It is not lost on us that we are in the business of amplifying voices, of helping others create and grow their platforms. That power is both a privilege and an obligation. In the past, we have not lived up to that obligation nor have we helped our industry — an industry sorely lacking in diversity — live up to that obligation. We want to do better. We want to support influencers of color and black-owned brands. We want to make this industry a more inclusive and representative place.
We need to be better. The brutality and injustice we’ve witnessed is heartbreaking. It has gone on for too long, and we’ve been silent for too long. We’re sorry and we will do better. We will stand in solidarity with our BIPOC friends in the fight for justice and equality. We will not tolerate hate. And we know systemic change won’t happen until we all listen to the voices that are so seldom heard.
As an agency that works with food brands and food influencers, and as a team that shares an abiding interest in cooking and restaurants and traveling to eat, we talk a lot about food.
Almost three months ago, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were focused on helping the influencers and brands we work with find their voice in the conversation that was taking shape around what to say and how to help. We knew that food could be a cure, and that cooking could bring us all together at home and nourish us in more ways than one.
But cooking won’t cure this moment in time, this place of reckoning with so much injustice and inequality. This time, we don’t have answers, but we have hope. We have hope that we can do and be better.
This week, we have been listening and learning and working to educate ourselves. We’ve been reading, we’ve been listening to podcasts, we’ve been supporting black-owned businesses and restaurants, and cooking from cookbooks by the likes of Edna Lewis and Carla Hall. We’ve become aware of black-owned food brands making outstanding products and food influencers of color creating rich and valuable content.
Already, we are realizing we haven’t been as aware as we should have been. There are so many BIPOC brands and voices and resources we didn’t know about: We’ve been ignorant. We are committed to our obligation to amplify these people and businesses, and know that our industry will be better for it.
We’ll continue learning and trying to more clearly understand how it was that we got to this place and how we can do better, now and for the foreseeable future. We’ve come to accept the fact that we may never truly understand, and we own the privilege that implies. But we are determined to do better.
We realize that a statement like this is just words on a page unless we make a true commitment to the work. We will hold ourselves accountable to these words, to our obligations and to our values. We are committed to creating an agency that speaks out, that puts action to words.
We will be back with more ideas and actions. This is just the beginning. And we want to hear from you, today and going forward. Please share your thoughts and your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s all do better.”