By Adweek Staff—April 5, 2020
Marketing both reflects and perpetuates how people think about each other and the world around them—which is why it’s so important that the people shaping those messages are truly representative of the audiences they serve. For the second year running, we’re proud to have teamed up with Adcolor members and the group’s founder and president, Tiffany R. Warren, who is the SVP, chief diversity officer of Omnicom Group, to spotlight 18 executives who are carrying the torch for diversity and inclusion—and meaningfully mentoring others along the way.
Singleton founded the consulting firm Pacific Educational Group in 1992 to focus on racial equity in schools. A book, Courageous Conversations About Race, and a seminar, Beyond Diversity, followed.
“To be an organization exclusively focused on racial equity, diversity and inclusion for almost 30 years is something to call out as significant in and of itself,” Singleton says. “We’re not in a country that embraces this work. It’s a country resistant to this work and in denial of the importance of this work, so to actually survive and thrive in that way—staying focused on the disparities and the systemic racism … that’s a hallmark.”
In the last decade, his work has expanded into industries like advertising. In February, the Courageous Conversation Global Foundation partnered with ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to produce the “Not a Gun” campaign. The creative calls out systemic violence against people of color, while a website encourages viewers to sign a petition for de-escalation and unconscious-bias training for police officers.
This year, Singleton says, Courageous Conversation has partnered with the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, to invite U.S. mayors to sign a compact that engages their cities in a comprehensive effort to address racial disparities and inequalities. This effort will coincide with the launch of a national tour in partnership with advertising agency Droga5.
“I think much of the work of change and transformation in this country happens at the city level—mayors are sitting with major crises [like] homelessness, employment issues, criminal justice, policing … ,” Singleton says. “We’re working side by side with those people in this very critical city that hosts [160,000] people per year for South by Southwest. This is the forefront of the work.”
Singleton met mentee Marcus Moore in 2007 when he brought his Beyond Diversity program to the Oakland, Calif., high school where Moore was teaching.
In 2014, Moore joined the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, where he crossed paths with Singleton again. Singleton provided feedback on a textbook Moore was developing, titled Growing Into Manhood: Social Emotional Learning Curriculum for African American Young Men. Moore later joined Courageous Conversation as an equity transformation specialist.
“Glenn taught me that my work, my most meaningful work, cannot satisfy the moment. Instead, I am charged to build for eternity. Whatever monument I stand to make relies on Glenn Singleton as a cornerstone.”
Read more at Adweek.