We are living through a very important moment of history, where after the horrific murder of George Floyd, millions of people have taken to the streets to speak out against systemic racism and police brutality in support of Black Lives Matter. Psyop stands firmly with this movement for change, against racism and the institutionalized discrimination that has long held people of color from the same advantages as white people.
From the beginning Psyop’s guiding star has been to “Persuade, change and influence,” and we have an extraordinary platform to advocate for this change, but we also recognize that to do so, we have to start with ourselves. Recent events have forced us to reflect on our own participation and complacency in systems of corrosive racism, discrimination, and oppression that have prevented Black people from having access to the kinds of privileges, opportunities and resources that are readily available to the rest of us.
Psyop values diversity at its core but hasn’t always reflected that in practice. Now is the time to merge theory and practice and actualize our ideals. We are committed to ensuring that changes will be made at an organizational level. It is of utmost importance to not only hire Black talent at all levels but also to share and give voice to Black perspectives and experiences that haven’t been predominantly voiced at our company.
There is no more room for silence. There is no more space for negligence. Psyop will immediately take the following actions to help us make the change at home and support the movement that has inspired so many people to wake up, including ourselves.
- HIRING, TALENT SOURCING, AND MENTORSHIP
- Our head of HR, Executive Leadership and Board are partnering to implement a more cognizant practice that supports Black people in our talent sourcing, hiring, and mentoring.
- We are engaging with partners like Street Lights and Animation Projects who are committed to creating opportunities for disadvantaged Black youth. We are initiating a more diligent practice of mentorship, training and employment opportunities.
- ALLYSHIP TRAINING
- We will set up mandatory allyship training to educate our employees to question and address their biases and learn how to listen to and support more marginalized groups in the workplace and elsewhere. This will help hold employees accountable.
- ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE
- We are establishing a committee to address an ongoing commitment to action and affect change in our business practice. The first goal of this committee is to shift our hiring practice to hire more black artists and staff members.
- STAFF EDUCATION
- We are providing materials and resources to our staff and freelancers to help them start a process of engagement. We are creating opportunities for shared learning and open dialogue.
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- Our social channels are sharing resources for education. Learning, advocacy, and points of donation.
- We are amplifying Black voices, stories, and storytellers, and are committing our staff resources and talents in donated time to storytelling and portraiture projects that celebrate Black Lives and their narratives.
This is not the end of the conversation, it is only the beginning. Psyop is committed to doing the work for as long as it takes to change the future.