This article originally appeared on Nielsen.com.
In honor of Black History Month 2020, we celebrated the last decade of Black history, culture, and creativity. Since 2010, there has been a visible increase in how African American communities are represented and reached across various platforms. Data from our latest report on Black consumers shows that shifts can be seen across industries—from increased African American music and entertainment content featured on television and streaming services to the rise of Black influence in fashion, sports, technology, and beyond. This period has been coined the New Black Renaissance.
“Black creativity has truly been reclaimed in the past decade and is visible from the increasing influence of Black consumers, business leaders and influencers,” said Cheryl Grace, SVP U.S. of Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement. “We are seeing the increasing power of African Americans not just in places where you expect it like sports and rap music, but also as content and product creators.”
In February, Nielsen associates joined us on social media to celebrate the New Black Renaissance. We shared highlights on Twitter and LinkedIn about African American achievements and also spotlighted African American Nielsen employees who are movers and shakers on the job in a video. Employees from all backgrounds and regions were also encouraged to attend internal and external Black History Month events some which featured our own Black leaders.
Throughout the month, Cheryl Grace spoke at many client and community events, sharing Nielsen’s insights on the growing power of the African-American consumer. These events included panel discussions at Omnicomm, Google, Publicis, Walmart, and Tiffany. Bashel Lewis, a Nielsen Emerging Leader, had the chance to attend the Tiffany event: “I cried—seeing four Black women in different industries talk about the power of Black consumers in luxury retail was a moment for me. Often times, when you hear the word luxury, Black people are usually excluded in that category. But to have Cheryl Grace combat that with data was emotional for me because it’s almost like we’re giving a voice to people who are often times unheard in these spaces.”
Then, on Feb. 26, Leslie Pitterson, VP, Communications, Nielsen Global Media, spoke on a Black History Month Celebration panel at FreeWheel, to discuss the Black experience in the workplace and how to achieve success.
Catalysts for change
SABLE (Sustaining Active Black Leadership and Empowerment), Nielsen’s African-American Employee Resource Group (ERG), kicked off Black History Month with the campaign Catalysts for Change. SABLE members planned events and internal social media to educate Nielsen associates and raise awareness about Black colleagues and public figures who have inspired change for good in their industries and communities. Below are highlights from SABLE Black History Month events across the U.S.
SABLE Chicago: Lunch & Learn
SABLE Chicago invited Dr. Leonard Taylor, a higher education professor at Auburn University, to speak about his work and research to introduce new ways of thinking and being leaders. Specifically, he challenged the audience to consider the roles of identity, community, and care in cultivating healthy and transformative approaches to leadership.
SABLE NYC: Black History Month Celebration
SABLE and the NYC Inclusion Impact Team commemorated the end of Black History Month with a celebration on Feb. 27, 2020. They started the night with a short recap of the different ways Nielsen associates have come together to honor the month and then kicked back with music and soul food catered by two local Black-owned restaurants: Jacob’s Restaurant and B2 Harlem.
SABLE Atlanta: Tour of Center for Civil and Human Rights
Nielsen’s Atlanta associates celebrated Black History Month by visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Center’s exhibits tell stories that promote empathy and provide an understanding of the Black experience while exploring the fundamental rights of all humans.