The CEO of a Black influencer agency on making statements of allyship right now


“Take a stand and be bold about it,” says Jacques Bastien, the CEO of Shade, a New York-based influencer management agency, in this piece on what organizations can do to be better allies.

On brands making public statements right now: “If you’re a brand and you want to take a neutral stance, don’t say a word. Either stay quiet or call it what it is,” he says. If your statement sounds similar to this, a revision is necessary.

Taking a stand has meaning for your audience. A recent survey from Edelman found that brands that made a bold statement were four times more likely to gain consumers’ trust than lose it, according to the Financial Times. Look to the clarity and directness of Ben & Jerry’s for inspiration.

Remember, public statements are only one tiny part of action. Real change requires committed work. Bastien goes on to call on companies to educate both executives and employees about systemic racism and police brutality.

Content Worth Your Time

#BlackTuesday goes wrong

The #BlackoutTuesday efforts of last week did not unfold as intended. What started in the music industry as #TheShowMustBePaused quickly transformed — and not for the better. As the idea spread and began being co-opted by White celebrities, writes Zoe Haylock in this Vulture piece, those voices twisted “a movement intended to amplify black voices into performative and potentially harmful allyship.”

Read Zoe Haylock’s piece to understand how it spread and why it ultimately suppressed information in the #BlackLivesMatter online community.

How we’re going to do better

This week we read about the open letter by Nathan Young at Periscope and Bennett D. Bennett of Aerialist that has been signed by 600 black professionals in the U.S. that calls on agencies to do better. The letter asks agencies to “publicly report workforce diversity data”.

At DJG, in the last two years, of the people we’ve hired 78% are White, 19.5% are POC and only 2.5% are Black.

This is not good enough. We will do better. At the end of this year and future years, we will report on our progress.

If you know someone we should be working with, we’d love an introduction. Email us or share this form with those individuals.