As we prepare for the incoming MAIP 2020 class, we sit in reflection of our history; MAIP, our industry and America.
The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others are tales that are not new to our country. For generations, the Black community has been stripped of their access to opportunity, their basic rights, and most importantly, their dignity.
There are a few hard truths that continue to exist in the advertising industry. From the start, the advertising industry was reserved for very few in society; diversity was not widespread. In 1973, the 4A's decided to take action and create an initiative to address this issue. MAIP was born.
MAIP was founded on the principle of providing access to Black professionals. Over the past 47 years, MAIP has not only helped to bridge the gap for diverse talent in the industry, but has also ensured such talent thrives in spaces that were not originally built for them.
What started as 10 Black MAIPers, has grown over the years, and now represents over 3,500 people of color, breaking ceilings, knocking down walls, and creating a pathway to success for our community.
MAIP is more than a summer. MAIP is a MOVEMENT.
We stand with our Black brothers and sisters. We walk with you. We grieve with you. We see you. We know you. We are you. We know how POWERFUL you are.
Today, we ask the advertising community to "stand in the gaps" for your Black colleagues, friends, and family members. You may ask yourself, What does "standing in the gap" mean? Simply, it means being an ally 365 days of the year.
Here’s how you can help:
• Educate yourself. There are multiple resources online to help educate yourselves on Black history and culture.
• Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Have conversations amongst one another to better understand why racism and discrimination exist in this country.
• Provide the space and freedom for Black people to contribute their ideas; express themselves; and live in the fullness of who they are.
• Expand opportunity. Hire Black people. Hear Black people. Promote Black people.
• Contribute and invest in Black owned businesses, organizations and movements to ensure a better tomorrow.
The 4A's Foundation and MAIP remain more committed than ever to supporting and empowering our Black, Brown and diverse populations. We continue to pledge to advocate for change across the industry by ensuring that everyone's voice is heard and that advertising represents all of us. This is our promise!