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WPP backs Black Equity Organization with pro bono support and funding


By Ellen Ormesher | Senior Reporter

May 24, 2022 | 4 min read

WPP, along with its agencies, has announced a partnership with The Black Equity Organization (BEO), which aims to advance justice and equity for Black people across the UK.

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The alliance follows WPP’s set of anti-racism commitments and actions made in 202/ Image by The Drum

Launching today (May 24), the alliance follows WPP’s anti-racism commitments made in 2020, which aim to advance racial equity and support Black and minority ethnic talent. BEO also received funding from the first round of successful applicants to WPP’s Racial Equity Program, which forms part of the three-year $30m commitment to fund inclusion programs within the company and to support external organizations.

WPP’s collaboration with the new national and independent civil rights organization also includes a range of pro bono support from across WPP’s agencies. Landor & Fitch has been responsible for developing BEO’s brand narrative and visual identity; H+K strategies has worked to provide communications and PR; GroupM and Mindshare have been advising on media strategy, planning and investment; while Ogilvy has provided creative direction and development for BEO’s launch film, alongside a forthcoming campaign and activation.

WPP UK country manager and GroupM UK CEO Karen Blackett OBE is a founding trustee of BEO, alongside some of the UK’s most influential Black leaders from across business, the arts, law and social justice organizations, including McKinsey & Company’s Dame Vivian Hunt, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy MP, historian and presenter Professor David Olusoga and artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE.

Together, they will work to assist BEO’s focus on six key areas where Black people face greatest inequity:

  • Driving economic empowerment and equity of opportunity

  • Addressing unequal education outcomes

  • Combating sources of racial discrimination within justice, immigration and human rights

  • Driving representation and respect across all sectors of society

  • Working to improve health and care outcomes for Black people

  • Ensuring that Black families can access good quality housing and that communities have access to good quality public services

Blackett says: “To advance racial justice we need strong partnerships, allies and programs that reach across business and all sectors of British society. I’m incredibly proud to be a founding trustee of The Black Equity Organization, which will act as a national, strategic voice for Black people in Britain, and of WPP’s pro bono support and funding that will help BEO to drive real change.”

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