Celebrating Game-Changers Building a Better Future for Black Marketing Talent
Image courtesy of NAL Media
It’s 2020 and we don’t know about you, but simply talking the talk about the diversity problem in adland just isn’t cutting it anymore. Culture creates society and media reflects culture. The minds behind the creative, tech, and strategy in media must accurately represent the cultures advertisers seek to connect with. It’s a no-brainer – diverse voices make us all better at the job of marketing! It’s why our company exists: to help big brands and ad agencies connect easier and faster with a community of abundantly diverse independent consultants (now 3,000 Rosies strong!) – particularly talent that have been underestimated and underrepresented.
We are in the business of walking the walk. After all, we are building the future of the marketing industry. A future that is people-first. And we’re in good company!
This February, we’re kicking off Black History Month by celebrating visionary organizations that are built with a mission to create space, amplify voices, offer mentorship, make opportunities, and ultimately create a better future for and by Black talent across the advertising and creative industries:
In 2012, Melissa Kimble launched #blkcreatives (pronounced “hashtag Black creatives”) on Twitter as a way to make space for conversations around creative industry topics that were missing on social media and more importantly, missing the voices of Black creatives. The Twitter chat is still going strong and organically evolved into a thriving collective and network with a finger on the pulse of Black culture and creativity. #blkcreatives is a social media movement that has been powering a new age of creative expression, while fueling economic growth for creatives of color through strategic collaboration. According to Melissa, “we create a compassionate ecosystem where Black creatives can share tools, strategies, and resources to help them grow professionally and earn more.” Check out the #blkcreatives site, shop their gear and follow @blkcreatives on socials.
Founded in 2016 by Eda Levenson and Geneva White, SOW (eg “scope of work”) is a talent development agency for underrepresented youth with a vision to establish equity in the creative industry and build a more inclusive creative ecosystem. Based in New York City, SOW offers professional development and cultivates community for marginalized talent by hosting events and workshops by some of the industry’s top creative visionaries. Supporting the creatives of the future is critical work (especially when it’s done independently), so we’re directing you straight to SOW’s donate page before you follow their stunning Instagram @sow.nyc.
Here Are All The Black People
If you’re in the creative business, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the One Club For Creativity and maybe even attended one of their popular events like the Young Guns awards. The well known group exists to “support and celebrate the success of the global creative community.” And they certainly do that with their annual multicultural career fair Here Are All The Black People, produced by the One ID Team. The event is going into its 10th year, providing young Black creative industry talent and students direct access to some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world. The one-day event also offers mentorship opportunities and portfolio reviews. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for HAATBP 2020!
Located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a community, wellness & co-working space created for and by people of color: Ethel’s Club. Founder Naj Austin told Zora “I’m building it for people who want it. These people are desperately looking for a space that centers who they are and sees them for who they are.” The social club launched in late 2019 with a roaring response. The space is decorated and furnished by designers that support the vision to celebrate that intention of recognizing and giving power to members’ presence, voice and needs. While we can’t wait to watch more Ethel’s Clubs launch in more spaces, they’ve recently launched an amazing line of merch you can rock anywhere you are. Grab your goods in the club’s online shop, and follow @ethelsclub on all socials.
Naomi Lilly, currently a Senior at Duke University, dreamed up her future business vision while interning with major media companies in her junior year. During her internship, she kept observing producers and decision makers on set who expressed their struggle with finding diverse creative talent. After this experience she reached out to friend Clarke Williams (Senior at Howard University) to build an online platform that can showcase diverse creative talent with an online subscription. NAL Media will officially launch the 2nd week of February and will include an online community for marginalized creatives and artists to network with each other. Keep your eyes open for these game-changers – follow NAL Media on socials @nal_media.
Recently launched in 2020, Gradient Group is a new platform that offers creative portfolio reviews and lists jobs across media and creative. According to their new site, Gradient has been built with diversity top of mind, with an understanding that “the corporate need for dynamic diversity solutions” influences the partners they work with. We’re excited to see Gradient in the future-building game. Follow @gradientgrp on socials.
ADCOLOR is a community and series of events designed to celebrate and promote professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries. With industry power-houses on their team, the dual mission to “Rise Up” and “Reach Back”, ADCOLOR not only elevates the accomplishments and vision of people of color, but also empowers future leaders to find emerging talent to lift up. The organization has held the ADCOLOR awards since 2007, celebrating the talent and companies that make a meaningful difference. The ADCOLOR conference is a one-day event focused on bringing the brightest minds in the industry together with innovative discussions on how to build a better future. Finally, ADCOLOR FUTURES is a program “dedicated to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders in the advertising” and adjacent industries. Follow @adcolor on socials and stay up to date with upcoming events on ADCOLOR.org.
Help us celebrate these game-changing initiatives and spaces building the future we all want and need – share with your networks! Surely there are even more out there – shout them out to us on Twitter @we_are_rosie!
The marketing industry thrives on diversity, and systemic change must happen to enable this. Our mission is shared with all the organizations we listed: creating more opportunities for Black and underrepresented talent. We Are Rosie’s community is meant to serve as a place where independent talent can feel a sense of belonging and gain equal access to not just freelance roles, but also basic human rights like weekly pay, healthcare and 401k. Join us if you haven’t already, we got you.
Happy Black History Month!