Listening Isn’t Enough: We’re Taking Action

3 min read

Antiracist and inclusive agency

Even before we were owners of Well Done Marketing, Ken Honeywell and I were actively involved in social causes, including homelessness, poverty, hunger relief, public education, LGBTQ+ health, and racial justice. We’ve hired people who care deeply about their communities, our nation, and the world. Many of us have taken classes and attended training on diversity, racism, and implicit bias. We have worked with not-for-profits focused on people who have been marginalized because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities.

On May 25—the day George Floyd was murdered—we learned that our good intentions weren’t nearly enough.

We realized we still hadn’t fully understood the need to make amends and what must be done in order to live in an antiracist society. Those eight minutes and forty-six seconds woke us up, along with other white businesses, as to how complicit we all are in America’s systemic racism.

It is not enough to mourn the deaths of too many Black Americans disproportionately and unjustly targeted because of the color of their skin. We can no longer just bear witness to the frustration and pain that Black America has endured for centuries. Being an antiracist and inclusive company takes more than words. It requires significant action. And it will take business owners and executives willing to ingrain those actions in the DNA of their businesses.

For 15 years, we’ve been unapologetic in our vision of Well Done as a company that does bold work with clients who want to make the world a better place. It’s time for us to strive for more. We want to be an antiracist and inclusive company that advances a culture of diversity and equity in our workplace and our lives. And to be honest about that, even when it’s uncomfortable.

We still have work to do.

Here’s where we begin:

  1. Well Done will foster a culture of diversity and equity through our recruitment, hiring, professional development, and promotion practices.
  2. We will include at least 15% minority-, woman-, or veteran-owned businesses as suppliers and vendors by the end of 2020.
  3. We will work with more Black, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and veteran subcontractors and freelancers. Our goal is to send at least 15% of our outsourced projects to these businesses and individuals between now and the end of 2021.
  4. We will use our own marketing platforms to showcase the work of these subcontractors and freelance designers, illustrators, animators, photographers, videographers, and copywriters.
  5. We will intentionally develop, participate in, and facilitate discussions about systemic racism and inclusivity in the marketing/communications industry and in the community.
  6. We will intentionally prioritize professional development that includes Black authors, Black panelists, and points of view from those with diverse backgrounds.
  7. We will continue to press the Indianapolis agency community to address racism, diversity, and equity and make our entire industry more inclusive.

We know we have a long way to go. We know we need to continue working on ourselves before we present our agency or our industry as a truly safe and equitable place to work. We’ll make mistakes and missteps along the way, but we will learn from them and get better—because we’re in this for the long haul.

We hope you’ll join us in advocating for antiracism and lifting up Black voices in our city, state, and beyond—and making your own commitment to action and change. We have a lot of work to do. And we can’t afford to waste another minute.