Van Dyke Horn was founded by Georgella Muirhead and Bob Berg as a minority-owned company, and though the name has changed, our mission remains the same. We believe and practice a mission of equity through diversity, inclusion and equal access to opportunity. At our agency, Black people don’t just have a seat at the table, they built the table. Our firm remains majority Black-owned and is committed to maintaining a team comprising at least 50 percent people of color. We support scholarships for minority PR students to help develop a pipeline of diverse talent in our industry, and we have sought and served clients that advance racial justice and equity to help drive systemic change.
We believe that you need to do more than talk the talk. However, even with our agency’s devout commitment to equity, we somehow had a big miss last week. While we tended to the needs of our clients and helped them craft their responses to the murder of George Floyd, brutalities committed against Black people and the resulting protests, we did not come together as an agency at a time when our Black colleagues needed us most. Social distancing facilitated emotional distancing – until this week.
Our full team talked about this Monday morning. It was a difficult conversation, but through coming together as an agency, we made another commitment. We realized that even though our firm fosters diversity every day, we must still prioritize time with our team to have conversations about race. We will schedule these conversations and plan them, invite others to talk to us and with us, and encourage our team to share these conversations and lessons with their communities and families. Our conversation Monday will result in change, just as we hope the nationwide protests foster change in our country.
Moving forward, we will continue to work hard to address and change the disparities in our community and understand the pain our Black colleagues are going through. Together, with our team, our clients and our community, we will do our most to help end racism.
We are committed to working together as an agency that is dedicated to diversity – an agency that recognizes and appreciates the unique differences of our team members, whether those differences are race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, age, religious beliefs or other ideologies. That’s because, at Van Dyke Horn, diversity has always been our strength.