When founding Montage Marketing Group, we chose a name that reflected our vision for the agency. Montage – a composite whole made up of fragments. In our case, a group of talented individuals with diverse skills and diverse experiences from diverse backgrounds.
Six years on and 20+ staff in, we are a team of deeply proud immigrants and deeply rooted locals. Some born and raised a few miles from our headquarters; some brought to the U.S. by their families in search of opportunity. Ghanaian and Peruvian and Filipino and Colombian and all American. Everyone with a history. Everyone deserving of a positive, productive, full present and future.
Recent events have made clear, however, that such a reality – one in which all people are acknowledged, valued, supported and encouraged – does not exist… for now. The coronavirus pandemic, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd’s deaths, and nationwide protests have further exposed troubling social inequities and deep emotional wounds affecting our colleagues, friends, and fellow citizens.
While we promote and practice inclusive hiring, employ a diverse team, and prioritize work that reaches into underserved and underrepresented communities, we recognize the need for more. More action. More education. More conversation. More allyship. More support. Just as with our work, we want our colleagues, clients, partners, customers, and communities to expect more from Montage in the fight for social justice.
This moment isn’t about us. But it is about what we can do – individually and collectively – to examine what is and work toward what should be. Scholars, economists, and our own experiences tell us that one of the best ways to achieve a more equitable society is by supporting business owned and operated by people of color. As a woman- and minority-owned company, we can suggest tools, organizations and resources that we have utilized and benefited from.
One such organization is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. We have leveraged WBENC’s information and support, and unreservedly recommend their resources to fellow entrepreneurs. In 2017, WBENC established the Women of Color Program. Aimed at aiding women of color entrepreneurs in increasing their competitive advantage and capacity for inclusion in corporate supply chains, the program is currently hosting a series of webinars on how to strengthen your business ecosystem amid the COVID crisis. You can subscribe for program updates and opportunities here.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to share resources on our social media channels. We will also highlight some of the outstanding minority-owned businesses that we have the privilege of working and sharing space with. There is work to be done – in our offices, homes, and communities – but it’s work we’re committed to doing, and it starts today.