The 11th edition of The One Club for Creativity‘s Where Are All The Black People (WAATBP) diversity conference and career fair will take place on September 29-30, 2021. The hybrid event is free to attend and open to a global audience.
WAATBP 2021 will address how the industry has — and hasn’t — evolved over the past 18 months since the increased focus on race, inclusion and diversity in advertising. Typically held in person in New York, the event went virtual last year due to the pandemic, attracting more than 3,400 registrants from over 50 countries.
This year’s hybrid event includes an in-person networking reception in New York the night before, followed by two days of online keynote, panels, seminars and virtual recruiting and portfolio reviews.
New this year is a virtual creative workshop specifically for HBCU students, sponsored by The Martin Agency and including ONE School, The One Club’s free portfolio program for Black creatives now accepting applications for its second year. Capital One will sponsor a “Think Lab Creative Exercise” virtual workshop.
WAATBP 2021 concludes with a virtual after-party featuring RNBHouseparty, also sponsored by Capital One.
WPP is providing significant support for WAATBP and other One Club DEI programs. In addition to a partnership that includes year-round “lunch & learn” events and ONE School sponsorship, the holding company is sending creatives from 15 of its agencies to WAATBP 2021, including teams at VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, AKQA, Grey and Ogilvy.
Additional sponsors include Pace Communications and WarnerMedia, with more to be announced shortly.
WAATBP grew out of a conversation more than a decade ago between One Club Board members Jimmy Smith, chairman/CEO/CCO at Amusement Park Entertainment, and Jeff Goodby, chairman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, about the critical need to create job opportunities in advertising and design for minority students. The pair spearheaded the initiative for the organization, which held the first WAATBP panel on diversity during The One Club’s 2011 Creative Week.
The One Club has a long track record of creating ongoing programs that help address the ad industry’s lack of diversity. The global nonprofit organization was one of the first in the industry to step forward with a program to specifically address the diversity pipeline for creatives with last year’s launch of ONE School, a first-of-its-kind, free online portfolio school for Black creatives now accepting applications for its second year.
Other ongoing DEI initiatives from The One Club include global Creative Boot Camps and mentorship programs for diverse college students, the WE ARE ONE poster design initiative rallying creatives around the world to take a collective stand against racism and intolerance, the COLORFUL global grant program to help young BIPOC creatives advance their careers, the Paid Internship Pledge to help aspiring BIPOC creatives get a foot in the door at agencies, and The One Show Fusion Pencil and ADC 100th Annual Awards Fusion Cube, the industry’s first global awards to recognize great work that best incorporates DEI principles in both creative content and the team that made it.
WAATBP branding was developed pro bono by Anthony O’Neill and Benny Gold, creatives at Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco.