On this episode Ritchie, Jordan and Cephas cover what is diversity, how organisations can support the #BLM movement and why we don't need all the answers.
Cephas is the founder and photographer of the 56 Black Men movement and Drummer Boy Studios.
Since he launched 56 Black Men on the 23rd of December 2018, the campaign took off and has since been featured by The Guardian, Channel 5, Sky News, BBC, Metro, Aljazeera amongst others, creating both a local and global impact.
4:12.330] - Jordan Harry
So the first question is how are marketing organizations responding to the Black Lives Matter movement? The second conjunction question is, are they trying to tackle the issue?
[00:04:46.480] - Cephas Williams
And so how do I feel marketing companies are responding? Well, companies in general. Yes, exactly. Particularly Mockett, so I think it's interesting that every company has got a marketing department or most company anyway. So you've got the CMO and then the marketing team. So I think it's not just our marketing companies responding because you've got industry-specific companies. It tells you a question of how companies are responding for marketing and I guess.
[00:05:21.380] - Cephas Williams
It's interesting because I've had my run in work mode from when the news of Jews fled his boot to me to some degree to now. And so a lot of things have happened. So when there was this thing about Woolley's brands that communicate, in every event that's been happening, it's been brought to me as opposed to me seeing it firsthand, because I'm not engaging in the news that I'm not really on social media. I post on social media, not come offset in boots me.
[00:05:53.060] - Cephas Williams
So I've been able to appreciate a gap to be similar in that sense too. So you've been able to appreciate. At the same time, I've been privileged to have conversations with industry leaders within the market in an advertising room, but it also leaders we've been of all of the industries that are looking at this from how do we respond, respond lands and so to how our food companies are responding. This time, I think there's a mixture. I think that you've got a lot of companies that I've been brought to me and I've seen what they've done, feel like they've got very knee jerk response.
[00:06:34.970] - Cephas Williams
So knee jerk response being cited. In the end, it just reacts. It's very reactive. My piece is how do we start to navigate a more reflective response as opposed to. Oh, shit. Something's happened. How do we not feel guilty anymore? How do we look? Good. Which is what reactive responses can generally feel like. And as a result, you've seen quite a several people get backlash because the issue with reaction is it's short-lived and it's quick.
[00:07:16.480] - Cephas Williams
And the power of reflection is that you can build something as long lived. And so if I if I said a cake, if a company sells a cake, you despise this statement or less. This Chuka a million pounds to black causes and stuff. What you see in people's comic companies comments that I've actually seen it in companies comments and rest is really active black people and actually nonblack allies calling out companies and saying, well, what about your boardroom?
[00:07:46.030] - Cephas Williams
And those at peace will knock out whatever and people in a position like BUJU next to that ad. And I thought, well, and the power reflection actually says that you're going to be able to first be honest with yourself. That is the real bedrock of reflection. You can't reflect on the world without reflecting on yourself first. In my opinion and your position within that landscape and if companies reflected on themselves first. A lot of times people set it on themselves first.
[00:08:18.940] - Cephas Williams
In this case, a lot of time I felt the response would be to themselves first. It would be more round. Even got it right. So someone is really interesting. Perhaps you look good at why as opposed to this is what we're going to do, which is how do we how do we skip the whole, you know, articulate in your position, articulate in what the change needs to be, and then just go straight to what we need to be doing or whatever is the company to put in our manifestos with no vision.
[00:08:56.150] - Cephas Williams
Was injured interest in this I was interested in this period was a handful of my senior contacts reached out to me, so 70 text messages, WhatsApp or e-mails and.
[00:09:10.160] - Cephas Williams
I'm trying to think if anyone in that message me was part of the advertising, the marketing, what other things about. I'm in constant communication with some of the leaders, so. There was a period where a handful of just really senior people sent me e-mails, messages saying, hey, save us. Three things are common in those e-mails. The first thing was, you know, what's happened in this ship? And you know what's up with George first.
[00:09:33.530] - Cephas Williams
And secondly, about what black people's terrible, which is great to see that they said that vocally because we're living in a country where people are not very vocal about things other than to say that was great. The second commonality was some people said we failed. One person said she or some one person I failed. The others said these are leaders of some of the biggest organizations in this sector. One woman before other people said notions around, we've not got it right.
[00:10:08.070] - Cephas Williams
Right. Which is really interesting to see, particularly around the black conversation. And then the third commonality in those e-mails I got was how do we align with what you're doing to make change? And then when we would charge up and speak, you would see. Some people responded already. Some people responded by default because whether the CEO there comes in a market and team have already done something to response and added them to the conversation. Whereas when we spoke, they actually had it responded.
If that made sense. One of a contact of mine said to me, and he was asleep for context to see if his organization. He said he doesn't know what to say and he doesn't. At the same time, there is a fear of being late to speak. But if he's in a position where he does not say and he said that was a combative story, I was also invited to a conference with some of the leaders in the creative sector.
[00:11:24.630] - Cephas Williams
Of kind of the creative hubs, nice venues and venues. No, no one appreciates because look down. And one of the gentleman who's a white gentleman for context for the story. And he runs a really big fear in the country. And he says a. One in the. He doesn't know to say what's happened is terrible, I'm paraphrasing what's happened is terrible. He feels that they've not done enough for the black community. So if he says something now, he's going to get backlash.
[00:12:03.220] - Cephas Williams
He said. He feels like he should've spoken sooner, which is the parallel between the other guy I was talking to and he hasn't spoken yet. And. He feels he needs a PR or campaigning company to really help bring out what he needs to say. But what's happening is not right. He's. Is that a whole box? That was something is not right. We're going to be looking at this stuff moving forward. And we are we are supported like me.
[00:12:32.700] - Cephas Williams
Said to him, Tallulah. In a statement. By large and release it. And what the issue has been is people and organizations are responding more as organizations or as businesses that have people. Whereas if people genuinely get up and say, you know what? I've had some really powerful conversations with some leaders. Again, you have said, hey, I'm learning. I don't know all the answers yet. No. One, I am no expert in.
[00:13:00.310] - Cephas Williams
People that are not black, they would be able to black to some degree to have audiences come saying, you know. So. It is very organization. If that's a word I could use to always. Well, I have the answers and say, well, this is the response. We got it. We responded on time to this. My view is that this isn't a business case. This is this is the destiny of the black community. You know, the reality of the black.
[00:13:28.240] - Cephas Williams
So that's been I've in the midst of what I've been seeing, I guess some realities come from what I've been hearing on the news because most of impute to me. But the conversations I've been having with some of the leaders of. It's been interesting and said it is done with other guest said mentioned. He does say he actually sent me a draft of what he was right and he included me in and somebody write it and he said, I want to make sure I've got it right.
[00:13:56.750] - Cephas Williams
You know, it could run again. I don't want offend. And it's these kind of things in order. If you if you're there's power, vulnerability, if you're able just to pop stuff up. So for me, when I post on my platform linked to Instagram, whatever, I remain human first and I put my human foot forward. And, you know, as long as I'm not trying to bully somebody or decent and malicious, I come straight in.
[00:14:25.910] - Cephas Williams
So these are the things that have been the response I've been seeing to use. The second part, your question. Do I think it's tangible? Though I can't see the heart of my, you know, or from a genuine place, a combat exact time buffet that was. Biologic, you're trying to say, I can't see see your thoughts. He's already his set. I can't tell if it's genuine or. History will tell. But from what history has told, it's not been genuine.
[00:15:00.250] - Cephas Williams
So then there's a distrust because people don't believe that things are going to change. And actually. I'm doing some things by the scenes because to work out how I can contribute to the situation. And again, I said this in a post yesterday, but it's about shifting the thinking from charity to change. But because a lot of people, organizations are wired around looking at it as a charitable thing like, oh, we need to help, you know, we're doing them a favor in your favor.
[00:15:31.110] - Cephas Williams
But this is this is what's right to do. That's the lens. It's doctor organizations are very protective of that favor, because if I give you a gift, the genuine general human nature of human nature about how people are wired. From what I've seen is I've got A, B, C to giving you this gift. Right. Whereas if you really wanted to give some of the gifts because you wanted to give them the gift, you would have to be seen.
[00:16:00.620] - Cephas Williams
And so, again, it's the charity versus change. Peace was also competition versus change because I'm not talking to companies about how do we. The same as I won't go into detail. Find recruits, build the ecosystem, retain progress and move up the pipeline, like tell it right. So. And in a company could turn around and say, well, if if all of my competitors are in the same conversation, then what's stopping them from getting the best black talent versus me?
[00:16:39.360] - Cephas Williams
But this isn't the time for conversation. This is not a conversation of competition, is a conversation of change. And in the. So time will tell. The genuine peace. Time will tell. And in the end, I hope that this is the real room for change, but I can't stand in the distance. After days of. I'm currently talking to people and play my role and try to make sure I see some of that change with tangible.
[00:17:10.880] - Cephas Williams
What's your five year, 10 year, 28 plan to one, eradicate systemic racism and two, for the economic advancement of the black community? Those are two major things I'm focused on in my next move. Let's see if us. Just just to pick up and just to pick up on a couple of things that you talked about. One of the sentences that really resonated with me was when you said, you know, there's a fear of being too late to speak and and that is driving certain action in which a.
[00:17:52.030] - Cephas Williams
They are breaking up bridges in. Through reflective piece is probably. So I had with that section together then if it were breaking up for you too. Yeah, just a little bit. If you just say from the real powerful sentence, you'll be spun.
[00:18:11.180] - Ritchie Mehta
Yeah. So, like, the the real powerful sentence was that the too late to speak, as you've described it. And to me that that symbolizes a fear factor. And at the end, it's probably at the root cause of this knee jerk reaction that you're talking about. And actually, there's a quiet consolation in my mind of people. If if you've got nothing good to say, don't say anything at all. And if you are thinking. Hope it's purposeful reflection to really get a sense of how you can tackle this problem at a root cause level.
[00:18:44.400] - Ritchie Mehta
And what what is really, you know, what is really being called optimism is the fact that people are reaching out to people like yourself, CFS. Because honestly speaking. Right. And I think, Jordan, you said this to me a couple of weeks ago and I felt slightly uncomfortable, bad because I wasn't in the best position to understand the root cause problems. And the only way that we're gonna do that is by actually being empathetic and being able to actually get on the ground and speaking and I and carving out these solutions together.
[00:19:12.090] - Ritchie Mehta
So if organizational leaders are coming to you as a thought leader and you're you know, you represent the black community through and through. It's a great I guess to some extent, no. They are certainly listening to the voice or the right voice. And and, you know, that hopefully will create battle change at you know, that we will then see at some point moving forward whether it's, you know, whether the current knee jerk reactions are lip service or no
[00:19:46.380] - Cephas Williams
And I also think in the spirit of just discipline us, that is I studied architecture. And in architecture, you never come forward of a fully formed product, even to the end of your project when you're giving your final crit. And you've got your funny drawings, whatever. They still take your things away and you're critiquing your work. And so I've actually said, person, I've seen things go out saying, well, it is good to say so.
[00:20:16.470] - Cephas Williams
See, the silence is the part where there's potentially a problem. But a lot of people so I can't sit here and say and then just generally by a lot of people who are supportive of the black community beyond this time, don't feel pressured to do anything because they really are. They've been doing things for a very long time, you know. And so, for example, we've cleared title for one example is the company of what it appeared. It's on the.
[00:20:48.920] - Cephas Williams
When I've engaged of their leaders over this period is it's not felt tense. It was never felt like, oh, one could argue that people at them are very fortunate. We've been doing some black person some before and that people from before because now it doesn't look fake. But again, because the race is there and because that relationship came through learning and understanding, they were never in a position to say, you know. And I'm sure as a company, ideas were brought to them.
[00:21:17.630] - Cephas Williams
And in fact, the note ideas were put in, but they were in a rush to say we have to do. Is that because they already knew their position? And it starts with the black community was good internally, not externally. Not that if we don't say anything, we are positioned as Cuba as we have. We are doing our part and we will continue to do our part. Now in the juice foot incident and beyond. So whether we go for a criminal who is actually more dangerous to just accept any idea and put it out there because you almost risk sabotaging the legacy you've built with the black community, it's more prudent and more diligent for you to reflect and say what is the best way to respond to the situation.
[00:22:08.540] - Cephas Williams
But the point I'm trying to make is in the boardroom at up point, you're not panicking and in the rush because you've you've got a genuine you you genuinely put your finger on the pulse and you go to the post.
[00:22:21.050] - Cephas Williams
And she is going to pick up on that point because they've been a number of organizations that have to transform their brand strategies on the back of this movement. And I mentioned Light and Dark Times webinar. But even people like Mors, PepsiCo, Unilever are all rebranding and changing, dismantling certain key brands like Uncle Benza and Jemima's. Or you've been in India seven lovely Unilever to me.
[00:22:47.420] - Ritchie Mehta
Could you explain the context? Was gonna Uncle Ben's right. So I say actually what's happened is that if this goes back to your terminology around institutional bias or racism, whatever you want to call it. But for the longest time, these organizations have had a key brands in that portfolio, like Uncle Ben's, which historically have, you know, arguably have sort of epitomized the problem as well. And actually and actually made a lot of profit on the back of of these type of brands.
[00:23:19.350] - Ritchie Mehta
But actually, in historical context, it goes back centuries. And so what they're doing now is they're actually re-evaluating the brand names because they believe that it's actually derogatory. And, you know, it stems from that institutional racism that we've seen throughout. And they're trying to rebrand and change the brand names. Now, which one could argue is is just a reactive sort of thing to it as opposed to anything else? It's interesting. So and Lovely is probably one of the most popular brands in India.
[00:23:53.180] - Ritchie Mehta
And basically what it is, it's some sort of skin bleach to try and make. And this is actually true and it's all around in Asia. But this is my most popular products of unity in India. And and what they're doing is this has been going on for decades. And so they're changing the name from a fair and lovely and they're dropping the fair bit and they're trying to rebadge the fair bit. But actually, interesting on the underlying product is not changing.
[00:24:16.550] - Ritchie Mehta
They're not putting that product off the shelf. They're just simply trying to kind of, you know, put it a little bit to one side and then be seen to be positioning in that way.
[00:24:23.930] - Cephas Williams
This is a conversation for another day or is you have this conversation. Interesting. Thanks for the call, sir.
[00:24:33.900] - Ritchie Mehta
Does it look at the context? Yes. I mean, I just I just feel like to some X then, you know, these are all, I guess, key actions around being perceived to be doing something as opposed to actually then going out and creating an illusion. And I know there's a there's another big got a boycott campaign on Facebook that's got to be happening. It's the stop hate for profit campaign. You've come across that, so. Would you stop the hateful prophet of love?
[00:25:02.270] - Ritchie Mehta
Because if. We'll see about. So this is another this is another. It's it's basically big organizations like Unilever pulling Facebook advertising because they because they're claiming that Facebook has not got their policies around.
[00:25:21.860] - Cephas Williams
You know, the only, you know, the I guess the policies for somebody is that we estimate that it's a name. But they said that there's in the news. It's funny cause he was like, I know you don't watch the news, but he said some of the put it ads on Facebook or some of it is cool. Interesting. Yeah. Interesting.
[00:25:41.760] - Ritchie Mehta
So that's another thing that's that's currently happening. But then again, you can you can accuse these organizations of, on the one hand at being, you know, for four decades all these these brands I mentioned. And yet, on the other hand, now when convenient to say, actually, we're not advertising Facebook, it feels like a bit of a double standard that that tends to be happening at the moment.
[00:26:03.190] - Cephas Williams
Yeah. And I feel like.
[00:26:08.610] - Cephas Williams
They were going to get away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids. I'm drunk, this stuff, a Scooby Doo line and I give them a nice night.
[00:26:17.880] - Jordan Harry
So I just see it.
[00:26:20.360] - Cephas Williams
But I'm trying to say is, if we don't come together as a black community led black community initiative with no black allies and really control the tone of voice in the post and the trajectory, then they're going to get away with it. If weeder Scooby Doo to shoot this, then they're going to keep getting away with it because at this point it's like. At this point, it's like. Five, it will fail five years, two months from now after Black History Month of your leaving before some teachers in what is going to happen.
[00:27:04.900] - Cephas Williams
And then the direct show will be changed. You're talking about countries that didn't have a budget to pay black speakers and now given up millions of pounds of black initiative or another budget to retain black staff. Most of this paying speakers, I get paid very so. I'm not talking person. I'm talking with regards to where I've spoken to other black speakers about. And I even kind of say, you know, when companies tell me to come, if they've got a budget paid over speakers, black, white, whatever, that I try to I try to leverage my platform.
[00:27:39.700] - Cephas Williams
Set up what you're talking about companies doing it now. So. Or some other black person said, let's do something together. I will not go yet. Now, all of a sudden the fundamentalist orgy in the middle of it. So look good. The terrorists want. So we have to appreciate that every put in time. There's going to be something else the companies are going to want to look good for, going want to respond to as we don't carve out a unified voice.
[00:28:06.940] - Cephas Williams
In the midst of this, so we're getting our kitchen done and people out in our kitchens are here. So I want to give, give, give it to you minutes. But if we don't repeat that so we can get out of it, if we don't konnikova a unified voice in this period and almost the whip hand or the voice of reason for the trajectory or the voices of reason for the trajectory that they're going to keep doing, it should not mean no one is going to call them out.
[00:28:33.820] - Cephas Williams
No one's going to say hang about. Systemic racism will continue to grow. And why us to be led by black people and supported by no black allies? Because for the longest, it's not been led by black people. No problem is open. I'm coming I'm coming out to them in a minute. I'm just young cocoanuts just on a conference call.
[00:28:55.990] - Cephas Williams
Welcome to New Novel. OK, so we'll get to that. I'll start again. So you look for me. We need to really band together and create that organization that will help bring bring about that consistent change. Because next year, what is not trending to talk about black issues is the company is going to bring up. You know, for this time, when people are not talking about systemic racism, are we still going to talk about progressive black people at the pipeline?
[00:29:27.460] - Cephas Williams
That does leave you for good. So these guys will quit.
[00:29:31.010] - Cephas Williams
[00:29:31.630] - Jordan Harry
Sounds good to you that you are going to set up some and which I will take it from here. And Richie, I've now put you on the spot and see where you go with this. But I want to, of course, kind of recap and summarize what the discussions been so far. Again, please, if we want to take this opportunity, see, Fash, you won't get a chance asking questions via LinkedIn, unlike me, me, who was super accessible.
[00:29:56.740] - Jordan Harry
CFS is a very, very occupied man. So please take advantage of a master's here. And I can definitely speak on behalf of the black community, a feeling that pressure to respond myself. And I think we all have anyone with a good moral compass. And this is the concession. We now have an invite to the question, which isn't as straightforward. But I know we've got a lot of people in this room right now who are marketers, who are either in a position where they can make decisions for their companies.
[00:30:30.600] - Ritchie Mehta
And so victory. How can marketers use their power, their influence? To be more inclusive, to, in some sense, create change, small or big. So first of all, Jim Boulden, thanks for that pretty humongous question, Democrats after to respond to, in essence, guys, I mean, I've been giving this quite a bit of thought, and I think that from a marketing perspective, there are four key avenues that we should be thinking about, which, by the way, deviates from my power of three.
[00:31:08.200] - Ritchie Mehta
So there you go. I really have given a deep thought.
[00:31:11.770] - Ritchie Mehta
So the first one, Guises, is very much communication driven type of initiatives.
[00:31:16.030] - Ritchie Mehta
And although, you know, a lot of the time people can think that actions will always speak louder than words. This is true. It's the amplification of those actions, which I think is extremely powerful today in order to create and carve out that voice and spread the awareness. I think awareness is critical during this moment in time. So I think that Stephy number one. The second thing is something much more around society orientated type of initiatives. Is there ways that we can get involved on the ground activities that we can we can get involved in?
[00:31:50.650] - Ritchie Mehta
And by the way, in all honesty, if you can't, then partner up with people who can. I think there is you know, there's a 36 black man is a great example of that. You can literally do a lot more by actually getting more experts involved in supporting their causes. So I think that's another great way that we can do this. The third thing that is around brand brand management and how we actually do understand our portfolio is moving forward.
[00:32:17.770] - Ritchie Mehta
So what does the portfolio look like? And recognizing the systemic and institutional bias and racism that may exist within the existing frameworks. And then to kind of take a look from the other lens as well and then see how we can evolve our brand strategies to actually back behind these certain causes. Now, I would say, though, guys, as a caution and a banjoes is a great example where actually being too vocal in the wrong way can have backlashes on your brands and this requires much deeper thought.
[00:32:48.040] - Ritchie Mehta
So Ben and Jerry's, our whole market is probably one of the most ethical brands in the world, had recently come under fire because they're using a lot of terminology that's that's not resonating. Things like supremacy and words like that. And I think, you know, we've got to be careful about how we position it. So it actually it actually continues to be inclusive and it's inclusive in an all encompassing way and not just necessary for community, because everyone needs to get behind this.
[00:33:13.480] - Ritchie Mehta
And I think my my fourth point and I think all of us in this in this area, in this room could help is around talent. How do we genuinely change the narrative around diversity and talent within our own organizations is a key one here. So how do we become more inclusive and create structures and put the structures in place in order to genuinely make a difference and and create the support infrastructure? I know like Nike's CEO came out very strongly on this front saying that, you know, before we can go out to the market, we've got to get our own house in order.
[00:33:47.710] - Ritchie Mehta
Which, again, whether that's believable or not, given the communications versus their boardroom, should have diversity and agendas, is is you know, is is debatable.
[00:33:58.480] - Ritchie Mehta
But actually, ultimately, Bülow, lab rules lay in being able to help the talent acquisition, and that stems from whether it's a work experience program right through to senior executive hires. And all of us have the power and skill to be influential in that area. So I think. There you go, Jordan. That's my my little semiotic on on things markets can do at this point in time. But it's a good stuff. But in a day, it takes courage.
[00:34:23.390] - Jordan Harry
In all honesty, it's not easy. Simple answer. Does anybody else on on the forum have a point of view? And you know, I love those two cents that you gave ridging, because, you know, we are now, I would say past a heightened period of the Black Lives Matter movement, whether we like to admit to or not. It has quietened down. It isn't a new thing. It has been there for a while. And, of course, if you are following what's going on, it isn't losing momentum.
[00:34:55.050] - Jordan Harry
We're just not seeing it proactively, I guess, in the media. And one thing which really resonates and what you said and hopefully is going to take away is I followed a great psychiatrist called Judum. Peterson is a great speaker. And Jordan Peterson says, if you want to change the world. Need to start by tidying your room. And it comes back to our notion of the nation should make your bed in the morning. But it's not as simplistic as that is.
[00:35:22.980] - Jordan Harry
The idea that if you can't look after your room, which I would argue is a simple task, how on earth can you make change in the world? And so I'll see first started the actual conversation, which was before reflecting on the world, we need to reflect upon ourselves. And what I took away from that is I am educate myself more on black history. And yet I'm someone who has studied black history. And I would say I'm a student of black history.
[00:35:57.150] - Jordan Harry
Of course, I have my own biases to be interested. So anyone who is feeling that pressure. Anyone who feels like they're late to the game and I don't know enough. Hey, there's so much information. I believe there's over three million books published a year in America alone. It would be impossible for you to keep up with any sort of topic. But what you do is look for the 20 percent that will give you the 80 percent of your results.
[00:36:22.650] - Ritchie Mehta
I like it and I like that perspective, Jordan. And I think you're starting with yourself and reflecting on your own house first. I think it's critically important. I love I'd love you to deflect the question you asked me on Ceefax and see what he what he says.
[00:36:37.340] - Jordan Harry
Welcome back. See first. Long story short, we want to know how to end racism. Not not that extreme. We want to know in Marx's Marx's have the capability to reach masses. And we would love your insight because we've got Marcos's on this call right now. What can they do? What would you give us? One thing, two things or 30 things? What could marketers do to support the organizations to promote inclusive city?
[00:37:15.080] - Cephas Williams
Entirely. What do you think, Richie, timing exactly to that question to be taken as a briefing things so support the organization to respond to these issues and let's just put that, I think.
[00:37:29.780] - Ritchie Mehta
I think it's a couple of internally directed questions coming up in the chat. Anyway, she maybe will help on that on that basis if we call for an Internet based answer.
[00:37:40.480] - Cephas Williams
That's right. So what can marketers do within their organizations to positively contribute to the conversation of race in this country? Well, I. A cool. Judy Matsson about reflected in your own bed first. This is the notion of subscribe to other say such by the national squatty. So I would say everything comes down to being human first. You know. Being a human and being alive can be a very special thing. This is a very special film, can be different on where you are.
[00:38:20.650] - Cephas Williams
And its ability to connect to other human beings is even more special. So when I was going through depression and suicide many years ago, I took in the world and I was in the world with just me and nobody else. At that point, I came to a realization that what people there'd be no purpose. So I did everybody back home one by one. And that's what I came to realization. No one else did, and the reason for my existence.
[00:38:45.390] - Cephas Williams
So perhaps I'm just here for myself. I'm here for everybody else. So imagine this world knows you. Conversation. No, you. No, nobody. Quarantine doesn't exist because nobody is here. You would have lupus. And so there is something very special with human being. Nobody to connect over. He would be. So if I approach things as being a human, not human first. Now. Any situation, if you take it with that, starts.
[00:39:13.640] - Cephas Williams
It becomes less. Tactical, a more personal. So the first thing I ask myself as someone in any role will say marketing for the global marketers. But it goes for any role is who I speak to, black people. Right. So is the question I answer is no. Then you have to go out of your comfort zone if that's why you don't. Or you have to take away what's stopping you from speaking about people. Funds and public speaking.
[00:39:49.480] - Cephas Williams
Now, I understand we're in a period of lock down and Kobe. Well, you're not going to be in the office. Any courts will grab someone's desk. Perhaps you can speak to nature and suggest that you want to get a Zen conversation going where people can exchange you black people and just understand it more. So maybe you can go link 10. You can dig one of your colleagues if you know who they are. These black people organization. If you don't know any.
[00:40:15.030] - Cephas Williams
If you do know black people, then engaging in conversation. Right. So the premise of both of those exposes is to find black people to engage in conversation that Work Avenue organization. Because the question is to your organization. I think one should approach that conversation honestly, even if you have black friends, not necessarily approach it like, oh, you know, with my I have black friends couple on because I can sometimes be very insensitive. I approach it with a conversation of, you know, I don't understand or do understand.
[00:40:50.080] - Cephas Williams
I'd like to understand more. I think. But the most powerful things. We can do in society. It gives them an awesome voice or platform to communicate. So as much as. You may also really be informed by the time or more informed by the time you spoke and the 10, 20 people, the more people you engage in, you say, you know, speak to, the more informed you be one. But the more valued people feel empowered because you're giving them that platform.
[00:41:29.590] - Cephas Williams
And I think there comes a point where it's less about, oh, hey, can you educate me? Oh, hey, could you educate me or hate your watershed? Because some people don't want to share and some people don't understand that they educate you on the flag issue. It comes to a point where what are you gonna do with that information?
[00:41:46.280] - Cephas Williams
So if you took the marketing lens, do you then want to be taken information to feedback into your framework to understand how you could market better to the black community does not seem like, you know, appropriate in the black culture without seeming like your being racist subtly or over without and genuinely that, you know, like this. There's a lot of shit that people don't know that if you just pull up to a black person, be like yo to. From the adverts we've put out for the campaigns, you put out what we've done over this period.
[00:42:21.820] - Cephas Williams
Have any of these appealed to you? And honestly, because sometimes you are such a black people and some black people just respond. Oh, yeah, it's cool. Is good because of two of many reasons. One, some black people don't like being in the spotlight. They like to be the person is still need to not like your whole organization is racist. And to some, black people are comfortable in just not being seen in that respect because for many reasons, one being that we can sometimes live a very uncomfortable life, a very uncomfortable experience because of the fact that we're black in.
[00:42:59.760] - Cephas Williams
A majority black community, and not just because it up, but because. In the western world, the Islamists, you cannot be bullied for being what is called the minority, but on the flip reverse, when I've seen people look like go to Africa, they accepted to open arms that no one takes the piss out. The accent does not mean they are just really happy to see you every day. So is that is is the is the power play or not man or a piece that can sometimes make black people feel uncomfortable.
[00:43:31.280] - Cephas Williams
Not because black people are less so women with less of in this as a nation. So I guess the point being. Go into the conversation with an anticipated result, announce that result before you speak, and taking the learnings from that result to make your organization a better place entirely or to make your organization better with the because how you communicate and contribute to the black experience. And you have to be comfortable with making that experience siloed. As much as we can, part of a wider ecosystem, the conversation right now with black.
[00:44:15.860] - Cephas Williams
Black people have not been in a position to have that conversation openly and like this for many years, and we have to respect them. Mm. So that's a quote.
[00:44:26.590] - Ritchie Mehta
Can I. Can I ask because I know, you know, going back to are you alluded to this earlier about a good old British culture of trying to always be diplomatic and pleasing. And a lot of a lot of people, of course, spoken up already, but a lot of people haven't on the basis that they are fearful to offend and and not say the right thing. So what would you what would you say? You're talking about your Yoza advocating having these open type of conversations and dialogue, which I 100 percent agree with.
[00:44:55.750] - Cephas Williams
But I know people may be fearful of even doing that. What would you say to them? Black people do note to everybody else who's trying to get involved in the conversation but are fearful of offending others.
[00:45:11.030] - Jordan Harry
Can I say that as well? Sorry. Yes, because I think from my perspective as well, I think for everyone, because, as you mentioned, Stefansson alluded to that people of color. Also have some sort of pressure. And so I'd love to include everyone in that question, if that's OK.
[00:45:34.880] - Cephas Williams
So black people are black people. How do they avoid feeling awkward about having an open conversation about black issues? So I'm looking at it as if everybody's perspective because I, I in it will issues, for example, due to what I appreciate from our conversation, you are of mixed heritage. But you you are a black person. It's how you see yourself. And that's great. I think in the U.K., it's interesting because there are some people that don't necessarily see themselves as black in America.
[00:46:07.900] - Cephas Williams
You know, they operate under one roof at one point. So if you're one black, then you are a black man. How fair complexion you are. So they have not had that dynamic of. In the U.K., a mixed race person party referred to as a lie. You know them not really because due would have had to. And you can tell me if I'm wrong for understanding the plight of many mixed race firms that I've spoken to get into a stage where you really have to carve out that black identity as is actually know, like I'm black.
[00:46:41.520] - Cephas Williams
And what does it mean? And I say it because even for a black person, black, you know, I would say not say you're not that of somebody. Both their parents are black, for lack of a better word, even for someone who both their parents are black. I have to get to a place where I've carved out what it means to be black for me. So. I couldn't as I said, I can't answer it for me.
[00:47:03.920] - Cephas Williams
The lived experience of being black with no black. But to Richie's initial question, what would I say to people that are struggling? Don't offend, say, the. Because this two part question. The question you're asking is how do I approach your competition but don't offend somebody? Well, you can just say, hey, I want to ask you this question. Why would you want to be offensive? I genuinely would. This is why I would like to ask if it offends you.
[00:47:27.410] - Cephas Williams
Please let me know, because I want to learn how to make sure I'm not asking questions that are offensive in this time and move forward. That just generally works if genuine people or people are not. Because one thing is quite interesting about racism is when you go for it in another live. Jordan, you've been through racism when you an awesome screen. I see a blackface lady on the screen as well. Your pictures, other than your presence, black in the room.
[00:47:57.170] - Cephas Williams
I don't know if it's but when you expose racism. For me anyway, in that moment that the pressure is like fun. If anybody looks at me a certain type of way, I'm not only having it right. So. And then after a field from not. I'm I'm cool in a. I don't go into too many examples, but I just remember having gone through overt racism in my life and to see the like. Angry, upset, helpless.
[00:48:32.860] - Cephas Williams
Is that someone's torturing you? And you know that they do it with your block and you can't do anything to escape that torture because, for example, one position where. Is microaggression, sometimes going and in the hole, someone did something to cheat once and in the hole courage of what people hope. Maybe four or five people start attacking me for long. I was barefoot. Laughing Good luck. Because you're in a position of. Even if you wanted to defend yourself, you can't defend yourself.
[00:49:07.970] - Cephas Williams
And you know, the person is racist. You can see the look in their face. You can see a smirk. The dude actually smirked at me as I left and got off the train on the bridge. And I'm walking around that day a little it goes as a tima London bridge to be fixed. I try to do that. I try to practice that, letting things go. But if you if you would put me in a moment coming off like I was asking someone a question, and that was the time that somebody would to be rude or condescending or just a white person before they just me, even if I came to ask the question first.
[00:49:45.760] - Cephas Williams
I'm looking to have it. I'm going to be like I was too. Jesus. Why did the. So when it comes to asking people questions, you're going to find that there's going to be some people that are going to not want to hear it because they just don't. But also have to appreciate that somebody might have just been going through an issue. So if your is genuine with regards to trying to see you get evidence and want us to also know and to say, General.
[00:50:16.010] - Cephas Williams
Cool. I genuinely want to know. I can see now that time perhaps you can talk another day. You know, really wouldn't be an ally. And. Unfortunately, we live in a conflict. The answer to this question is about Sophs. So seek it. And many, many things I would have to say. What? The other Navon said about evidence that comes a place of themselves where they can feel comfortable to say it. I am blackens.
[00:50:42.300] - Cephas Williams
The black was black. By definition, but really of Africa. Right.
[00:50:49.820] - Ritchie Mehta
So if I say I, I, I want to just ask and I know you're going to take it to such, you know, your campaign four to six black men and the success that it's had.
[00:51:04.400] - Ritchie Mehta
Have you seen. Have you seen tangible should have a movement in a positive direction. On the back of that campaign under the bus.
[00:51:13.940] - Cephas Williams
Was it all set up just in the distance or. I just said there's a reason I didn't call it. Fifty six African men acquitted, 56 black men. Very simply put, when you're communicating to an audience and you want to communicate message, very simply, it's best to. Not always best, but depending on which position you use, dialogue that everyone understands for whatever the problem is you're trying to solve or address. So when you look in the newspapers, this huge stuff, they wouldn't record American men, they would cut in black men.
[00:51:47.870] - Cephas Williams
And we will see photos of this black in this era as they fought this era. When people look back in history, they will identify in this error. People identify black men as X. It was an African men. The connotation becomes very different if that makes sense. So, yes, I have. In show I've seen a lot of good come from it and passes a conversation for another day. But I think the most unique thing I've felt is a connection between what coined this, the barbershop and the border, which is great.
[00:52:21.270] - Jordan Harry
So. Yeah, there's a lot more we're looking at, David. And the basic question also seems right on that point of the barbershop in the boardroom. I know what that means. I don't want anyone else to kind of be let that go over the head. What do you mean by barbershop and boardroom?
[00:52:42.980] - Cephas Williams
Good question. So the barbershop is for me and for the people that are black. The other guys that's where they call a star is the booty. Does that mean that's where they chop up? You know, it's inches when you go to Buju Bay City and it's mainly like in the U.K.. White men. And I said it because of the fact that the same shit that is made by men look for anything else. If you're ever in those type of rooms, you will see that they chop up football.
[00:53:16.260] - Cephas Williams
They can talk about all these different things as well as talk about business. They could talk about how they do in their family, how you do that. So the barbershop for me feels that that same type of place. The barbershop is the food. You can eat something. Right. So. You can go to the barber shop and have the same debate style again. You can also ask people about a new also find conversations about Latinos. This is what you're trying to do next.
[00:53:43.870] - Cephas Williams
And your wait in the same town ahead. So there's this. This is river in the barbershop. And I think that there's an interesting connection in that form by the fact that everyone in the barbershop generally is black and they want to with is is not black. And then also the idea that the power of a shop is almost a mother for or what they call them, of any kind of software for black men. To some degree, for a good number of us.
[00:54:16.140] - Cephas Williams
And so when you look into the way you were talking about was shop, how you will adjust, people do not mean it's really different to how you would move perhaps in a caucus. And so I'm very driven from the top of people's. So, again, I've I've been able to create something. And I am someone that can if you talk to human beings about what ever you are, you are. You are, you know. But within the fabric of 56, black men have been able to trade the culture that people in the boardroom, the same people that we get it.
[00:54:49.400] - Cephas Williams
And the mundane people, the barbershop. We get it. So that's what I mean by connecting the barbershop in the boardroom. These two words have been connected through this campaign.
[00:55:01.360] - Ritchie Mehta
No, that's, as I said, super, super insightful observation, if asked to be honest. And I really, really looking forward to seeing what's what's next on that horizon, because I think you're hinting at something which we're not going to reveal today, clearly. But it's just it's just fascinating. And it's something, you know, we're using that analogy. I just want to quickly ask our justice questions and join you. You pitched an answer. I want to get Sieff assets our take on it.
[00:55:27.250] - Ritchie Mehta
So this was around the fact that deck in a Web page that currently coming up with the color Braves after loved to educate ourselves and have a host panel discussions afterwards, kind of like a book club and any ideas on funds they should be watching or including that will help the conversation. That is that person able to explain what color race means and where was the notion?
[00:55:58.750] - Jess
Yes, sure. Can you give me that? Well, you can be.
[00:56:03.140] - Jess
So that's just the name of the internal campaign that we've been running through the last three years to promote inclusion and diversity within within the fan. So we've just kind of piggybacked off the back of that and have developed this film club within our marketing team, which we will then roll out our cell phone.
[00:56:26.050] - Jess
Like, how big is your coverage?
[00:56:27.240] - Cephas Williams
Just to get an understanding of the ad in the UK? Twenty thousand employees.
[00:56:32.570] - Cephas Williams
And you head marketing for the company?
[00:56:34.910] - Cephas Williams
No, no. I'm just their marketing manager and the team.
[00:56:37.880] - Jess
And you say you're part of the the color Colibri Film Club League, too? Yes.
[00:56:44.510] - Jess
Yes. That's for. But they're not a strong marketing team. He's come up with the initiative. I'm trying to take it forward. Okay.
[00:56:51.780] - Cephas Williams
And out of that, twenty two thousand people, how many are the club and how many are black?
[00:56:58.140] - Jess
I'd say it's still an idea at the moment. So we haven't actually launched it yet. We're in the process of planning a storefront within that immediate great planning, planning to get it.
[00:57:09.080] - Cephas Williams
Appreciate you sharing the call. I ask that for concerts because context is good. If you tell us they much, she will acquire companies or some other black people or a small company, then the nature of just some parts of that change. Always good to contexts and probably the best and the worst person to ask this question. Because what I'm a film person, true and true. So I've got films that is about ship names.
[00:57:42.120] - Cephas Williams
He thought films. Should you watch? I'd love to get back to Rich anymore. To get back to you. But just off the top of my mind. Hidden figures is a very powerful one.
[00:57:54.080] - Jess
Yeah, that's kind of top of our list at the moment. So we knew that our first film in the next few weeks, it didn't think it was very powerful.
[00:58:04.290] - Cephas Williams
Black Panther. All day long.
[00:58:07.760] - Cephas Williams
I got caught up in the policies, passed a detail of that part was part of what is just so many things that even the build up of the, you know, the team behind it, the fact that it was the highest grossing in the franchise and all this kind of stuff is a powerful film. Get out. It's very powerful. These are all modern. So I think if someone. There's some film that I watched as a young and his well, so racism.
[00:58:40.040] - Cephas Williams
It made me really, really love for the. Because when you see what we used the Gophers or fulfill crazy. I'm just gonna think of the films. Cut them. Don't, don't. Don't be put on the put on the spot. We can come back to just step into the coalition.
[00:58:59.950] - Cephas Williams
If I hope it does, it does well.
[00:59:04.920] - Cephas Williams
I think that there might be. And this offer is enough to put us on record. It is just some kind of. So I spoke to a company other redescribe through our pain. But we as one of a few other recent graty in context dependent. What does scrat the payment to? But some of it was depends on the context. And they they call their thing race. Ah, I see. Or is it race or worse? Think it's worse?
[00:59:36.410] - Cephas Williams
But it stands for. I'm going to get a butcher compete as well as if I got my own book with footnotes.
[00:59:45.820] - Cephas Williams
Let me put it up in the literally one minute and I'll find it. No problem.
[00:59:55.570] - Jordan Harry
I'm going to throw another recommendation and address Anna. It's because the balance with things so fast will get what I and anyone else who has what is a fine line between watching slavery films that will leave you feeling a hold and what nonsense of what we really know. But you get to see the brutality and there's not much learning to take away either them guilt and shame. And then there's films which you actually take some understandings and learnings and apply them today. And a film which I personally has a good balance would be Django Unchained.
[01:00:34.030] - Cephas Williams
It shows you an element. It's a I don't know if you've seen it, Jess, but it shows an element of the brutality, a wave, a superhero underlining tone behind it. And I believe that's got a really good balance. Django Unchained. So good name up, but and see if it would even fit. Well, it might if it were found to be fair, but it's called reach and I think it's an interesting piece. So instead of Google Nafees, really big company, U.K. Circle, nothing, babe, they couldn't reach, which is race and ethnicity and cultural heritage.
[01:01:13.200] - Cephas Williams
Which sounds like what your film is wants to be explored. So I don't know if there's a hijacked that term, but the color collective also sounds quite cool. But I don't if if I had, I would know exactly what I mean. Thank you. No problem.
[01:01:35.260] - Jordan Harry
Well, with that being said, we are free minutes of a time. But what's beautiful is everyone is still here. So it shows, obviously, we're doing something right. And more importantly, I'm loving reading the chart and seeing how the conversation you're leading as well. And that's what we want with this community and with each episode as we keep going and hopefully keep traits and provocative and transformative conversations where we can all walk away with one percent better.
[01:02:04.490] - Jordan Harry
So I see fast. Thank you so much for giving up your time this morning. There's one thing people remember. What do you want them to remember? Kinds of people that both can be a very sharp place declines to. And the. That's a beautiful and Richie, over to you for any closing remarks. And of course, one thing which you want, I want to remember. Guys, I think it's you know, first of all, it's Ceefax or something I love.
[01:02:32.700] - Ritchie Mehta
I love talking to we could speak for hours, as you know. You know, the one thing that resonated with me that you said was about. It all starts inside of you. And I think that's just so critically important to everything in this whole conversation. It starts within and then to, you know, what's happening within. Can you actually start to make change? So that's what I would say. Thank you, seagrass. It's been awesome, but we should be in a.
[01:02:56.780] - Jordan Harry
Fantastic. You're welcome. You're welcome. So that being said, it comes at a time when you are now free to go back to reality. Chris, that's a big stretch coming from you. That looks like anxiety more than if I'm going to go get back. Or more importantly, we really do hope we see you next time. There's a lot changing. If you saw the MLS and out last night, we are listening to you.
[01:03:20.410] - Jordan Harry
Chris, thank you again for your feedback. We're going to be improving. Our comms are going to be improving our backend, making sure when we do communicate with you because you want to see it when it's relevant to you. And more importantly, we're going to keep bringing on impactful people that will hopefully transform the way you look at marketing. So for now, adios. We'll see you in the next episode.