THE ART OF DIVERSITY
At Verizon Media, diversity and inclusion are an essential part of who we are and what we stand for. Our nine Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a significant role to foster inclusion within our company culture and drive a positive change within our society.
The United ERG’s purpose is to empower the diverse communities regardless of their cultural heritage or religion, and create a safe space that promotes difference and inclusion. Verizon Media, through the United ERG, is partnering up with Bridgeman Images to sponsor the Bridgeman Studio Award 2019/2020, an international art competition aimed at emerging artists.
Why are we doing this?
As a media and technology company, it is fundamental for us to create content and develop platforms that represent the diversity of our audiences and users worldwide, through trust and innovation. Trust first, by addressing difference with our consumer brands like HuffPost and hiring talents that reflect the diversity of our world. Secondly, innovation by being bold and creating products that encourage for diversity and accessibility.
The idea of launching an international art competition follows the path of our Black is the New Black initiative last year. This year, the United ERG wanted to go further and choose the context of the UK Black History Month to celebrate diversity. Diversity within the black community itself, but also diversity within the different communities living in our cities, or in the many ways we approach life and work. This competition is also about reminding ourselves of the importance of allies, and how allies can help to make things progress and create more awareness by being advocates of inclusion.
Championing diversity and inclusion is not only a moral and cultural mission, but also a business imperative for us here at Verizon Media. We will make better decisions, create more innovative products and have a more profound impact on society, the more we can promote diversity and inclusion from within and through compelling partnerships as with the Bridgeman Studio Award.
We all have a story and a relationship to diversity and we want to hear it from emerging artists, through their eyes and their art. Art is, after all, a conversation between a creator and an audience, and we want to start this conversation. Art influences our emotions and emotions are impacting behaviour. We want you to create and inspire change through your art.
So, how do you see and experience diversity in your city?
Mama Biashara has been involved in working with the very poorest of families in slum areas across Kenya since 2006. Initially it was simply giving funding for food, house rent, education in a kind of vague personal way, funded by my work making TV shows. But having spent more and more time with these women, in 2008 MAma Biashara proper was born.
“Giving A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out” is our motto and we try to stick to it.
Money given by Mama BIashara is never paid back to the charity, rather the committment is that, once a business is strong enough, the business person takes in someone else in need and brings them up the way Mama B brought them up. And, unlikely as it may seem in this world, that is exactly what happens.