First, let’s agree that there’s a problem.

If you’re somehow having a hard time with this, here’s a quick exercise:

Reframe the protest theme into a question: Do Black lives matter?

Your answer of “Yes, of freaking course, BLACK LIVES MATTER” should be nearly instantaneous. And if it’s accompanied by the feeling like there’s a cat stuck in your heart and another in your guts and they’re trying to claw their way to your brain? That’s telling you that you should do something about it immediately.

Now, we’ve gotten pretty accustomed to seeing every national news item addressed with piles of nearly identical emails and social media statements from companies and corporations (and yes, even your friendly Cleveland ad agency) full of empty platitudes.

        We’re in this together!

        Let’s make a difference!

        #SomeCauseWeWillSoonForget

You get it. 

Please know, this is not the time for that. 

While well intentioned, those kinds of sentiments fall pathetically short of the change we all know we need to make.

So, this is a promise from Brokaw that we will be better. That we’re beginning the work we should have undertaken a long time ago. That shouldn’t have taken nationwide protests and damaged property to bring into focus.

We’re listening to the important conversations that are happening right now, and understand it’s our responsibility to make this agency and our industry more representative of the beautiful city—and world—we live in.

To start, we’re creating a focus area within our internship program for multicultural candidates and will specifically recruit through local organizations and colleges—eventually reaching out widely to HBCUs.

As we seek more diverse talent and take action to affect positive change in our community, here’s a partial list of resources we’ll be consulting. And we encourage you to do the same:

AAF Cleveland’s Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism  

AdWeek’s “Agencies Face a Huge Obstacle in Responding to Racism: Their Own Failure to Act”

The One Club for Creativity’s Here Are All the Black People

Of course, this is just a start. And if you’ve found a book or article or website or podcast to be enlightening, our inbox, ears, eyes, hearts, and, of course, doors are always open.

Let’s build a better world, everyone!

Your friends at Brokaw

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