In recognition of Black History Month, RPA partnered with NBC Universal, ThinkLA, and ThinkLA's DIG initiative on "Diversifying Advertising: Perspectives on Hiring Black Talent & Workplace Inclusivity on Feb. 21 at RPA in Santa Monica.
From recruiting and retaining black talent to workplace inclusivity, we learned about the challenges agencies and businesses face in creating a diverse culture from industry veterans.
Panelists included: Kirsten Atkinson, VP, Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal Media; Rhonda Fortner, Digital Media Manager, Innocean USA; Marissa Nance, Managing Director, Multicultural Content Marketing andStrategic Partnerships, OMD; Marcus Wesson, Executive Creative Director, Dailey; and moderator Shanique Bonelli-Moore, Senior Director, Global Corporate Communications, Buzzfeed.
Below are takeaways from ThinkLA's Admin Coordinator, Events, Olivia Christian.
"What an amazing way to celebrate Black History Month! Thank you to RPA for hosting this incredibly informative and inspiring event. A special thanks to NBC Universal and ThinkLA's DIG initiative for partnering to make this event possible."
“What I would challenge each of you is first and foremost, be aware of who you are. Don’t become someone you’re not. If you’re not true to yourself, you’re not your best self.” - Marissa Nance, Managing Director, Multicultural Content Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, OMD
“One thing that I value the most is... time. If I can give that, that means more than money and other resources.” - Kirsten Atkinson, VP, Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal Media
“[People of color] will go to a meeting but we won’t sit down together and talk to each other. That becomes intimately important in all of our learning. We have to educate each other because we individually can’t break the mask. We have to collectively communicate and destroy the perception.” - Rhonda Fortner, Digital Media Manager, Innocean USA
“I came up through the [ThinkLA's] MAT Program, which is essentially the multicultural advertising training program… it helped show that I had experience in the real world.” - Marcus Wesson, Executive Creative Director, Dailey
As a special treat for the attendees, Don Lupo of lupofoto created a complimentary portrait opportunity.
Click below for the full gallery (password: Diversity2018).