri Woman Asks for Changes.”
We want to highlight the work of Campaign Zero, an organization dedicated to ending police violence through research, technical assistance for police accountability campaigns, developing model legislation and advocacy.
We are proud of our fundraising efforts in support of Campaign Zero. Location3 matched employee contributions and gave over $5k. Learn more and donate by visiting the Campaign Zero website.
Donations are not enough! Thoughtful action and persistence are needed. Keep racial equity at the top of your priorities moving forward. Black Lives Matter.