Color Of Change
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2022
Color Of Change Partners with BOMESI to Secure Multi-Million-Dollar Commitment from Major Corporations to Support Black-Owned Media
P&G, HP Inc., and others to Contribute to Help Nurture Ecosystem for Supporting Black Publishers, Creatives, and Storytellers
NATIONWIDE — Color Of Change partners with the Black Owned Media Equity & Sustainability Institute (BOMESI) to hold brands accountable for pledges made during the height of civil unrest in 2020. A number of corporations including P&G, and HP Inc. have committed to supporting BOMESI’s efforts to sustain Black owned media. BOMESI is fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
The millions in corporate contributions will go to Black-owned media companies in the form of direct advertising spends and in the form of donations to BOMESI, as it builds additional infrastructure and capacity to accomplish its mission to advance Black-owned media businesses and educate the public on the importance of these platforms.
In June 2020, following a deluge of corporate solidarity statements that failed to address how business practices and policies upheld systems of inequity, BOMESI launched a public database of all Black-owned media and called on companies to increase their advertising spend with Black media. The historic commitment to BOMESI follows internal engagement with senior leadership at the participating companies by Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. By leveraging the power of their seven million members, Color Of Change engaged in tough negotiations with corporate executives for months to convey the need and demand funding for Black-owned media companies.
“Black-owned media is irreplaceable in our communities. From amplifying underrepresented and displaced Black Louisiana residents after Hurricane Ida, to highlighting healthcare disparities and promoting Black-owned businesses, media run by and for Black viewers is already far too limited. As monopolistic content gatekeepers like Facebook increasingly control and manipulate streams of information, independent Black media companies are essential to amplify our stories, create employment opportunities, and provide advertisement opportunities for Black businesses,” said Color Of Change Senior Campaign Director Jade Magnus Ogunnaike. “These corporate financial commitments provide a roadmap for peer companies and send a strong message that those who rely on our purchasing power will be held accountable for reinvesting back in Black communities. This is a necessary step in empowering Black media to reclaim the stories and narratives that will yield greater equity for Black communities.”
Through its partnerships, BOMESI’s goal is to provide space for an ecosystem of Black-owned media publishers to connect and exchange learnings, educate publishers and brands on the best ways to establish deal flow and working relationships, and ultimately create economic empowerment through increased budgets, and diverse campaigns.
“For too long, systemic barriers in the advertising industry have kept independent Black-owned media from access to deal flow. This impacts the sustainability of both legacy and next gen publishers that center and serve an underrepresented community that needs journalists, and publishers who understand them to be at the forefront of sharing crucial information and keeping our stories alive with grace and integrity. We must be mindful of who gets to own their story, and what levers affect the ability for those stories to have impact,” Rhonesha Byng, co-founder BOMESI, and founder/CEO of Her Agenda.
Color Of Change has a long track record of effective corporate accountability campaigning across the media and entertainment industries. In 2021 alone, Color Of Change successfully pressured NBC Universal to drop the Golden Globes and pushed for the cancellation of police procedural shows like Cops. Color Of Change also led a successful campaign to push Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter to ban former president Donald Trump from its platforms after he incited the violent insurrection on Capitol Hill.
“The advertising industry has systematically excluded Black-owned media from plans and budgets for almost two centuries. This was done while simultaneously exploiting Black bodies to market and sell products across the globe. Today we address that hypocrisy and begin the work of undoing the harm that continues to affect the sustainability of Black-owned media,” DeVon Christopher Johnson, Co-Founder BOMESI, CEO/ Group Publisher, BleuLife Media Group.
This year, BOMESI is hosting the inaugural Black Owned Media Weekend taking place in Tulsa.
In addition to the major corporations, BOMESI’s initiative is backed by the involvement of Black Media Initiative at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, Fabrik, as well as the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) as strategic partners, and its philanthropic partners, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
For more information, visit Blackownedmedia.org
About Color Of Change:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.
The Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute was created to unite and advance Black-owned media businesses, educate the public on the importance of these platforms, and provide resources to increase visibility. Black-owned media outlets have been a beacon for Black communities for over 190 years. We curated a public database of Black-owned media companies across the country. They have stood on the front lines of issues such as voting rights, civil rights, fair pay for all, unionization, education equity, healthcare disparities, and many other issues that impact Black people and reflect the current state of civil unrest. For more visit, blackownedmedia.org.