As part of our ongoing commitment to uniting, listening to, and standing in solidarity with our Black colleagues and the Black community, this February our North America office celebrated Black History Month (BHM) with a focus on Black Joy.
Members of our Inclusion Team — a mix of representatives of The Marketing Store’s Black and Brown community, as well as allies who are passionate about BHM — planned a variety of initiatives to educate, celebrate, and activate around Black Joy, in addition to launching a month-long logo takeover across our social media channels and email signatures.
The agency had a chance to put their BHM knowledge to the test and learn something new during Bingo and Jeopardy. Participants identified songs by Black artists and answered questions on different topics, including movies, music, sports, education, and more.
To share the perspectives and stories of The Marketing Store’s Black employees, we debuted a A BHM podcast and video.
In Heard You: TMS Talks Black History — a podcast hosted by Marketing Operations Manager Brianna Toney — Office Manager Raven Childs, Retail Strategist Chantal Page, and Director of First Impressions Chloe Mitchell discussed Black History, Black Culture, and what's necessary to keep pushing the Culture forward.
In our 2021 BHM video, Executive Assistant Zia Nix and Senior and Associate Marketing Operations Managers Nicole Jacobs and Azeezat Odu spoke to Black culture, what Black Joy means to them, memorable moments of Black Joy in history, and what advice they’d offer to Black youth.
BHM Panel: She’s Here Too
Three panelists — Nekasha Pratt, Senior Marketing Director at HarperCollins Publishers; Monique Ozanne, Global Strategic Planner at Beam Suntory; and Vanessa Hobson, Account Director at Ten35 — spoke to their experiences as Black women in the advertising and marketing space.
Here’s what stood out to us most from the discussion:
- The Black community is not a monolith in any way but varied and vast. Everyone brings something different to Black culture and takes parts of it and makes their own.
- It’s important to think about your own privilege and how it might blind you. We have to all be responsible for our own ignorance.
- Relationship building is key. Forming human connections and meeting people halfway will help combat bias.
- Something as simple as going to a grocery store in an area you know is more diverse than your own can open your eyes to new perspectives and humanize people who are different from you.
- The biggest and most important thing each person can do to make a change is start with where you are: look at your circle and pay attention to how people are being treated. Be aware of the problems that exist whether or not they’re directly affecting you.
- Be okay with what you don’t know. Be open to learning.
You can watch the full panel discussion here.
After spending the month commemorating Black Joy as well as Black history, lives lost, and authentic Black experiences, we are eager to keep up this momentum as we continue moving forward together and working toward creating a more inclusive world and industry.