Racial Equality @ Media Cause & Beyond
Like many others, the Media Cause team was extremely disturbed, saddened, and angered by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Upon seeing the news about George Floyd’s murder and the protest that followed we made the immediate decision to amplify frontline voices and organizations fighting for racial justice and mute ourselves. But we have also spent the last few weeks grappling with additional ways in which we can stand in solidarity, provide support, elevate critical voices as well as do our part to fight for racial equality at our own agency and around the world.
We’ve taken some time to listen, learn, reflect, and strategize on next steps we can take with informed action and intention to contribute to the momentum around supporting black lives in a meaningful way. Media Cause is a mission-driven agency. We built our organization to serve the nonprofit community, but we have always upheld that change belongs to everyone. We believe in fostering a company culture that embraces diversity and celebrates our differences, where employees come from all walks of life are welcomed. We know that in order to take real action toward diversity and inclusion for black people throughout the world, we need to start by taking a deeper look inside of ourselves.
Moving forward we will continue to use our platforms to amplify and support the work of our clients and outside organizations who have a racial-justice focus. We’re dedicating our platforms to sharing resources, campaigns, and ways to help those on the frontlines. We are also implementing new processes and standards at our company (employee training, diversity in hiring, diversity in vendor partnerships, etc) that aren’t just rooted in values of equality, but that are actively anti-racist. Because of our dedicated work in the nonprofit community, we feel the responsibility to play a leadership role within the advertising industry as a whole as it has long struggled to make progress with its own diversity.
As a sector, the advertising industry is significantly behind. A white person is 2.67x more likely to work in our industry (advertising, public relations, or related services) than a black person. We realize that to change the diversity issues within the advertising industry, we need to take bolder steps to fight racism and create long-term change, we need to take action not just here at Media Cause, but across our field.
1. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION COMMITMENT
As a first step, we’ve joined 200+ leaders across the advertising industry as we pledge to do better, take action, and become more intentional and inclusive in the fight against systemic racism. The 10 action items included in the pledge we’re added to our more comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plan focused on 5 areas: Diversity in Hiring, Employee Education & Engagement, Equity & Opportunity, Client & Partners, and DEI with Vendors.
2. CONTINUE TO LISTEN & LEARN
DEI education and training needs to be an ongoing sustained effort, not just to increase diversity within a company but in order to maintain a company culture where everyone feels valued and understood. To get started, we’re launching a monthly DEI educational event. This June and every year moving forward, Media Cause will be observing Juneteenth (June 19th) as agency wide education day in order to give our team the space and resources to learn and celebrate black history.
3. FREE SERVICES FOR RACIAL EQUALITY NONPROFITS
We’ve also decided to offer free Google Ad Grant setup and services—helping organizations get their message, campaigns, and needs in front of the masses. If you are an organization fighting racial justice, please reach out to [email protected] or DM us on Twitter.
4. PAID ON-THE-JOB TRAINING FOR DIVERSE JOB CANDIDATES
Lastly, we are committing $100,000 to build a Marketing Fellowship Program, with a focus on training candidates who we typically can’t hire because they don’t have any experience. Our hope isn’t just to improve diversity for Media Cause, but for the industry as a whole. The goal of the fellowship program is to train and educate individuals—giving them the opportunity to become better candidates and connect them to opportunities within the advertising industry if we’re not able to hire them ourselves. We’re also calling upon the entire advertising industry to join us and dedicate financial resources for paid fellowship opportunities. Contact our CEO at [email protected] if you’re interested in collaborating in any way.
We know that bold action to fight systemic racism is long overdue and that change doesn’t happen overnight. But we’re writing this letter to say we’re here, we see you, and we are committing to doing more as an agency—and as an advertising industry—not only to support others who are in this fight, but to actively join in the fight ourselves.
The Media Cause Team