Agencies Recognize Black History Month With An Array Of Programs, Events

Agencies are showing their support for Black History Month with numerous events and experiences, ranging from art exhibits to exploring why Beyoncé is a global icon.

Publicis Media has activated more than 70 initiatives and programs across the Groupe’s network, in nearly every office location in the U.S.

Among the multitude of museums trips, leadership talks, and happy hours, the Feb. 27 installment of PM's monthly LinkedIn Live Series, "Trends and Insights Live" will focus on marketers’ need for cultural fluency and the importance of communicating authentically to engage the African American audience. 

For the first time, Publicis' Chicago employees will be invited to watch the episode being filmed live. It will also be livestreamed globally via LinkedIn.

During the month Fallon in Minneapolis and VivaWomen of Color's Philadelphia chapter are hosting pop-up bazaars to support local-black owned businesses. VivaWomen of Color is also teaming up with its associated organization Men of Color Alliance (MOCA) to partner with Facebook to launch the "Traveling While Black" 360VR experience at several Publicis agencies. The 20-minute experience immerses viewers in the historical restrictions of movement/travel for Black Americans and the creation of safe travel itineraries.



Digitas Onyx and Spark Foundry's Spark Noir organizations are working together to introduce a food festival, trivia night about black culture and inventors, and a mardi gras themed event, among other activities. Performics will also team up with Spark Noir and Digitas Onyx to host a Jazz club event in NYC. 

Spark Noir screened Beyoncé's “Homecoming” documentary which was followed by a discussion around the pop culture icon’s contributions to culture.

“This energy and each of our actions reflect our commitment to supporting and celebrating our talent, while providing visibility into the varied experiences that are the fabric of Black Culture,” says Ronnie Dickerson Stewart, US Chief Diversity Officer, Publicis Groupe. “True to our ‘Viva La Difference’ motto, it is an indisputable fact - our differences make us stronger.”

Meanwhile, Mindshare is hosting the “Gallery of Firsts” installation erected in several of its offices to highlight African Americans in U.S. history who have served as barrier breakers and created outsized impact on our nation.

In addition, the WPP-owned agency’s Los Angeles office is taking inspiration from an iconic game show to host its own “Jeopardy”-style game show to highlight the societal contributions made by the African-American community. Teams answer questions from different categories about Black inventors, musicians, and pioneers that challenged the status quo.

Havas Media is offering “Barbershop Talks With Marcus Samuelsson,” a panel discussion as part of its #BLACKATWORK initiative that explores the black experience in corporate America on Feb. 27. 

Taking place at the agency’s Hudson St. office in NYC, invited speakers will include photographer Idris Solomon and moderator Brittany Moten of Havas Media. Invitees hail from not only Havas Media, but will also include non-advertising professionals who expressed interest in the agency during last May’s Harlem EatUp! food festival. That particular festival was yet another example of how the agency builds on BHM outside of February.

Wavemaker’s fourth annual Art Noir Exhibition recognized diversity with a curated exhibit featuring digital art, photography, film, graffiti, music, and AR/VR, among others. The event took place on February 20th with local artists creating personalized artwork for agency employees in attendance. This activation is part of the agency’s ongoing diversity event series R•Q•TEKT, an event to enable Wavemaker employees to express and explore their personal passions alongside other artists and their work.

RAPP is celebrating Black History Month in several ways. The agency is spotlighting its top African American talent as part of its “fierce individual of the week” campaign on its social media platforms. The agency is also spearheading a social media initiative to celebrate historical and current game-changers, ranging from Barbara Proctor, a co-founder of Proctor & Gardner Advertising to Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls Code. Also the agency’s roundtable discussion--live-streamed on Feb. 18--addressed what it means to be Black in America, both personally and professionally.

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