KENI THACKER LLC SERVICES
I am a builder. That mindset I’ve always had since I was a little boy. So when I first entered the diversity and inclusion arena, I always signed every email with, “I build experiences that are catalysts for social change and understanding.” That mentality has rung from my first project, the Innovators of Changes documentary/ award series, to my latest creation, 100 Roses From Concrete, a network for people of color in advertising, marketing media, and public relations.
The intersectionality of diversity, culture, and inclusion is the only way to cure the diversity dilemma that hurts industries across the board. There are so many wonderful advocates working hard to move the needle of change, but the response from those in power has been less than agile and more at a snail's pace to protect their interests than the direction of the industry.
I get it, and change is not easy for anyone, especially when millions of dollars are on the line. Industries have made millions off of an old noninclusive model and barely diverse. So why mess with that model? Well, the question should be, why not mess with that model? McKinsey reported that 33% of agencies with diverse teams do better than those without. Our industries are in constant evolution. You name the area, and things have been different since last year. However, when we look at the genetic makeup of the institutions, old and new, you can almost guess what the inner workings look, feel, and even taste like (figuratively).
Our world is changing whether we like it or not. The way people want to feel when they walk into work is also changing. People want to come to work and see people they directly relate to and those they can’t relate to but wish to learn from. The processing and flow of information are 30 times faster than 30 years ago. Technology has enabled us to work more efficiently while hindering us socially from creating introverts and those they share too much. We need to find the proper balance for the future of the industries we currently have and the ones of the future.
DIVERSITY, CULTURE, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION ASSESSMENT
There no better place than to start at the beginning. Through top-down DCI Assessment, I perform a deep dive into the organization's past, present, and future D&I efforts and advise on building upon what is working and discard what is not. I also interview leaders and employees to get a first-hand perspective of where the red flags maybe and relay that to management.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
To build sustainable, realistic, and evolutionary D&I movements, all programming and internally must be assessed to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and Threats. Once determined in collaboration with the D&I committee or lead I will provide suggestions to build more robust programming.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PARTNERSHIP AUDIT
Partnerships are key to building all d&I efforts internally and externally. I will work with the current D&I lead or committee to determine the effectiveness of current partnerships and make suggestions for once in more in line with the agency's d&I direction.
DIVERSITY LEADER MENTORSHIP
Less than a year ago roughly 30 to 40 percent of organizations had diversity and Inclusion. Sadly after the murders of Breaonna Taylor and George Floyd, industries have begun to create these first-time roles to address racial disparities across all levels. Some organizations hire from the outside, while others transition internal employees to the role. For those transitioning, I provide counsel on how to develop, engage, inspire, and execute strong D&I efforts for those new to the field/role with weekly consultations sessions and check-ins. think of me as a D&I coach or "yoda".
CULTURAL MEDIA DISCUSSIONS
A way to cultivate a culture of inclusiveness and understanding is to use media such as music, podcasts, and movies/TV shows to help us learn and grow together as an agency. CMD's normally last an hour with a lot of interaction with the attendees so that co-workers can gain perspective from people that may view things differently than them in a safe and respectable environment.
LEADING WITH INTENT / INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP TRAINING
A three-part session with the agency leaders and staff. The Leading with Intent / Inclusive Leadership workshop will help reintroduce ways to be an intentional and inclusive leader, communicating as a leader, and cultural sensitivity. Leaders and staff will have the opportunity to self-reflect on their leadership styles, self-correct, and create goals to extend for the second half of the year in one-one sessions.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, CULTURE, AND INCLUSION PLAYBOOK
Is your organization just beginning its journey into the diversity, equity, culture, and inclusion space? A DECI playbook is a great way to get your company up to speed on how to be intentional about your place and evolving journey in this space. We will work with company leaders and employees to co-create a bespoke guide for diversity, equity, culture, and inclusion.
DIVERSITY, CULTURE, AND INCLUSION PLANNING SESSION
DCI Planning is a great live group activity for organizations new to the diversity, culture, and inclusion space. Participants will have the opportunity to investigate and discuss their organization's diversity, culture, and inclusion issues. The group will split into three groups, each with the assignment to diagnose the issue with each pillar, brainstorm on ways to strengthen each pillar, and come up with a plan for executing their new plan.
THE PRIVILEGE LINE EXERCISE
The privilege line exercise is an in-person group activity that measures one's privilege. The activity begins with everyone standing in the same line, shoulder to shoulder. Then, the activity leader will ask a series of questions in which participants can either take a step forward, stay in the same place, or take a step back. By the end of the questioning, participants will see whether they are compared to colleagues and internalize and recognize their privilege. After the activity leader will initiate a conversation around the participant's feelings about realizing their privilege.
We’re all in this together! Fishbowl is an in-person exercise where participants have an opportunity to unpack their biases. The participants will be in a circle to create a fishbowl effect.
The Fishbowl exercise is an hour-long training that will help its participants realize their own biases toward themselves and those that are different. Through verbal and nonverbal activities, participants will share and hear from their co-workers about their biases toward certain genders, races, sexual orientations, and abilities.
WE OUT HERE TALENT DATABASE
Still, having a hard time finding diverse talent? The WE OUT HERE networks reached out to 5,000 candidates globally that just might be the right one for you. Qualified candidates will be emailed directly to you. For pricing for social media posts per role email firstname.lastname@example.org with a job description with a point of contact for all applicants or a link to your job board.
APPEARANCES: PANELIST & KEYNOTE SPEAKER
One of the most rewarding things about this work is sharing it with people in person and virtually. I have been truly honored to have had the opportunity at many conferences and agencies such as ADOBE Max, SXSW, Where Are All The Black People, Advertising Week, The 3% Conference, GROW, SS+K, The Jacht Agency, Work In Progress, The One Club for Creativity Colorado, AAF Tampa, AAF Buffalo, 212NYC New York's Digital Advertising Club, Portland State University, New York College of Technology, City College of New York, Temple University, Black Marketer Coalition, Quirk, Registered Graphic Designers, and Where Are The Black Designers.