Two years ago, I pledged to do more to support, promote, defend and advocate for Black, Indigenous and other people of color. After the horrible events of last summer, I upped my commitment to racial equity and anti-Black and -Indigenous racism. I created The Word Factory's Social Justice Statement and signed the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge.
To make sure these promises weren't simply performative allyship, in July I began tracking our progress on five key metrics:
- Spend 10% of monthly agency budget with Black-owned businesses
- Include images of Black and Indigenous people when we produce visual content for clients
- Secure guest post and single-source editorial opportunities for Black subject matter experts
- Engage in anti-racist training and race-related educational opportunities
- Nominate Black people for honors, awards and other recognition
Here are the results for the six-month period:
- 2 Black women nominated for awards programs
- 3 BIPOC image sets developed for 2 national brands
- 5 guest posts and single-source editorial opportunities secured with major industry platforms
- 10% of monthly and annual business budget spent with Black entrepreneurs and businesses
- 19 classes, workshops and webinars, including Michelle Johnson's Dismantling Racism training and the University of Alberta's Indigenous Canada course (If you know of a MOOC exploring the Indigenous experience in the US, please email me!)
These activities don't compel me to hang a Mission Accomplished banner. Rather, they inspire me to keep working, to encourage other white business owners and decision-makers to do more, and to stand up for Black and Indigenous people, and other people of color.
As President Johnson noted, our work is not done.