Last week, more than 600 Black advertising professionals put out a call to action to ad agency leaders to finally take real steps to end systemic racism in the industry. Now, their coalition has become an official organization, backed by the 4As.
Led by President Nathan Young, who also serves as a group strategy director at Minneapolis agency Periscope, and VP-Partnerships Bennett D. Bennett, principal at consultancy Aerialist, the nonprofit organization is called 600 & Rising—though already it boasts more than 1,100 members.
“There’s a lot of urgency in this moment,” says Young. “This is something we’ve observed in past situations, where a group has raised an issue about inequality in the ad industry, there’s a brief news cycle, agencies weather through the storm and it ends up being swept up under the rug. We’re forming to ensure that doesn’t happen, that there’s an independent body to hold the industry accountable.”