In the last few years, we’ve seen many creative industries subjected to scrutiny for the lack of visibility and diversity across the board. Forced to confront white-washed standards of what both beauty and corporate environments look like, long overdue conversations started happening. When it all came to a boil last spring, it felt like a reckoning; everywhere you looked, retailers, industry leaders, and publications alike were being held accountable for their lack of inclusivity. However, the short attention span of the internet swiveled, and attention went elsewhere. The conversation all but faded into the background once more.
Recently, writer and editor Isiah Magsino posed a powerful question in his article “Diversify Executive Leadership.” for Anti-Racism Daily: “How can an industry parade its interest in diversity, while still prohibiting Black and Brown talent from the decision-making process?” We heard a lot of lofty promises, but did we see much follow-through? What actions must be taken after public declarations?
I sat down for a socially-distanced conversation with Brittnie Jones, content creator and Director of Candid Network — a platform that connects some of your favorite brands with cool creators — to speak about how each of us has our own role to play in this movement, what true inclusivity is, and how brands and individuals can implement the action behind the solidarity.
Sure thing, I’d love to! I’m Brittnie (she/her) and I am a Black American. Currently, I’m the Director of Candid Network. We operate within the creative space & digital marketing. At Candid, we connect dope creators & influencers with brands. A brand will reach out to us for their UGC needs (that’s shorthand for user-generated content) and we match them up with talented creators. Of course, there’s a lot more work that goes into it but you get the gist of it. Before Candid I was working in fashion, skincare, with a side of influencer marketing & PR.
I’m a creative soul. When I was younger it was expressed through playing the piano, dancing, drawing & sketching. As I got older I started tapping into design, styling, and modeling. Currently, I’m applying my creativity toward business development. There’s a lot of creativity that goes into developing a company. I was always creating something, and I still am.
After seeing my feed inundated with performative posts — you know the ones, proclaiming we stand in solidarity and Black Lives Matter, etc. — I witnessed brands, companies, and individuals acting super woke. Social media was buzzing with excitement, both the good and the bad. There were talks of intent, how we must do better, and demanding brands to be transparent and inclusive. But then this buzz just disappeared from the masses. Every bit of content that was being published no longer held this same sentiment. All of a sudden accountability stopped and these same people/companies settled back down to complacency. Their content just went back to the way it once was — with zero diversity, minimal inclusivity, and at large, no real change ever really occurred.