Reflect, give thanks, keep working

With the launch of this blog last month, LGA’s Racial Justice and Equity Task Force crossed one big to-do off its plate, and we began November eager to dive into some of our other target areas. In particular, examining how we can continue to educate our own agency about racial justice and work to build a more diverse workforce within LGA and our industry top the list.

We took the bulk of our meeting time this month to examine some of the roadblocks our agency and, more broadly, our industry may unintentionally be creating that make advertising less accessible for people of color – and that’s when they can find us. Often, as we’ve discovered, efforts to meet people of color where they are have been dismal, leaving them underrepresented in fields like communications, public relations and design.

Here’s a look at what we’re working on to boost diversity within our agency and industry:

  • We are currently in the process of developing a diversity scorecard that will help our agency evaluate our own progress – and examine possible roadblocks we’ve unintentionally set.
  • We’ve created implicit bias training for hiring managers so that we can better recognize our own biases and fairly streamline our hiring process.
  • We’re also working on an internship program revamp with a “teach a man to fish” mindset. As we move forward, we’ll focus on what an internship experience could provide to this person rather than what he or she could do for us.
    • We’ll look at partnerships with local HBCUs.
    • Additionally, we’ll integrate a Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) fellow through the 4A’s Foundation once our internships resume.

Our education working group also hit the ground running this month by beginning to put some structure around a speaker series we hope to launch after the first of the year. This series would bring local diversity experts and business owners to LGA (virtually, for now) to talk with our team about their industry, challenges they’ve faced and more.

And this blog continues to be a topic of conversation among the task force – hence, why we’ve stated over and over that it’s a living, breathing website. We continue to question if we’re doing this right, and we’ve struggled with how to promote the blog and the resources we are providing here without coming off as inauthentic, preachy or self-aggrandizing. Should our blog posts come from an agency perspective or an individual perspective? What issues are appropriate for us to tackle? Should we insert ourselves into community issues or “stay in our lane” and focus primarily on the kinds of racial justice issues playing out in the communications and advertising industry?

The answer to all of this continues to be: We’re not quite sure. Like many of you, we’re still finding our footing here. We want to make sure this blog remains a valuable place both for information and a safe space to discover resources and perhaps to gain reassurance that you’re not alone on your own journey.

So, as we head into the final month of 2020, we are diving in headfirst to exploring the uncomfortable and continuing to grow. And we welcome all readers who are learning and growing right along with us.