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Internal Note: McCann’s Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Describes June Celebration Extension

By on May 25, 2021 0

Today marks one year since the police murder of George floyd. Ahead of this grim anniversary, McCann, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Singleton Beato sent an agency-wide email yesterday outlining plans for an extended observance of Juneteenth through McCann.

In the memo, Beato recalled that she was already battling the impact of the pandemic on work-life balance and how the disproportionate impact of the then health crisis on black communities had revealed and exacerbated. existing inequalities on May 24, 2020. With the country already struggling to grapple with these issues, Floyd’s murder the next day followed “hundreds of incidents of unfair race-related harassment, or the murder of countless others. like him, in the hands of officers supposedly engaged to “serve and protect” everyone, “Beato said.

“They say that often progress is born out of pain and suffering,” she continued, adding that the limited mobility of people due to the restrictions linked to the pandemic “has given us all the time not only to to witness this abomination, but also to experience a painful and traumatic event that triggered a visceral reaction against the cycle of racism built to last in America ”, fueling a social movement demanding reforms of the social justice system to combat systemic racism .

Floyd’s murder also prompted the advertising industry to confront its own deeply rooted issues with systemic racism, with a variety of responses and promises from every holding executive. In at least one case, employees felt that the initial statements did not adequately address the problem of systemic racism. McCann faced his own controversy when the artist Shantell martin slammed McCann’s M: United for an offensive email last June asking to partner with her on a Black Lives Matter mural for Microsoft “while the protests are still alive.”

In the memo, Beato recalled that McCann held his inaugural June celebration last year and observed that for many at the agency, this was the first time they had learned the importance of the day.

“I hope we have all become more aware of how the events surrounding Juneteenth are a very real part of American history with reverberating effects for all of us – even today. And while the loss of George Floyd – father, son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, friend – we honor his legacy which will forever serve as an illustration of why blacks and Maroons in this country often have the feeling that they never really will be. valued, safe and whole, ”she concluded, before describing a series of events that included McCann’s prolonged observance on June 17, starting with a discussion of policing and the prison system that Thursday.

The initial session will be followed by a series of segments of an “As Fact: Systemic Racism Exists” public service announcement created by a Commonwealth // McCann team through June 19, with experts in the subject joining the agency for each discussion.

Here is the memo in full:

Dear McCann Fam,

On May 24, 2020, I was grappling with the complexity of balancing my sense of balance, having spent many weeks navigating the intensity of my overlapping work-life and personal life. And, like everyone else, I was still trying to understand the convergence of the crisis, when the social discourse around the disproportionate impact of COVID on people like me reminded me – again – of the systems and structures of the race. the prejudices and discrimination that were established long before I was born. No one, myself included, could ever have imagined what we would all experience the next day.

Tomorrow, May 25, we will remember George Floyd, whose wrongful death a year ago followed hundreds of incidents of unjust race-related harassment or the murder of countless others like him at the hands of officers who are supposed to “serve and protect” everyone – also. They say that often progress is born out of pain and suffering. The limits of our mobility due to the lockdown gave us all the time not only to witness this abomination but also to experience a deeply painful and traumatic event that sparked a visceral reaction against the cycle of racism built to last in America. . Our collective outrage became a catalyst for the 2020 social uprising which led to an amplified demand for a recalibration and reform of the social justice system in our country – and around the world.

Over the next month, we held our inaugural celebration on June 17th. For many, it was the first time we learned of this important commemoration of the final abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865 – three years after the proclamation of emancipation. Hopefully we have all become more aware of how the events surrounding Juneteenth are a very real part of American history with reverberating effects for all of us – even today. And while the loss of George Floyd – father, son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, friend – we honor his legacy which will forever serve as an illustration of why blacks and Maroons in this country often have the feeling that they never really will be. appreciated, safe and complete.

This year, we take a broad approach to our observance of Juneteenth through a series of expert-led sessions that provide a look at the systemic and structural dimensions of racial discrimination that are perpetuated in the United States. Over the next few weeks, we will be hosting a series of live sessions to strengthen our collective understanding of the societal issues that influence the black experience in America – and how the impact of these issues influences our decisions and lived experiences of one. way we may not be aware.

This first session on Thursday, May 27 will focus on policing and the prison system, where we will examine common misconceptions and statistics that will provide in-depth information on law enforcement and incarceration. The discussion will shed light on how the long-term consequences of slavery are central to all social construction, how they formed and continue to inform the very fabric of society – and why our system perpetuates this cycle. Below are details on how to join.

The segments that will follow each week leading up to Juneteenth will feature specific elements of the PSA created by the Commonwealth // McCann team of LaShonda Allen, Associate Creative Director, CW, and Nicky Paradela, Associate Creative Director, CW, titled, As a Matter of fact: systemic racism exists. Subject matter experts will also join us to enlighten us further by examining everything from the fundamental issues facing our country that are rooted in systemic biases, oppression and prejudice, as well as what each of us can. do to help disrupt them.

Singleton Beato
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, MW

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