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What does #Juneteenth mean to us?

Written by:

Michelle Ashby

June 18, 2021

Last year, we joined many businesses in marking #Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday. While parades and family gatherings will honor the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, the team at Tipping Point has been asked to devote a bit of time to reflect on what we can do as an organization and as individuals to improve diversity in the advertising and public relations industry.

We’ve taken several steps since making this a company holiday. Our initiative includes the RMAPI Employer Pledge to improve hiring practices and offer sustainable employment opportunities to individuals seeking to move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

In our partnership with the Roland Williams Champion Academy, we learned that interest in our industry is low mainly due to a lack of awareness. If young people cannot“see” themselves, their family or friends in marketing, pursuit of these careers s unlikely. As a result, we have created a paid co-op position that is offered to one Champion Academy high school student annually. Exposing students from marginalized communities to “agency life” and offering meaningful work experiences could begin a long-term increase in applicants to our agency and others.

Additionally, my mentors have been instrumental in guiding me through years of personal growth and that of my firm. We have made a conscious decision to give back and do the same for a rising minority professional. Last month Tipping Point embarked on a unique logistics and mentorship partnership with Mercedes Wilson, a rising star on WKBW’s “AMBuffalo.” Her Recipes for Life cooking segment tells the stories behind family recipes.      

2020 was a year of unprecedented unrest and challenges. This #Juneteenth, it is more important than ever to recognize the interconnectedness of all people…those of color, women, youth, LGBTQ+ people, lower-income people, immigrants, and others. If we each make incremental changes, our rising tide will lift all boats.

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