Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

DKC Mission Statement

DKC denounces all forms of inequity, discrimination, and injustice. In recognition of this fact, we commit to playing an industry-leading role in achieving long overdue change. At DKC, we believe that diversity and inclusion must be in the DNA of an organization. In this vein, our DEI Committee is dedicated to engaging in diversity and inclusion work from the inside out. We commit to keeping the following core values constantly in mind while undertaking this vital work:

1
Participation
2
Education & Awareness
3
Accountability
4
Openness
5
Commitment to Change

By centering these values in our work, we strive to institute positive change in the ways that DKC engages both internally, with our team members, and externally, with our clients and the media. We are confident that this will pave the way for DKC to play an integral role in building a more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and anti-racist workplace – and communications community.

DEI Committee
An Open Letter

2020 was a watershed year in many ways, but especially for race relations in the United States. Things reached a fever pitch this past summer after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many others. We witnessed a state of racial turbulence and upheaval unlike anything many of us have ever lived through before. At DKC, this caused us to look inward. We acknowledge that we should have done so sooner.

DKC recognizes that it can and should do better in actively supporting and furthering the causes of diversity, equity, inclusion. This includes specifically naming and combatting racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression wherever they exist. We recognize that these causes are our causes. As we emphasize in our DEI Committee mission statement, we believe that diversity and inclusion must be in the DNA of an organization. This is what we are striving for.

To that end, we have committed to the following five core values as we actively work to change DKC from the inside out:

1

Participation

In the past year, we have changed what participation means at DKC when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our DEI Committee has grown and transformed, assuming a leadership position and guiding the way when it comes to how DKC conducts DEI. We remain indebted to our colleagues from minoritized and marginalized backgrounds who generously continue to share their personal experiences with oppression, racism, and subordination with us. Their openness and honesty have allowed us to grow, and we are immensely grateful for this. They have led the way to true inclusion by example, through their own participation.

2

Education & Awareness

We have started down the path toward fully embracing education and awareness at DKC, but acknowledge that we have a long road ahead in this journey. We have internally restructured to provide permanent, paid staff support to DEI and hired a DEI consultant. These efforts have led to the creation of a full calendar of educational DEI programming. We have already undertaken two management and two all-staff DEI trainings, and have several more scheduled for this year (2021). Additionally, we have organized multiple panels of experts to speak to a variety of DEI and anti-racism issues that include anti-Black racism, issues facing the Latinx and LGBTQIA communities, and anti-Semitism, among others. We are committed to remaining flexible and responsive to the needs of our employees, our clients, our industry, and the country in this regard. In addition, we continue our commitment to employee-driven programming and action in several forms, such as our DEI newsletter—a monthly internal resource dedicated to education on antiracism, established and led by DEI Committee members; DKC Voices—a prominent, public platform for our employees to share their personal stories and perspectives; and DKC Impact—our pro bono services program that provides non-profit organizations and underrepresented founder-led companies, business-owners, activists and leaders access to our PR, Marketing and Digital services.

3

Accountability

We are taking multiple steps to hold DKC accountable to its DEI goals at all levels across the agency. Starting this past summer (2020), we implemented quarterly DEI reporting as part of a 3-year DEI strategic plan. Per this reporting, we have thus far been successful in meeting the metrics set out to further diversify DKC’s staff, though we realize that there is still much work ahead of us and progress to be made. Additionally, in efforts to move toward accountability in the way that we represent diverse cultures in our work at DKC, we have recently developed a new division led by BIPOC colleagues, called DKCulture, our newest unit aimed at bridging the gap between millennials, Gen Z, and “the Culture” (i.e., Black culture, particularly as it pertains to its representations and presence in the media and PR worlds). Lastly, we have set ambitious diversity recruitment and retention goals.

4

Openness

DKC is committed to a culture of openness and inclusion. We have started to host town hall-style meetings, creating space for conversation surrounding current events and ongoing acts of oppression and marginalization. We are currently in the process of creating affinity groups at DKC for employee-led engagement on the issues that matter most. Additionally, our DEI Committee meetings are open to all DKC employees who wish to attend. DKC leadership is also receiving ongoing training on how to support open conversations and leaning into the discomfort of these uncomfortable topics.

5

Commitment to Change

DKC has committed to working with a DEI consultant and growing our in-house DEI team over the course of the next year and beyond. We have also invested resources into increased recruitment and retention efforts aimed at traditionally minoritized, marginalized, and oppressed communities, as outlined above. Moreover, we are actively working within the broader PR community and with educational institutions to create pipeline programs through our Mentorship program, where we are focused on providing gateway opportunities to the PR, Marketing and Digital Strategy professions for those from traditionally underrepresented and underserved backgrounds. We believe that this is the right thing to do, and is a vital component to our core beliefs moving forward. A diverse and inclusive DKC is a strong DKC.

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