A video conference Aquent CEO, John Chuang, hosted for Aquent employees on June 5, 2020.
"To reaffirm our company’s values of equality, we are taking three concrete steps toward social justice reform.”
– John Chuang / CEO, Aquent/Vitamin T
In a proactive effort to support the ongoing fight to end racial injustice, Aquent, the world’s largest marketing and creative staffing firm, today announced a set of company-wide initiatives designed to foster racial equality. First, the company will promote two important books by authors of color to help educate staff on the history and purpose of this movement. Second, the company will ensure time off for staff to vote in elections and to assist their friends, families, and neighbors in exercising their voting rights. Aquent will also make a financial commitment to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. through a corporate contribution, and will match donations made to the Fund by staff and talent. Finally, Aquent will partner with other staffing firms in a social media campaign to celebrate those fighting for social justice and promote their initiatives.
“Aquent stands together with the victims of police brutality, their families, and the protestors who seek an end to a prejudiced system,” said CEO John H. Chuang. “To reaffirm our company’s values of equality, we are taking three concrete steps toward social justice reform. We are educating ourselves by reading and discussing seminal works on racial inequality and the fight to end it, ensuring our employees have the ability to exercise their right to vote and reaching into our company’s pockets to offer financial support to a historically impactful organization.”
The specifics of Aquent’s initiatives include:
- Education Materials: To center education around the movement to end racial injustice and its historical significance, Aquent recommends all its staff read two books, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. The company will reimburse staff for the cost of the books and set aside time in the coming weeks to openly discuss them.
- Opportunity to Vote: In order to ensure all staff members have the opportunity to vote and make their voices heard in national, state, and local elections, Aquent will give them the time off they need to get to the polls or help others vote on election days.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Donation: Aquent has committed to donating $20,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to help in the fight for social justice. Aquent will also match donations, dollar for dollar, made by its staff and registered talent, to the Fund or other organizations that lead this fight.
Aquent will also team up with the staffing agencies Creative Circle, The Creative Group, Onward Search, and 24 Seven on an initiative to celebrate creative talent and businesses who are leading the charge in the fight for social justice. Each week, the work of people of color will be celebrated on the agencies’ social media channels.