Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

The Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) (https://apo-opa.co/3IzlHCZ) on Tuesday featured panel discussions on Media Representation, Marketing and Storytelling and Nurturing Future Leaders – Empowering Black Youth for Excellence. The sessions provided insight into the role media and education play in advancing inclusivity worldwide.

During the media panel, speakers explored the impact representation has on perceptions of the global Black community as well as the various ways to promote positive narratives and authentic storytelling. Allié Merrick McGuire, Founder of AwareNow Media, drew awareness to and called for brands to think carefully about their communication surrounding diversity and inclusiveness.

“We need to be careful about the checking of boxes … because if we are doing something just to check a box, then we are not doing it the right way,” McGuire stated.

Rania Rostom, former Head of Global Marketing&Communications at GE, said that companies need to “start with making sure we are driving the right priorities within the company … communicators and marketers have a huge responsibility to bring that ‘outside voice’ back into the company.”

Sharing her experience in producing television and movies, Bree West, Executive Producer at OCTET Productions said that “it is our responsibility to not just go, but to go and to share. The next generation should be better than us. We can open the door to very guarded avenues [in the entertainment industry]. If the door closes, we open a window.”

Adding to these remarks, Arno Peperkoorn, Chief Talent Officer at Omnicom, highlighted the power of leadership to make change happen. “It starts with leadership and humanity. Our industry needs to sell products to the audience. If the audience consists of different people with different backgrounds, that’s what your product should reflect.”

Meanwhile, the future leaders panel highlighted the role of education in economic advancement and wealth creation, with speakers discussing initiatives that focus on improving access to quality education and skills development within the Black community.

Moderator Lashai Ben Salmi, Cultural Connectivity Specialist and Content Creator, opened the session by stating: “When we connect culturally, through our stories and ideas, we can reshape tomorrow. We are our stories and ideas.”

Discussing institutions in the global north, Pravini Baboeram, Co-founder of 7th Gen Creatives, stated that “it is all about understanding power relationships and not allowing those institutions the power that they think they have over you.” She urged people to keep talking with institutions and to work with funding organizations to help them understand how to be more inclusive.

Wilma Gillis-Burleson, Board Member of the Black Impact Foundation also touched on the importance of working with institutions. “Once you are in, you have to help to change these organizations, open up their minds, give them new perspectives.” She talked of the ability to use mentorship to build confidence in the next generation of leaders. “Once you are self-confident you know you can go in, ask the questions and find your own path.”

Tray Sean Ben Salmi, Founder of Influencer Publishing and Financial Education for Teens, spoke of the importance of financial literacy and using the resources available to you, stating that one should “Create an environment that nurtures the inquisitiveness of children so that they never lose it.”

Additionally, Mary Mugo, CEO of Edukans Kenya, focused on education and developing the curriculum. According to Mugo, “It has to be informed by the contextual needs … it has to be participatory in nature. Education must be seen as a continuum, from foundational to all levels.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.

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