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A Special Black History Month

We’re eight months deep into this pandemic with no clearly defined end in sight. Despite the struggles that we as a global society have experienced as a result of this pandemic, it has also provided a unique moment in time to really reflect on the grave issues currently faced by societies worldwide. These issues include climate change, global public health, and of course, racial discrimination. 

In the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement, which has been brought to the forefront of the news due to the public outcry after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, this Black History Month feels especially poignant. Now more than ever, we are witnessing a global awakening and over the course of these past few months, individuals and organisations alike have been forced to take a hard look at how they need to commit to racial equality and establish actionable steps – or risk losing customers.  

In this current climate, consumers have made it especially clear that brands can no longer afford to be neutral on social issues. According to a recent Campaign survey, 58% of advertising, media and marketing staff said brands should speak out about Black Lives Matter. Although there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, it’s been great to see various brands taking real steps to speak up and speak out against these injustices, while making a commitment to do better within their own organisations. 

Two brands that we’ve been impressed with, include: 

Sainsbury’s 

In honour of Black History Month, Sainsbury’s recently released a statement on Twitter showing their solidarity and support. Despite some backlash, the organisation stood firm in it’s support and is planning a series of events to celebrate this month, including highlighting employees of colour and their personal role models. 

Sephora 

Sephora took the 15 Percent Pledge, which means it will look to increase the amount of shelf space given over to products from black-owned businesses to 15 percent. The 15 Percent Pledge is an initiative that aims to close the wealth gap when it comes to black owned businesses in the U.S. and is a healthy step in the right direction in promoting businesses which otherwise might not have been seen.

These two brands have shown a company can take those necessary steps in the right direction with a goal to create lasting change which moves everyone forward, not just themselves. It’s been great to see the world come together during these trying times in rallying against racial inequality but there is still much work to be done – this month and beyond. 

Author avatar
Whitney Simon
Recently relocated from San Francisco, Whitney has worked across both the B2C and B2B sector over the years in the US and UK. She has worked with a range of clients across cybersecurity, infrastructure, and fintech.