The murder of George Floyd by officers from the Minneapolis Police Department was a despicable act. We express our sympathy and support to his family and community. We know that actions are much more important than words. But as marketers, we also know that words have power.
We will state it clearly and unequivocally. Black lives matter.
As a nation, we saw yet another life taken through an act of overt racism and police brutality. As Minnesotans, our home became the backdrop for an international conversation about the systemic racism and violence that black, brown, and indigenous people have been subjected to for centuries. We stand with the BIPOC members of our tech and digital marketing communities, while recognizing that we as an organization need to do more in acknowledging your impact on our industry and community.
As the board of MIMA, we acknowledge we have work to do in becoming a more complete and inclusive representation of our community. This includes our membership, speakers, partners, and board of directors. We will be creating a plan for long-term action, but have committed to taking the following steps immediately.
- MIMA is committing to doing more to seek out and amplify BIPOC voices, and elevate programming that focuses on how bias and inequality are perpetuated in our industry.
- We have created an equity scholarship that offers free and reduced-price access to our events.
- Our board will be working with an outside consultant to create an anti-racism action plan that will be shared with our community in August 2020.
We acknowledge there is an imperative to do more.
As interactive marketers, we design experiences. The platforms, campaigns, and algorithms we work with can perpetuate racist assumptions, rhetoric and behavior. We must make them more inclusive and accessible in every way and that starts with recognition of our current state. Some of these systems can be redesigned; others will need to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.
There are people already doing the work. We will listen, elevate, and support them where we can. For example, the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Project has created an interactive map that curates organizations that are receiving and distributing donations, or in need of volunteers. This is just one example of how our industry can be a force for change.
This statement is step zero. A commitment to do better. We commit to examining the role of our organization and industry in the continued fight to build a less racist, more just world — and ask our partners, members, and broader community to hold us accountable.
We thank you for your continued honesty and partnership as we move forward, together.