Black Lives Matter: Doing Our Part

June 18, 2020

Black Lives Matter. It’s not only a statement we believe and support but a transformational movement we are committed to advancing.

The senseless killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans have touched off a difficult but much-needed and long-overdue conversation around racism and systemic injustices in this country. But we have to go beyond conversations and take meaningful actions on this defining human rights issue.

At Makeway, we’ve reflected inwardly and thought deeply about how we can do our part to make a better and more inclusive world for everyone. We’re standing together with our BIPOC peers, clients, and partners while recognizing we can do more to be a catalyst for change.

BIPOC voices are needed everywhere, and especially in our industry where the vast majority of designers are white. This is unacceptable for a community that emphasizes innovation and cutting-edge thinking. The fact is, ethnic and racial diversity bring about a diversity of experiences, perspectives, ideas, and creativity.

Because hate and systemic inequality permeate the digital space just like the physical world, digital advertising is an important platform for BIPOC voices. For an industry that works to help clients communicate their values, we ought to be doing a better job of looking within our own organizations. We need to check unconscious biases, commit to diversity in hiring, and proactively source work from outside our usual circles. We’ll need buy-in from hiring managers, senior designers, and, really, everyone.

Fighting for justice and economic equality is a long-term commitment and, as a small business, we’re doing our part to end systemic racism and bias that exists in our industry. Our team is devoted to building a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. We’ll be proactively opposing racism and continuing to find ways to become more inclusive.

 

What We’re Doing

  • Makeway is committed to working with more BIPOC team members and minority-owned businesses.
  • We’re committed to supporting BIPOC student developers and designers to actively promote their advancement in the industry.
  • We’re recognizing Juneteenth as a paid day off meant for our team to reflect, learn, and actively participate in anti-racist activities.
  • We’re donating community service time in partnership with the Urban League of Rochester, where we’ll be constructing a webinar presentation for high school students interested in learning more about technology and website design/development. By showcasing what it means to be a developer and website designer, we hope to inspire students to think about opportunities in the industry. We’ll support students who do show an interest in learning more by providing further mentoring and finding appropriate next steps to help advance their careers in the specialty. Additionally, we’re fully committed to continued support of the Urban League of Rochester in new ways as the community’s needs evolve.
  • We’re making annual donations to the Urban League of Rochester and the Equal Justice Initiative in order to support the critical work they’re doing to advance justice and equality.
  • We’re working on meaningful changes within our own organization, including the creation of an executive board that will have BIPOC small business representation.

The more these conversations and initiatives are highlighted, the more prevalence they have within our own organization and our industry at large. We believe that a statement is only as powerful as the actions we take and, for Makeway, this is about a wholehearted, long-term commitment to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, industry, and world.

We hope you’ll keep us accountable in the fight to combat racism and that you’ll do what you can to support the cause. Not just today, tomorrow, and next week, but in perpetuity. Because there’s no finish line. This is truly an ongoing commitment to live by each and every day.

🖤 Makeway