UnidosUS 50th Anniversary, Black Panther coverage, Dallas Mavericks’ interim CEO, equal pay, Jane Walker & much more

Last week I wrote about the challenges at USHCC and LULAC but I should have also written about UnidosUS (formerly NCLR), which commemorated an important milestone – its 50th anniversary. Per its website, the organization was launched in 1968 “What began as a small collection of young activists in Phoenix has become the country’s largest Hispanic-serving nonprofit, helping millions of Latinos define the American Dream on their own terms, then helping them achieve it.” UnidosUS has a different model than the other organizations.  It is headquartered in DC with a focus on expert research, advocacy, programs at a national level and with an affiliate network of close to 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico. I’ve had the honor of working with the team led by Janet Murguía. Learn more here about this important milestone. Congratulations!

This past week we saw a number of articles regarding what the movie Black Panther means to diversity in the film industry. From Brookings Institute to Bloomberg, there has been extensive coverage and analysis about what the success of the film means. However, there have also been important reminders that there is still work that needs to be done to address diversity and equal pay in entertainment and media.

A story that caught my attention last week from VOX was related to the Florida shooting and the student activism we have seen titled “Parkland is sparking a difficult conversation about race, trauma, and public support.”  There is also a Miami Herald profile on student Emma Gonzalez.

Additional stories I am following, this from Nation’s Restaurants News regarding struggles as it relates to diversity in restaurant leadership; the Dallas Maverick’s introduce interim CEO Cynthia Marshall; also found this interactive map detailing pay equity laws in all 50 states; PR Week published a response to “What it’s like to be black in PR video;” Beatriz Acevedo from mitú wrote about Latinos being “the blind spot of America,” Johnny Walker introduces Jane Walker and this profile on Univision News anchor Ilia Calderon.

ICYMI, Gov. Bruce Rauner drank a glass of chocolate milk to demonstrate his belief in diversity.  According to the Chicago Tribune this is “the brainchild of Hyatt Hotels diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire.” Not sure what to say…

Finally, here is this great read titled “NASA’s Real Life ‘Hidden Figure’ On How To Advance Women In STEM.”

Photo by Tatiana Niño on Unsplash

 

Black History Month, Super Bowl, #3percentSB, Being Black in PR & more

This month we celebrate Black History Month and if you want to learn more about this celebration visit the History Channel’s site. Many companies focus this month in celebrating the contributions of African Americans both with internal and external audiences but looking at the demographics you would think it should be more than a month.  I do agree that this is a great opportunity to engage and celebrate but be sure you engage with your resource/affinity groups and with leaders who understand the community in building programs that are not just a month-long celebration.

This is also an opportunity to look at the present and future, as well as the impact of the community. From black purchasing power, to the small business impact, to the importance of the black vote as seen in the Alabama election and to the entertainment impact, with the most recent example being  Black Panther. If you missed the red carpet premiere, as this article states, it was a glorious celebration.

Yet when it comes to celebrating diversity, many companies still get it wrong both internally and externally. Look at the RAM Trucks Super Bowl commercial, and yes the estate approved the use of Dr. Martin Luther King’s voice, but it goes back to the question of representation. Did the brand or advertising team have any diversity on the team? Did they have colleagues who felt empowered to flag that there may be an issue? This is why it’s important. Your intent may be good, and I am sure it was, but if you do not understand the audience or the sensitivities, you are not being authentic and will have bigger issues to manage. The negative response on social was swift and reflected overall in the coverage in outlets including the New York Times, ABC and CBS to name a few. This is from AdAge on the brand defending the ad.

Staying on the Super Bowl topic, if you did not follow the 3 Percent Conference Super Bowl Tweetup, you should have. In fact all marketers should do a search using the #3percentSB hashtag, you will find great insights. Participants applied the three percent test to the commercials, which is:
1. Is there a woman?
2. Is she defying stereotypes?
3. Is she the hero?

I did watch each commercial differently this year as I followed the Tweetup. 

This past week PRWeek released this fantastic video on “Being Black in PR.” Watch it. Share it. Use it internally. I could relate to so many of the points made and congratulate Perry Simpson and everyone who worked on it and contributed their voice to a very important resource.

It seems there is a weekly report issued on why diversity matters, here is this one from Harvard Business Review titled “How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance.” It includes some great data and, as it says, hopefully motivation for increasing diversity. It found that “the most-diverse enterprises were also the most innovative, as measured by the freshness of their revenue mix.”  And then there is also what seems like a weekly report regarding the lack of diversity in an industry or sector, here is this one titled “Academic Medicine Needs More Women Leaders.”

This week’s ICYMI story is one that hopefully inspires you. Titled “Code Breakers: Computer science has a girl problem and Reshma Saujani MPP 1999 is fixing it,” the piece profiles Reshma Saujani and Girls Who Code, which has taught coding to more than 40,000 girls.

Finally, last week I shared this list of upcoming conferences which will be updated periodically. If there are other events to include or to highlight, please do not hesitate to send my way.  

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash