As we kick off Black Historical past Month 2023, high companies share how they’re celebrating Black tradition and artwork, championing Black expertise and investing in Black creatives this month and all 12 months lengthy.
The theme for this 12 months’s Black Historical past Month is ‘Black Resistance’, and at TBWAChiatDay New York we’ve chosen to discover Black Resistance as a way of celebrating Black tradition. Traditionally, many contributions of Black folks have been erased from the narrative, and we wished to shine a light-weight on the contributions they’ve made throughout tradition in America inside historical past, type, meals, music and leisure.
Our Black worker useful resource group, Black, has resurrected an inside cultural publication often called ‘The Zine’ that options perception into Black folks’s contributions to tradition throughout historical past, type, meals, music and leisure, and so forth. ‘The Zine’ will even characteristic quizzes and actions to create extra of a gamified expertise, in addition to household recipes and restaurant guides throughout New York and Nashville, encouraging folks to strive several types of Black delicacies and help Black-owned companies within the communities the place we exist. The ERG can be engaged on a playlist exploring Black contributions all through totally different generations. Moreover, we’re hoping to arrange a ‘sip and paint’ with a Black artist and Black-owned wines for our folks.
Lastly, we’re organizing a panel of Black staff at totally different ranges throughout departments and of cultural backgrounds to relaunch our program ‘Numerous voices’. The panel will focus on Black tradition by means of totally different generational lenses. ‘Numerous Voices’ is an inside dialog collection aligned with numerous cultural moments and subjects which can be impactful, partaking and academic. The content material focuses on creating house for traditionally marginalized tales to be shared.
Carlin Dixon, program supervisor and variety, fairness and inclusion lead, TBWAChiatDay.
To have fun Black Historical past Month, UM will probably be internet hosting ‘Ginger & Soul’ as a part of our ‘Actual Discuss’ panel collection that delves into the onerous truths about race and tradition in America. This month’s dialogue will spotlight the intersection of R&B and Afrobeats – particularly the affect of Afrobeats, a neighborhood that has largely been ignored for its contributions to music and tradition.
This 12 months’s Black Historical past Month can be the primary time UM is rolling out its newest range, fairness and belonging initiative, ‘Collectively on the desk’, a roundtable dialogue and protected house for UMers to peel again layers on subjects that transcend the office – like household, finance and psychological well being – that impression not solely how they present up professionally, but additionally of their communities.
Natalie Madera, accomplice, portfolio administration and variety, fairness and belonging lead, UM Worldwide.
Spearheaded by Droga5’s Black worker useful resource group Kinfolk, this 12 months’s Black Historical past Month on the company will probably be centered on celebrating and amplifying the Black Expertise by means of the lens of hip hop in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of hip hop. As a cultural catalyst that has transcended music by creating neighborhood whereas additionally championing individuality, hip hop above all is culturally rooted, and we’re leaning into the way it has been a pillar of our society.
By means of numerous programming all through the month together with discussions, speaker collection, visible artwork items, a Spotify playlist and social takeover, we plan on to Flip Up, College and Champion, the nuances of hip-hop tradition. We’ll be updating Droga5’s Instagram all through the month to see how we’re honoring and celebrating Black Historical past Month.
Kimi Switzer and Karen Tshimanga, planning leads of Kinfolk, Droga5.
This 12 months, the Black neighborhood at R/GA had a brand new imaginative and prescient for the way we are able to have fun Black Historical past Month in a fashion that’s inspiring, uplifting and helpful for R/GA’s international Black neighborhood. We agreed that Black historical past is world historical past and so Black Historical past Month shouldn’t be [relegated] to simply February. To be inclusive of celebrations in international locations the place R/GA has a presence – [considering we have] workplaces within the UK, Brasil, Australia, Canada and Buenos Aires – it felt proper that we broaden our celebration to be extra inclusive of all of the moments in a 12 months the place Black historical past is well known throughout these nations. So this 12 months, we are going to have fun Black Historical past Month in February within the US, Canada and Latam; Juneteenth in June within the US; Black Historical past Month in July in Australia; Black Historical past Month in October within the UK and on November 20, Black Consciousness Day in Brazil.
We additionally wished to deal with the truth that worker useful resource teams and non-organized BIPOC individuals are typically challenged with the added work of making and executing cultural programming. We see this as an extension of our business’s behavior of selling busyness, over-working, performative work and grind tradition, as a direct output of white supremacy’s affect on fashionable company methods of working. So in honor of Black Historical past Month, and the numerous, many Black those that blazed the path of alternative and entry for us worldwide, we need to reframe Black historical past by means of a lens of relaxation – revolutionary relaxation. Relaxation that feeds us and celebrates our previous. Relaxation that nourishes the collective Black tradition of our current. And relaxation that speaks to the place we’re going as a extra human, extra numerous future at R/GA. We have been impressed by the work of Siestas Negras and The Nap Ministry, and so we determined to dedicate our Black Historical past Month programming and house to the prioritization, training and celebration of relaxation for and by the Black neighborhood at R/GA.
Julie Andrews, vice-president, managing director of manufacturing and operations US, R/GA.
United below the theme, ‘Care: Cultivating a Richer Expertise’, Edelman Griot, our Black worker community, has organized actions highlighting the necessity for Care in a single’s life and the way it manifests – personally and professionally. This theme will information programming all year long and showcase how staff can domesticate richer experiences for themselves, our colleagues, our purchasers and our communities.
Some actions deliberate for this month’s celebration of Black historical past embrace an annual poetry slam; a panel dialog elevating Black voices in media – together with platforms comparable to Blavity, Range Inc, Essence and Mother.com; a psychological wellness useful resource session and a sport night time. We’ll additionally host a fireplace chat with the founders of Edelman’s Mighty Dream, a brand new inventive advocacy company based in partnership with Pharrell Williams, in addition to an worker highlight showcasing rising Black expertise at Edelman who’re performing with Care inside the group and past.
Trisch Smith, international chief range, fairness and inclusion officer, Edelman.
Following the employee-led sentiment of being forward-looking and celebratory of present Black tradition – versus leaning solely into remembrance – Vaynermedia has a slate of programming organized by our neighborhood useful resource group, Vaynoire, geared toward highlighting the intersectionality of Blackness. It contains panels and occasions round management, monetary literacy, psychological well being and wellness and [the experience of] being Black and queer. This would be the kickoff to our yearly programming objectives, as Black tradition lives past February.
Brittany King, senior vice-president of range, fairness and inclusion, VaynerX.
Dentsu has been working in the direction of a unified tradition, one the place we acknowledge and have fun our uniqueness. Our enterprise useful resource teams have grown considerably on this space over the previous few years, offering us with a possibility to higher serve our total group, serving to us to be taught and most significantly, unlearn historical past, biases and stereotypes.
This Black Historical past month, our Mosaic id group – inside our bigger multicultural enterprise useful resource group – developed monthlong programming centered across the ‘Energy of Perception’. Our group put collectively a significant expertise that celebrates the variety inside our group and evokes our staff by means of our annual micro-action calendar. Featured on this calendar, we are going to host a collection of occasions centered on bringing collectively our staff to be taught extra and do extra by celebrating range, inspiring creativity and inspiring wellness and sustainability.
Our tentpole occasion will probably be hosted by Gia Peppers, award-winning on-air expertise, leisure journalist, content material creator and podcaster. She’s going to reasonable a panel dialogue with Black leaders throughout Dentsu to share their profession journeys, insights and experiences of being Black at work. This session will probably be a possibility for us to be taught from their journeys, be impressed by their ambition, but additionally take a step again so we are able to be sure that the hurdles they needed to soar by means of is usually a little shorter for the subsequent generations to come back.
We perceive that Black Historical past Month is not only one month, however a year-round celebration and our Greater than That podcast collection with Gia Peppers is all about showcasing Black excellence past February. Going into its third 12 months, we’re happy with this long-standing partnership with ADCOLOR, Group Black, The Nationwide Affiliation of Black-Owned Broadcasters, Basic Motors, Procter & Gamble and Kroger, and our ongoing work to create illustration throughout inventive, equitable media, unbiased knowledge by way of CXM.
Kai Weidie, senior vice-president of range, fairness and inclusion, Dentsu Media US.
Blissful hours and good conversations [are on tap for this month]. In every metropolis, we’ll be elevating native Black-owned companies and creating house in our workplaces to attach, have fun, be taught and mirror on how we as an company can additional inclusion of Black creators, and authentically symbolize Black communities. As we have fun the Black Diaspora throughout the US, we’re protecting in thoughts our theme, ‘The Future is Now’.
Marlice Johnson, director of range, fairness and inclusion North America, Ogilvy,
Black Historical past Month is one among many alternatives for expertise throughout all identities to acknowledge the wealthy historic legacy of Black folks, and at Publicis Groupe we’re encouraging everybody to take part within the programming hosted by our US companies, enterprise useful resource teams and expertise, engagement and inclusion group – this contains panel discussions, radio exhibits, mixers, e-book golf equipment, trivia and past. On this 12 months’s occasions, now we have prioritized voices which can be dedicated to documenting Black historical past, together with a presentation from Dr. Yohuru Williams, historian, scholar of African American historical past and civil rights and co-author of Instructing US Historical past Past the Textbook.
Our concentrate on honoring and celebrating the Black neighborhood isn’t restricted to February – our Viva Ladies of Colour & Males of Colour Alliance enterprise useful resource teams develop intersectional programming that helps expertise year-round. Our expertise, engagement and inclusion observe constantly prioritizes our ‘Seven Actions’ commitments [to advancing diversity and inclusion] and associated initiatives, together with our Black Expertise Summit & Black Expertise Profession Improvement program, which we developed to create extra equitable experiences and help profession improvement and development.
Lastly, we proceed to take a workplace-to-marketplace method to driving additional fairness and inclusion within the broader promoting ecosystem, by means of efforts comparable to our [equity initiative] ‘As soon as & For All Coalition’.
Geraldine White, chief range officer, Publicis Groupe US
Over the previous 12 months, Deutsch NY has been highlighting folks from all backgrounds by means of our applications deliberate by our 24/7/365 group. For Black Historical past Month, we need to concentrate on Black pleasure and celebration. We’re working in the direction of having speaker classes from people of various industries to speak concerning the significance of Black pleasure from their perspective and expertise.
All through the workplace, we will probably be showcasing quotes from Black staff at Deutsch NY about their experiences and aspirations for our society shifting ahead. Highlighting worker quotes has been an unbelievable approach to be taught extra about our coworkers – it begins dialogues and creates connections. We additionally characteristic treats and meals all through the month from native, New York Black-owned eating places and firms.
With our hybrid office, we will even be sharing info on present Black icons and academic assets with the company by way of our Slack channels. Our 24/7/365 group is working onerous to ensure everybody might be concerned with our applications, each on-line and in-office. It’s been nice to see how our applications can evolve and develop!
Elena Woznick, senior designer, Deutsch NY.
Black Historical past Month is a time of recognition, reflection, studying and appreciation of the historical past and contributions of Black People and Black tradition all through the nation. We’re exploring the story behind Black resistance, bringing forth consciousness, training and celebration of the historic and ongoing resistance of Black folks with the assistance of our worker useful resource teams and giving our folks alternatives to be taught and join in some ways.
We’re internet hosting a meals cultural immersion expertise that tells the story of meals throughout the Black Diaspora; educating on the discrimination of pure hair and the Crown Act; bringing again our annual ‘Black Wall Avenue’ procuring occasion highlighting Black companies; and internet hosting our fifth annual ‘Artwork Noir’ occasion – a curated exhibit celebrating native artists that proceed to inform the story of Black resistance.
Lukeisha Paul, head of range, fairness and inclusion, GroupM US. For extra, join The Drum’s every day US e-newsletter right here.