Portfolio Spotlight: Facebook's Black@ Chi
Diversity is no longer a buzzword companies can just toss around for PR (or HR?) brownie-points. It’s much more than coded language to say “See, we have [insert non-white/non-hetero-normative or handicapable terminology] employed here!”. RIP Tokenism.
Companies that wish to capitalize on the wealth that true diversity brings not only has to abandon tokenism, but authentically implement and sustain initiatives that attract, retain, and support the best and brightest from all corners of society—and celebrate that.
I’m SO pleased to say that last night I was a part of one such celebration: JNJ Creative was hired by Facebook Chicago to provide art services for their Black@Chi launch event. We were a small component to what essentially was a company-wide kick-off (or kick-back) for their Chicago branch's Black employee resource group. Everyone was invited to the cookout! There was food, music, live art (painting by Joe “Cujodah” Nelson), games, and most importantly an overview of the upcoming goals and initiatives Facebook will be making to support, grow and sustain the Black members of the company family—in conjunction with, and mostly led by said family members.
We all see what’s happening in this country (and the world) right now. The false narrative of racial hierarchy and hate has deep roots that’s cracked through our semblance of complacency. These are all serious things, and I am no scholar. What I am though, is a Black woman who’s spent many years as the only Black woman in a boardroom, meeting, or company—so I’m acutely aware of the lack of diversity, not just in tech companies, but in corporate overall. Last night was refreshing.
At the intersectionality of all our differences is the truth that we’re all the same. At the core of a myriad of ideas and valid personal experiences lie central themes of humanity, and it’s in that heart space that real respect, growth, and transformation can exist.
Personally, right now I’m down to “get-in-where-fit-in”, and if that means designing logos for companies and earnest events like the Black@ Chi in Facebook (FYI: Latinx@ Chi is up next!), then so be it!