Racism is Insidious.
It can be Defeated.


“Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.”

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author

Every minute of every day, Black people suffer the brutal indignity and degradation of systemic oppression. The evidence clearly shows Black people have been persecuted at the hands of white supremacist structures for centuries, and continue to be so. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, as well as other countless incidences of racially motivated attacks and harmful propaganda against people of colour, are examples of the life and death situations relentlessly inflicted upon the Black community.

To fix the problem we have to acknowledge the problem. Racism is still an international issue that is exacerbated when those with power intentionally divide us for their personal and political benefit. Though many of us have the privilege not to experience it, racism is alive and active on many corners of the world, including the UK which has an extensive record of subjugation and systemic racism – as demonstrated by: Black applicants needing to send 80% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person; Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers being paid between 17% to 37% less than their white counterparts; the persistent negative portrayals and misrepresentations of Black people and minorities in the media; the miseducation of British colonial history; the disproportionate number of Black people dying from COVID-19 ; the disproportionate number of Black people in prison ; the disproportionate number of Black people dying in police custody ; the litany of micro-aggressions, overt aggressions and indignities that Black people suffer daily.

We know that it’s not statistics that change the world, but stories. Communicators and storytellers have the opportunity to reform the narrative and thereby move hearts and minds in ways cold numbers cannot.

We must use our work and influence to collectively fight the negative, degrading, harmful stereotypes of Black people propagated by the advertising, media, news, film, television and entertainment industries.

Change begins with a historic self-reckoning of the systems upheld, the conversations, confrontations and questions avoided, and the abuse of power that’s been enabled.

We are implementing a series of immediate actions, structural changes, industry-initiatives and group-wide commitments to increase people of colour representation, ensure meaningful careers with our firm and achieve the desired long-lasting effect within AKQA and the industry.

As this moment catalyses self-education, listening, learning and action, we realise we will not have the right solutions as quickly as we want them, but our pledge is that we will make further actionable short-term and long-term steps we can activate on. We each have the power to confront white supremacy, by educating ourselves about the ways racism manifests, by interrogating our own actions, and by committing to change. It is our responsibility to learn, reflect, and help to build a fairer world. Please use the following resources to contribute to the collective goal of defeating racism. Please share any thoughts and suggestions with us antiracism@akqa.com

Read

Books

Caste
Isabel Wilkerson

Caste: The Lies That Divide Us

In Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives an astounding portrait of a hidden phenomenon.

Jaswinder Bolina
Jaswinder Bolina

Of Color: Essays

In his debut essay collection, award-winning poet Jaswinder Bolina meditates on how race becomes metaphysical.

The Mis-Education of the Negro Image
Carter Goodwin Woodson

The Mis-Education of the Negro

The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that African-Americans of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than educated.

The Good Immigrant Asset
Nikesh Shukla

The Good Immigrant

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants.

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Akala

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

The Sunday Times bestseller on race and class in the UK, from the MOBO award-winning musician Akala.

Before-colour-Image
Frank M. Snowden Jr

Before Colour Prejudice

A richly illustrated account of black-white contacts from the Pharaohs to the Caesars.

The Hidden Cost of Being African America Image
Thomas M. Shapiro

The Hidden Cost of Being African American

How wealth perpetuates inequality.

sister outsider asset
Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider

Audre Lorde gave voice to those ‘outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women’.

Who do you serve image
TruthOut Collective

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

Explores the reality of US police violence against Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.

White fragility image
Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson

White Fragility

Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism.

Stamped image asset
Jason Reynolds

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

The story of anti-black, racist ideas over the course of American history.

Afua Hirsch image
Afua Hirsch

Brit(ish)

On Race, Identity and Belonging

Jim Crow image
Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow

Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial.

The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain image
Ron Ramdin

The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain

The first comprehensive historical perspective on the relationship between black workers and the changing patterns of Britain's labour needs.

Black Politics image
Sarah Maddison

Black Politics

Inside the Complexity of Aboriginal Political Culture.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between The World And Me

Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States.

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Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir has become an classic beloved worldwide. Her six volumes of autobiography are a testament to the her talents and resilience.

Let it shine image
Andrea Davis Pinkney

Let It Shine

Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters.Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America.

The Color of Water
James McBride

The Color of Water

A vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia
Anita Heiss

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia

What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories.

Read

Essays and articles

Black Talk, Black Feeling: Media Round Table image
Niela Orr and Ismail Muhammad

Black Talk, Black Feeling: Media Round Table

Black Feeling, Black Talk, is formative in the canon of Black American poetry and poetics, and contains many meditations on intellectual and emotional connection between Black people.

The invisible scars image
Marley K

The Invisible Scars of Microaggressions

What unseen racism looks and feels like.

Anti-racism resources image
Sarah Sophie Flicker

Anti-racism resources for white people

A resource for white people and parents to deepen their anti-racism work.

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Research-based

Solutions To Stop Police Violence

What you need to know - based on the facts and data.

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 8.25.32 PM
Deepa Iyer

My Role in the Social Change Ecosystem

A reflection about how to move off the seesaw of outrage and numbness that many of us find ourselves on these days.

Social change image
Solutions focused on undoing structural racism

Social Change

Use your privilege and unlearn racism. Everyone has a role to play.

Beloved image
A covert and overt beast

White Supremacy and Anti-Blackness

This is an invitation for you to do your own work in unpacking how white supremacy and anti-Blackness manifests.

racial equality image
Ibram X Kendi

Racial Equity and Racial Equality

This is what an antiracist America would look like. How do we get there?

Allyship image
Mireille Cassandra Harper

10 Steps To Non-Optical Allyship

For people who want to support and be an ally right now.

Lynching in America image
Equal Justice Initiative

Lynching in America

Confronting the legacy of racial terror.

Kalidou Koulibaly image
Kalidou Koulibaly

We Are All Brothers

Kalidou Koulibaly shares his stories of racism in football.

Dawn Staley Image
Dawn Staley

Black People Are Tired

We as the voters need to do something different.

Media portrayals

Negative stereotypes

Negative Media image
Forbes

Negative Media Portrayal

How negative media portrayals impact millennials of color.

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St. Catherine University

Racism and the Media: A Textual Analysis

Major findings include examples related to racial micro-aggressions and the impacts as it relates to media exposure.

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Media Representations

Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys

A troubling link between media portrayals and lowered life chances for black males.

Listen

Podcasts and audiobooks

me and white supremacy
Lalya Saad

Me and White Supremacy

A workbook born out of an Instagram challenge that catalysed an awakening for white-privileged people.

in search of black history
Bonnie Greer

In Search of Black History with Bonnie Greer

Bonnie Greer travels through the ages, to uncover the complexity of our shared histories.

Bound For Justice Asset
Charlotte Wilson, Rachel Roszman

Bound For Justice

Exploring Race, Reconciliation, and Social Justice.

We Need to Talk About the British Empire
Afua Hirsch

We Need to Talk About the British Empire

Journalist Afua Hirsch tries to make sense of the British Empire's legacy.

Code Switch Logo
NPR

Code Switch

Insights into moments in black history that you won’t have been taught in school.

Lets Have The Hard Conversation image
The Bello Collective

Let’s Have The Hard Conversation

21 podcasts that confront racism in America.

Until the Flood
Dael Orlandersmith

Until the Flood

Dael Orlandersmith explores the dark forces of American history that exploded in Missouri.

Learn

Online courses

Yale University logo
Yale University

African American History

The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present.

Make it visible logo
Star Project

Make It Visible

Online resources, articles, manuals connected with the topic of invisible racism.

Citizenship and Social Justice Logo
Citizenship and Social Justice

Curriculum for White Americans

A guide to understanding race, racism and white privilege.

Watch

Films and documentaries

Systemic racism image
act.tv

Systemic Racism Explained

Implicit bias and inheriting vastly different circumstances.

Hate u Give Image
George Tillman Jr.

The Hate U Give

Witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a policeman. Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

dear white people image
Justin Simien

Dear White People

Students of color navigate an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as “post-racial” as it thinks.

American Son image
Kenny Leon

American Son

An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son.

im-not-your-negro image
James Baldwin

I Am Not Your Negro

A documentary of James Baldwin’s story about race in modern America.

13th image
Ava DuVernay

13th

Scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

Black Panthers image
Stanley Nelson

Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement that feels timely all over again.

The Rachel Divide image
Laura Brownson

The Rachel Divide

Rachel Dolezal reckons with the aftermath of a national debate sparked by questions about her racial identity.

When They See Us Image
Ava DuVernay

When They See Us

The story of 5 teenaged boys falsely accused of rape in Central Park.

A Class Divided image
Jane Elliott

A Class Divided

Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town gave her students a daring lesson in discrimination.

Reconstruction in America image
Equal Justice Initiative

Reconstruction In America

Illustration of EJI’s report, Reconstruction in America. The report documents nearly 2,000 more confirmed racial terror lynchings of Black people by white mobs in America than previously detailed.

Unfiltered image
Akala deconstructs race, class, and Britain’s modern myths

Unfiltered with James O’Brien

An interview, in which they discuss two issues that run to the heart of modern Britain: race and class.

Black Lives BFI image
BFI Collection

Black Lives

Portraits of public and private lives against the shifting social climate of 20th century Britain.

DeRay image
DeRay McKesson

Stop Police Brutality

The structural reform needed to combat police brutality

ABC image
ABC

Indigenous

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander stories from around the ABC & around Australia.

In My Blood image
Maya Newell

In My Blood It Runs

An observational feature documentary following 10-yr-old Arrernte Aboriginal boy Dujuan as he grows up Alice Springs, Australia

Rabbit
Phillip Noyce

Rabbit-Proof Fence

In 1931, three half-white, half-Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their houses to be trained as domestic staff.

Act

Donate

George Floyd image
George Floyd

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund

The official gofundme page for the George Floyd Memorial Fund.

Minnesota Freedom Fund image
MFF

Minnesota Freedom Fund

The Minnesota Freedom Fund pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to.

Reclaim The Block Image
Safer communities

Reclaim The Block

Reclaim The Block strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.

Ahmaud Arbery image
Ahmaud Arbery

I Run With Maud

The official gofundme page for Ahmaud Arbery.

BLM Image
BLM

Black Lives Matter

Eradicating white supremacy and building power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities.

Black Visions Collective image
BLVC

Black Visions Collective

A future where all Black people have autonomy, and safety is community-led.

8 cant wait image
Campaign Zero

8 Can’t Wait

See how many policies your city has enacted.

EJI image

Equal Justice Initiative

EJI works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.

Fair Fight Image
Fair elections

Fair Fight

Promoting fair elections in the US, encouraging voter participation in elections, and educating voters.

NAACP image
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NAACP

Ensuring a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

Campaign Zero image
An Agenda to End Police Violence

Campaign Zero

A comprehensive package of urgent policy solutions.

Act

Sign

George Floyd image
Change.org

Justice for George Floyd

George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.

Colour of Change image
Injustice

Colour of Change

Help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us.

Showing Up for Real Justice image
SURJ

Showing Up for Real Justice

SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice.

Act

Follow

Rachel Cargle image
Writer, and lecturer

Rachel Cargle

Rachel’s work provides intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood.

akala-banner.jpg
Artist, Writer, Historian

Akala

Akala, is a British rapper, journalist, author, activist and poet from Kentish Town, London.

Mona Chalabi image
Journalist and writer

Mona Chalabi

Mona Chalabi is a British data journalist and writer of Iraqi descent.

Munroe Bergdorf image
Model and activist

Munroe Bergdorf

Munroe Bergdorf is an English model and activist. She has walked several catwalks for brands.

The Conscious Kid link
Positive identity development

The Conscious Kid

The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth.

No white saviors image
Advocacy, education, and action

No White Saviors

No White Saviors is an advocacy campaign led by a majority female, majority African team of professionals based in Kampala, Uganda.

Layla F. Saad image
Writer, and public speaker

Layla F. Saad

A globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change.

Ava image
Filmmaker, Director.

Ava DuVernay

Ava Marie DuVernay is an American filmmaker, director, and film distributor.

Check your privilege image
Live into the work

Check Your Privilege

Guiding folx on their journey to dismantle their relationship with power, privilege & racism.

Emmanuel Acho image
Ex-NFL Player

Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

Take a stand against discrimination video frame

AKQA

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