if dr. martin luther king jr. worked in advertising...54 years later.
i have a dream about diversity.
i have a dream that one day this industry will rise up and live out the true meaning of this nation’s creed: "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
i have a dream that one day within creative agencies and boutiques everywhere, young, emerging creatives of color won’t be kept out due to lack of experience and seasoned, dedicated creatives of color won’t be pushed out due to lack of adaptability.
i have a dream that one day even the agencies that lie about their diversity statistics, which is something most of them do, will be transformed and begin to put action behind the diversity initiatives that are so eloquently written on their company’s website.
i have a dream that i will one day work in an industry where i am not judged solely by the portfolio school i attended, the content of my portfolio, the color of my skin or years of experience, but by the quality of my work, the legitimacy of my thought process and my ability to create.
i have a dream today!
i have a dream that one day, across all of these agencies, with their unconsciously bias recruiters who refuse to offer creatives of color the same access to jobs that is afforded to our white counterparts — one day black creatives and white creatives will be able to join forces and tackle a creative brief together without the black person being mislabeled as aggressive, difficult to work with, or having an attitude.
i have a dream today!
i have a dream that one day every creative will be respected and listened to, not just the senior creatives who refuse to foster an emerging generation of creative talent, black women won’t have to repeat what another black women said to reestablish and enforce its validity amongst white men, and black creatives everywhere won’t have to answer to a shortened version of their names because their counterparts are too lazy to internalize the correct spelling and pronunciation.
this is our hope, and this is the faith that i go back to the job search with.
with this faith, we will apply to jobs even though the years of experience listed threatens to keep us out of the applicant pool. with this faith, we will continue to integrate marketing and advertising agencies so that we can create content that actually resonates with our culture and doesn't appropriate it. with this faith, we will be able to create together, win together, lose together, learn together and train emerging talent together, knowing that one day the diversity numbers these creative agencies report will one day be true.
and this will be the day — this will be the day when agencies and creative boutiques everywhere will be able to say with new meaning:
we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for our talented and diverse
team because we know that through our diversity and inclusion efforts, we will achieve
success. this is how we influence culture.
and if our agencies will ever be a great place to work, this must become true.
and so let diversity ring so that there are more people of color at the corporate levels.
let diversity ring so that women are not just listened to, but respected and promoted.
let diversity ring so that entry level creatives are afforded the opportunity to obtain experience rather than being marginalized for the lack thereof.
let diversity ring from the sun-kissed advertising offices in california.
let diversity ring from the wind-stricken agencies in chicago.
but not only that:
let diversity ring from the beautifully constructed creative boutiques in london.
let diversity ring from the goal oriented start-ups across the country.
within every creative agency, marketing house, creative boutique and tech company, let diversity ring.
and when this happens, and when we allow diversity to ring, when we let it ring from every corner office and every cubicle, from every conference room and every creative briefing, we will all be able to speed up that day when all of us creatives, black and white, senior and entry level, married and single, will be able to join forces and create as we all will finally be able to say: