1st February marks the first day of Black History Month USA, a time to reflect on all the contributions black Americans have made throughout U.S. history. It’s also a time to celebrate as communities come together to commemorate the culture, history and achievements of black Americans.

To kick off, we will be sharing various initiatives dedicated to celebrating Black History Month USA. This week’s edition features inspiring talks and podcasts, influential figures and an important campaign from Color Of Change that we’re proud to be a part of.

TALKS/PODCASTS

ENGAGE TO CHANGE

Our NY and LA teams bring you Engage to Change. A new podcast that shares information on how to create change in the industry and provides guidance on how to progress careers for those under-represented in the creative industries.

Tune into Episode 2 of Engage to Change, where host Amanda Libotte speaks to Reonna Johnson, Co-Founder of In For 13 and Sydni Chustz, Founder of BID/BLACK.

This episode explores how In For 13 and BID/BLACK provide meaningful access and education to people of color in the advertising and marketing industry.

In For 13’s mission is to actively stomp out systemic racism and create equity in the advertising industry by raising the percentage of black bodies in leadership positions to 13% (reflective of the percentage of black people in the U.S.) by 2023.

BID/BLACK works to normalize the presence of black filmmakers in creative roles in the advertising industry.

Their aim is to become a complementary resource for all creative industries to source black talent.

LIVING CORPORATE PODCAST

Living Corporate is a podcast that features a who’s who in the corporate diversity and inclusion space. The podcast highlights the experiences and perspectives of different professionals of color. The episodes feature interviews from Black and brown professionals as they discuss their interest in diversity and inclusion, their career journey and their professional development. Guests have included entrepreneurs, influencers, executives, and consultants.

MY TAUGHT YOU PODCAST

My Taught You. Myleik Teele is the founder and CEO of curlBOX, a monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair care products. After Myleik launched curlBOX, she decided to distill all the advice and knowledge she had learned into a podcast, My Taught You. Through her episodes, Myleik offers women guidance in a no-nonsense manner that listeners love. Topics discussed on the podcast range from career, relationship and personal development. Occasionally Myleik will bring a professional or expert onto the show to aid listeners in different areas of their life. Her authentic spirit and tough love attitude are what keep listeners coming back for more.

CODE SWITCH PODCAST

Code Switch is a podcast hosted by journalists who examine the intersections of race, ethnicity and culture and how these themes impact our lives. The podcast, which is from National Public Radio (NPR), features a diverse group of hosts who discuss current events, examining how race, ethnicity, culture and politics collide. Each episode allows for deeper discourse. The episodes are packed with empirical data and scholarly research to support each episode. The podcast often features short audio clips from industry leaders, experts and professionals, which adds a nice educational aspect to each episode.

SIDE HUSTLE PRO

Side Hustle Pro is a podcast that focuses on Black female entrepreneurs and how they manage to juggle their corporate jobs while scaling successful and profitable businesses. The host, Nicaila Matthews Okome, chats with Black business owners who have followed their passion and guests offer great insight into the secret sauce to their success. Nicaila also frequently shares her own journey of turning her passion into a paycheck. Nicaila’s warm, friendly demeanor allows listeners to feel like they are part of a casual conversation among friends.

INFLUENTIAL FIGURES

George Washington Carver was an American agricultural scientist and inventor who promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. He was the most prominent black scientist of the early 20th century.

Jessie Maple is a pioneering NYC filmmaker, director, editor, writer, and cinematographer. In the 1970’s she was admitted to the film editors’ union and Mrs. Maple became the first black women to join the IATSE union in which she had to endure a legal battle with all the major TV networks to become a member. 

Mae Jemison was the 1st African American woman to travel into space in 1992 and was inspired by Nichell Nichols role in Star Trek. Nichell wanted to drop out of Star Trek but was convinced to stay by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself.

IMPORTANT CAMPAIGNS

We’re proud to partner with Color Of Change to celebrate Black History Month USA. Hundreds of Confederate statues, monuments and busts across the United States stand as symbols of those who fought in defence of slavery. While some have been removed in recent years, many remain. A new effort from Color Of Change uses virtual reality to replace these figures with others from the civil rights movement.

MPC provided VFX and colour by James Tillett, Tom McCullough, Marcus Wood and David Manzo.