A strong message from W+K as they commit to the Black Lives Matter movement to tackle institutional racism

A strong message from W+K as they commit to the Black Lives Matter movement to tackle institutional racism

Signing a petition for change isn’t enough.

Having talks in agency-wide zoom rooms isn’t good enough. 

Going out on an employment hunt for a black person or any person of colour is an easy way out.

Being mentors to inner-city schools only makes you feel good.

Institutional racism will exist for as long as the policies within the organisation remain. 

Which is why this one minute post by Wieden + Kennedy is a step in the right direction. 

In plain English, it wants us to hold the agency accountable to make the institutional change to create an industry that really believes that Black Lives Do Matter.

The world is watching

It's time we challenge every agency within the industry to follow suit, it’s time for radical reviews of client contracts, HR policies, hiring terms, contractor agreements, and real investment into the careers of Black creatives. 


Because the world is watching.

That is the kind of agency that will be able to create real institutional change. 

We need to get to a place where clients know they can’t get away from saying “xxx market does not respond well to black models” or “they are way too urban for our brand”. 

A space where microaggressions have no place on the creative floor, or the board room. 

The agency where a Black woman would not be called "sassy" or a Black man termed as “scary”, or a place where they have to hide their personalities for fear of coming across “too Black”. 

It’s not my job to educate

Do not use the term “diversity hire”.

I’m tired of explaining. 

Tired with trying to educate the ignorant. 

Because, simply, it isn't my job. 

There are tonnes of articles on colonialism, slave trade, post-colonial histories, and politics available. 

Instead, I am standing with my Black sisters and brothers, to fight against racism, anti-Blackness, and reclaiming their space and voices so Black isn’t a crime, isn’t ugly, isn’t poverty, isn’t aggression or less than.

The uncomfortable truth

They say “You can’t change a whole system overnight”. I call this bull****. 

That is why tackling and facing racism is uncomfortable. It is inconvenient to have these conversations with new clients or collaborators. 

It is inconvenient to have to let go of your highly awarded creative who might be “slightly racist”.

It is terribly awkward to be called out on an ad about Black Lives Matter created by a whole team of privileged white men and women. 

Men and women who cannot even begin to appreciate what it might feel like to walk in the shoes of a Black person. 

Sound familiar? 

This movement does not need a white saviour. 

We do not need more talks to understand and share experiences. 

We need action and we needed it yesterday. 

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