Can you hear the cries of the oppressed if you’re out of range?
The answer is no. But that doesn’t stop them from crying out for help. For their mothers. For their lives. For the lives of their children. They can’t breathe. Black people can’t breathe.
There is a shift happening right now in all 50 states and three continents around the world, to end racism. Black Lives Matter is more than a statement. It is a movement.
During this uprising some businesses remain silent, most are rushing to push out content while others are on the fence about making a statement.
Let’s be clear: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not up for debate. This is a time for businesses to take a step back and see how significant their role is in what is going on in our world right now.
If your company hasn’t already been doing the work to backup your BLM tweets there is a HUGE problem.
So how can you walk the talk? Start by having a conversation.
Wayward Kind’s Director of Strategy Jaz and Copywriter Keishonda had a candid conversation about being Black, working in marketing, and some steps businesses can take to back up their posts and hashtags with tangible action.
Join us here.
Transparency Starts With Uncomfortable Conversations
Jaz: We just thought today would be a good day to have an open dialogue and conversation with everything that is going on, especially as two Black women that work in marketing and work very closely with so many small businesses of different industries, sizes, and regions. We were very much affected by what is going on so we thought we’d have a conversation with each other and share it. I think a lot of people are concerned with how their Black employees are feeling or what they should be doing to support their Black employees. We can’t answer all the questions. We know how we feel of course, but we hope to hopefully kind of guide everyone in the right direction to have some of these conversations to support their team through everything that is going on right now.
Keishonda: Right now the Black community and Black people in the United States and around the world need support and we just want to talk about how we can get there. What is your take on that?
Jaz: I think it starts with a conversation. So the unfortunate part about this is, I understand it’s that it is very uncomfortable to feel called out for not being as inclusive or accepting people of different walks of life. I know it’s very uncomfortable to feel like “I’m someone who…I’m not prejudiced. I don’t have any biases.” So I’m sure it doesn’t feel great, but that is just a part of it. It’s part of what comes with, you know the privilege of being in certain positions of being white, or in a position of power or authority.
I’m saying this as a Black woman that does the work that we can’t say we support Black Lives Matter and Black people, and these people from marginalized groups and then not give them voices or allow them in the room to have these conversations or to make these decisions. I think that is part of what’s so great about working here at Wayward Kind. When you look at our team—everyone on our team comes from a different walk of life. We all have different lived experiences and as a result of that we look for that in the work we do and we encourage our clients to do the same.
How Can Companies Push for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
Jaz: Make sure that everyone feels welcome and affirmed and comfortable. You know being proactive about putting people in these positions; hiring Black creators and Black professionals and supporting these organizations, giving our time and our funds if we can, signing petitions, making phone calls. All of these things are helpful. Basically, silence isn’t working. It’s never worked. It doesn’t serve us.
Looking at your content strategy, looking at your audience, and acknowledging any of your own implicit biases. Business owners and marketers set the tone, and we don’t realize we are coming into it with our own biases and our own judgments against people or groups of people and we can’t make effective change that way.
People that are creating you know diversity and inclusion committees with Black people on their teams investing in training for leaders because it always starts at the top. It starts from the way you interview to…I’m sorry before they even interview— the questions you ask before the interview. People’s biases with regards to professionalism and respectability are rooted in white supremacy and prejudice. You just have to do the work. Your team can’t do it for you. Now is the time to dig in.
Look Around Your Table
Keishonda: So it’s important to have those people “Black people non-Black people of color” at the table?
Jaz: Yeah that really is the start. You kinda gotta start from the ground up. Before we look at you know, the messaging that we’re putting out and the copy on our websites and our email marketing and things like that, let’s look at our core values. So that’s talking to your team, the Black members of your team. If you don’t have any Black members on your team, if you don’t have any other person of color, any disabled persons to have these conversations you’re already in bad shape.
People will continue to call out companies that post Black Lives Matter hashtags and they’ve never hired Black employees or stock photos featuring Black families. I think this isn’t going away anytime soon.
Ask those questions, but not to the point where we are placing the burden or the onus on them, it is not your Black employee’s responsibility to educate you or connect you with resources. We have a lot already on our plates, you know existing in our skin.
Jaz: I love the work that I do because I get to…advocate for people that normally don’t have a voice in the room. We get to kind of control the messaging and make sure we aren’t excluding anyone in the copy, website, emails, and print materials we create.
As two Black women that are in positions where our voices can be heard, we thought it was important to have this conversation and share it with others. This is tough for everyone so right now it’s all about compassion. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Wayward Kind strives every day to align the work we do with our core values. Change is not a one day, one month, or one-year occurrence. It takes economic and social justice, empathy and so much more. We all play a part in promoting liberation and inclusion.
Black lives Matter so let’s show that in the work we do every day.
If your business has questions about how to make your messaging consistent and authentic or make sure your core values feel right for you, we are here to help. Tell us your story so we can go from here together.
Below are a few resources to help your business head in the right direction to support and uplift Black Lives Matter and your Black and Non-Black POC Employees.
We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!