It’s good we’re all talking about racism now.
It’s even better to do something.
People make the difference. In our ongoing commitment to uphold our values as a company, a global initiative was announced by our CEO and Founder, John Chuang to foster racial equality and social justice.
“Aquent stands together with the victims of police brutality, their families, and the protestors who seek an end to a prejudiced system,” said CEO John H. Chuang. “To reaffirm our company’s values of equality, we are taking three concrete steps toward social justice reform. We are educating ourselves by reading and discussing seminal works on racial inequality and the fight to end it, ensuring our employees have the ability to exercise their right to vote and reaching into our company’s pockets to offer financial support to a historically impactful organization.”
Our commitment: Aquent’s Social Justice Initiative
The specifics of Aquent’s initiatives include:
- Education Materials: To center education around the movement to end racial injustice and its historical significance, Aquent recommends all its staff read two books, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. The company will reimburse staff for the cost of the books and set aside time in the coming weeks to openly discuss them.
- Opportunity to Vote: In order to ensure all staff members have the opportunity to vote and make their voices heard in national, state, and local elections, Aquent will give them the time off they need to get to the polls or help others vote on election days.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Donation: Aquent has committed to donating $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to help in the fight for social justice. Aquent will also match donations, dollar for dollar, made by its staff and registered talent, to the Fund or other organizations that lead this fight.
Aquent will also team up with the staffing agencies Creative Circle, The Creative Group, Onward Search, and 24 Seven on an initiative to celebrate creative talent and businesses who are leading the charge in the fight for social justice. Each week, the work of people of color will be celebrated on the agencies’ social media channels.
As ambassadors for diversity and inclusion, and an action-orientated bunch of people, this message inspired the team to localise our involvement for direct impact here in The Netherlands. Our journey to consciousness started last year with what I can only describe as a “unicorn” of a diversity & inclusion leadership trainer to guide us, Gerri Moodley.
To localise efforts here in The Netherlands, we have started a depository of resources to continue to our education through a diverse reading list (as our are backgrounds), documentaries, podcasts and to invest and act in local organisations we can support our time and money to.
Titles among our reading list include The Dutch Atlantic (Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation), Dutch New York Histories (Connecting, African, Native American & Dutch slavery). We proudly support the New Urban Collective which funds the The Black Archives in Amsterdam. And will get out and lobby, sign petitions and vote to be heard.
It’s a small step. It's a fundamental part of our work. And the work is ongoing. We are committed to bringing the change we want to see.