What Black History Month Means to Brand by Me
As we’re coming to the end of Black History Month, I thought I’d talk about what it means to my business (both on a personal and professional level)
1. It’s a time to celebrate black excellence and acknowledge our Black British heritage.
The focus of this month has been about black excellence.
So I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate a black British branding icon, a colleague, friend and inspiration, Jon Daniel. Jon passed away recently after illness at the age of 51 and I’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate his work and legacy.
Jon’s impact can be seen in not one, but three brilliant brands. He was a successful creative director, who used the power of his personal brand to champion diversity and inspire young BME creative looking to enter the creative industries.
Through his Design Week column, 4 Corners, he shone a spotlight on the brilliant creativity of African diaspora designers and artists, introducing the UK creative industry to a wealth of talent, we would not have known about otherwise.
And finally, he brought his passion for diversity and childhood longing for black superheroes together in his empowering, innovative and celebratory exhibition and collection, Afro Supa Hero. The brand brought together a rare and unique collection of black action figures, with bold and inspiring designs featuring modern day icons and heroes.
You can read more about Jon’s life and work here.
Thank you, Jon. You are a true SUPA HERO and your legacy lives on.
2. It’s a time to advocate for ethnic greater diversity in our sector.
Frankly, this is something I talk about a lot on LinkedIn, not just during Black History Month. I grew up in advertising so have a first-hand experience of trying to get ahead when you’re told that you don’t quite fit. You can read my tips on this topic here.
And for leaders wanting to increase diversity, I have also shared my thoughts on actions we can take.
It’s not easy. But it is simple. To increase diversity we have to acknowledge that there is an issue. Rather than making excuses or denying it, we should recognise and tackle the challenges of being BME in the workplace. We must prioritise the actions needed to address these issues. This includes setting strict time limits and targets that will hold us accountable. It’s the same for delivery of any strategy – so why would we treat this differently?