At Martin Waymire, our driving passion is to help make Michigan a better place – a goal that will remain unreachable as long as Black, Indigenous and People of Color face institutional racism, violence and inequitable opportunities. Research has shown that racial inequity significantly lowers opportunities and outcomes when people face racial profiling, employment bias, discriminatory lending and mortgage practices and unequal access to health care, a truth that became even clearer as Black, Hispanic and Native Americans died at disproportionate rates from COVID-19 in part because they didn’t have equal access to high quality health care.
Martin Waymire often leads statewide communication strategies in a variety of sectors, including health care, higher education, infrastructure and democracy reform. We understand the weight of this responsibility and the negative effect the lack of diversity on our staff can have on our communications with key audiences. It is through this work that we know that significant racial disparities exist in health, education, our economy and more.
We also know that, based on 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees in the advertising, public relations and related services industries are 82.6% white, while Black practitioners comprise 8.1% of the industry and Hispanic practitioners make up 6.2%. Martin Waymire’s numbers reflect an even greater lack of diversity, and that lack is keeping us from being fully engaged with all stakeholders in making Michigan a better place.
Our racial equity imperative therefore is to acknowledge our lack of diversity; to make diversity, racial equity and inclusion (DREI) a permanent part of Martin Waymire’s culture; and to put in the time, energy, honesty and self-awareness needed to guide our clients with experience and candor toward the goal of making Michigan a better place for everyone, not just those in the white dominant culture. We want to be a company and workplace that recognizes, values and advances the full humanity of Black, Hispanic, Middle East and North African, Asian/Pacific Islander and Indigenous people in the Lansing area and throughout Michigan.
Our goal is to achieve racial equity and a measure of social justice for all the clients and communities we serve. We have a responsibility to put equity in the spotlight as we increase our efforts to make DREI a part of every step we take to make Michigan a better place.
We face challenges in making this happen, including:
For Martin Waymire to embed a racial equity lens to our work, we must: