The conversation about diversity in the advertising industry (or the lack thereof) has been going strong for years. Countless panels, debates, and articles have been dedicated to the issue, and even lawsuits have been filed. But after hosting a highly controversial and emotional discussion spearheaded by advertising greats Jeff Goodby and Jimmy Smith in May of 2011 entitled "Where Are All the Black People?," we decided that we were done talking and wanted to take ACTION. So we took the title from one of the most provocative, real and public diversity discussions we've ever witnessed, and decided to put it to work. Thus came the development of "Where Are All the Black People? Part 2- A Creative Career Fair."
Hosted at the New World stages in the heart of New York City during 2011's Advertising Week, the one-day event included speakers, testimonials from creatives of multicultural backgrounds, workshops on how to build both traditional and digital portfolios, portfolio reviews, and sessions with agency recruiters. Specially chosen participants were also given the opportunity to tell a panel of some of the industries top recruiters and creative directors why they should be their next creative hire during a 3-minute on-stage "elevator pitch." The purpose of the one-day event was to provide concrete, real world solutions to the lack of diversity in advertising creative departments.
2011 EVENT RESULTS
Of the 530 participants, the 355 working professionals, students and freelance creatives were asked to complete a postmortem evaluation to indicate the successes of their attendance of the event.
Below are some of the gained successes, provided by 113 of those stated above.
FEEDBACK FROM THE 2012 EVENT
“I have never had a more life-changing day than today. As a creative just emerging into this industry I feel so blessed to have the support from such an amazing organization and will always attribute the real launch of my career to the One Club and will support anything you guys do ANYTIME.”
- Rashida Prattis, Freelance
“They wanted to know where all the black people were. I'm glad they asked. I learned more about advertising at this event than at any school I've ever attended - and that's not an overstatement. When it was over I was not only excited, but better prepared to pursue my end goal, a career as a copywriter in advertising.”
- Rick Richardson, Freelance
“ I would like to thank you for your efforts in putting on such a ground breaking event.”
- Francis Rutledge, Student, Morehouse College
“What an AWESOME event. Worth it. Worth it Worth it. You rocked it. Congrats.”
- Nancy R. Tag, Professor, City College of New York
“I just wanted to extend my gratitude for The One Club sponsoring my trip to New York and piquing my interest in copywriting. Through networking and intently watching the documentary at the conclusion of the conference, I am now considering a career in copywriting for an advertising agency. Thank you for everything.”
- Lauren Morton, Student, Spelman College
Photos from the 2012 Where Are All the Black People?
2011 PARTICIPATING AGENCIES AND COMPANIES
* indicates 2011 sponsorship † indicates 2011 partnership