As an agency, Paradowski has the gift of reframing stories, amplifying voices, moving people and solving problems. We commit to using that gift to uplift BIPOC communities in our spheres of influence.
Our creative work, when not actively used as a tool for growth, is a weapon of systemic oppression by default. If we are not intentional to counter the status quo, then we condone it. There is no more time for reflection on our role in systemic oppression. It’s time for us to act.
The Paradowski team is made up of ever-evolving agents of change. We commit to empower ourselves, our colleagues, our potential candidates, our industry and our audiences to take action against the systems of oppression that:
To combat these forces that are constantly at work internally, interpersonally and infrastructurally, this is Our Commitment:
In 2022, we made sweeping changes to our leadership structure. Our new leadership team includes Paradowskians from a variety of disciplines, roles and teams to encourage more equitable decision making processes and prioritize open dialogue within the agency at large. We combat knowledge gatekeeping that inhibits professional and personal growth by:
Led by our director of people and director of inclusive marketing and equity education, we’re putting resources into creating fertile spaces for education. Starting in 2023, each Paradowskian will attend workshops tailored to their role to equip them with inclusive marketing tools to break cycles of racial oppression internally, with our clients and in the communities we live and work in.
The Advancing Equity & Inclusion Ops Unit was created by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Paradowskians as a support group to process their experiences in the creative industry. AEIOU has access to Paradowski funding for creative projects and DEI initiatives. However, the onus of equitable change is not on AEIOU or our teammates from marginalized communities. Instead, we’ve created a task force of leaders from across the agency to champion DEI initiatives internally (ie. DEI education) and social justice initiatives externally (ie. inclusive language in marketing)
In 2023, will begin anonymous feedback surveys about our DEIB climate and efforts at Paradowski. We will compare results YOY and share the data on our website. Beginning with 2023 performance reviews, we will enhance our performance review process, encouraging every member of our agency to take initiative to learn about equity work and become agents for inclusive marketing.
Candidate ghosting is the new norm in hiring, and being left out of the loop can exacerbate the invisibility that BIPOC candidates may already feel. We commit to maintaining regular contact with applicants and being transparent about next steps in the process. We’ve already committed to blind hiring. But we need to do more. To encourage a greater diversity of candidates, we also commit to focusing on the strength of creative and critical thinking over college degrees or industry experience.
We encourage non-traditional applications to foster creativity that celebrates the breadth of methods humans use to express themselves.
In 2023, we will offer career development workshops, scholarships, and 1:1 mentorship to students of color at Webster, The University of Missouri, The University of Maryville, Harris Stowe State University and a growing number of organizations with goals to uplift creatives of color.
No idea lives in a vacuum and human advancement is only achieved when we share ideas. But exchanging ideas should not be conflated with appropriating them. In 2023, we commit to creating a framework to ensure we give proper credit to BIPOC creatives for any creative contributions they make to our work. We also commit to compensating BIPOC persons who participate in the creation of our original works.
In 2023, we will create a framework to equip Paradowski employees with inclusive marketing tactics to advance our clients’ DEI missions and visions.
We also encourage our employees to patronize Black businesses in the St. Louis metro area for their personal needs. We have also established a resources directory that encourages Paradowskians to support BIPOC businesses outside of work.
In 2023, we are creating a framework to embed into our culture the inclusion of narratives and voices from the community 100% of the time that that community is present in our audience.
Beginning June 2023, we are investing dollars into Black businesses. We observe Juneteenth by giving a stipend to each employee to spend at any Black-owned business of their choosing. We also commit to investing time and dollars into creative service projects for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Our Commitment is a living document that updates over time.