From Failure to a Future: Bella Banbury on Our Agency’s Plan For Equality and Representation

equality and representation

A Note From Bella Banbury, Co-Founder, On Equality and Representation.

Six weeks ago, following a weekend of protest and unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd in the hands of the police, I facilitated our weekly Monday morning team meeting. I did a terrible job.

Aiming to facilitate a meaningful dialogue around what action we should take, I stumbled through the conversation not finding the right words or actions to address our team. The meeting ended, we agreed to make a donation to the BLM movement, and simply proceeded with business as usual. That was a failure.

As I look back, I am grateful to the people on my team who stood up and demanded something better from me and asked our company to do more than talk, donate, and move on. Their demands forced the discomfort of addressing the topic of race in the workplace, in our industry, and in our own company. These conversations are not easy. We will continue to make mistakes, but the important thing we know now is that business as usual is not enough. Business as usual does not make change happen. And so we have begun.

We’ve asked ourselves what will we do to make an impact, not just today, but for the future? This question directed our focus towards the youth and looking for ways to raise awareness of our industry among BIPOC students, starting with middle schoolers. We will develop a grassroots program that introduces design and branding to students, with a focus on Oakland schools, as well as establishing an annual fund/donation for Black high school students with an interest in design.

In our own studio, we are looking for ways to actively promote more inclusive content through our thought leadership channels that’s more engaging to all people, to help attract more diverse talent into our team, connect us to our greater community, and link us up with like-minded organizations and teams.

We know change will take time, but if we can make even a small impact on our industry by making it more equitable and representative of all races, that makes for a better future and better work.

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