This summer, when design internships around the country were cancelled and the vital work of the Black Lives Matter movement surged, a small group at Elephant felt compelled to take action. Twelve weeks later, we're incredibly proud to celebrate the launch of XD Academy, a 6-week creative bootcamp exclusively for BIPOC students.
The group of nine students we've brought together come from all over the U.S. and truly represents the future of our industry, as we strive to create a more equitable and diverse workforce from the ground up.
We're grateful to our partners at MAIP for helping get this off the ground at record speed. This is just the beginning of our XD Academy journey and we're planning more programs in the coming year. If you have any questions or would like to take part in a future program, please reach out to email@example.com.
One of our most important Pillars of Action is Investing in Black and BIPOC Futures. We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Fulfillment Fund, helping to support an organization that is making a difference in the lives of the next generation of BIPOC talent. Fulfillment Fund works to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. Elephant will begin by joining Fulfillment Fund's Destination College+ conference — participating in the Career Expo, on Monday, October 12th, followed by the sponsorship of a college success workshop, on Wednesday, October 14th. We'll continue building our partnership hosting a webinar introducing college students to the advertising industry, and help kick-off Fulfillment Fund's Fall Fundraising campaign as a matching sponsor. We are honored and inspired to partner together in support of Fulfillment Fund's impactful mission.
On Friday, June 12, we made a commitment to our colleagues at Elephant, and have now begun the real work on our plan for change. Deeply inspired by SIX HUNDRED & RISING, and their open letter to our industry, we #CommitToChange, sharing Elephant's workforce diversity data as a first step and in response to the Open Brief - #CommitToChange.
Be transparent: if we want change — to create a more equitable and diverse company — transparency is the starting point.
Train and educate: deepening our understanding of bias and systemic racism is a key ingredient to the change we want to make, and especially critical for management and leadership.
Provide support: we support all our employees taking the time they need, whether it be to process their emotions or exercise their constitutional freedoms.
Invest in Black Futures: we believe Black Futures Matter, and we can make an impact by investing in future talent, by diversifying the talent we hire right now, and beyond our industry, by investing in the Black community through the services we offer.
Hold ourselves accountable: we will only see the change if we hold ourselves accountable, measure our performance, and incentivize change.
We commit to change.