It’s been two years since we publicly recognized that our agency and our industry are lacking when it comes to Black representation, influence, and ideas—and we committed to change.

In those two years, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve listened a lot. We’ve made mistakes, made changes, and done our best to make progress.

Our original Commitment to Change included a long list of goals and initiatives. We’ve spent the last two years focusing our efforts, learning where we can apply our expertise and privilege to really make our corner of the world more equitable and inclusive for Black people and other underrepresented groups.

Let’s talk about it.

Change the way Cornett thinks

We’ve taken our agency learning process from formal trainings to events like Black History and AAPI History trivia nights, hosted by Black and AAPI employees. Events like this allow us to continue to learn about our collective history in a way that’s engaging, inclusive, even fun.

The folks who are working most closely with our interns through our BLAC program (more about that later) also take annual trainings through BLAC to ensure that we’re making their work environment as welcoming as possible.

Change the way Cornett looks

We’re continuing to work toward an agency that’s truly representative of our community and the world we live in. Tracking that with numbers is inherently limiting, but it’s one way to keep track of our progress.

We’ve also used what we’ve learned during our recruiting process for the BLAC program to improve our hiring practices. We’ve expanded how we search for candidates, going beyond our own LinkedIn circles and connecting with talented people with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. (Interested in joining us, or know someone who might be a good fit? Check out our current open positions.)

Change the way Cornett works

The biggest and most visible shift in our agency has been in our involvement in the BLAC internship program, which we helped launch last year. In the second year of the program, we’ve focused our efforts on growing the program—double the number of agencies are now involved—and improving the experience for our interns.

We were fortunate to have several of our interns from last year provide their input on how we can improve the internship experience, both across the collective and here at Cornett. This year’s program spans a longer amount of time, is structured to give every intern more time at their agency, and includes a dedicated job fair at the end of the program. The goal, as it has been since the beginning, is connecting even more Black creative thinkers with full-time jobs in the industry.

Change the way Cornett impacts the community

We’ve continued doing pro bono work for Black-led and Black-focused organizations here in our community, while also expanding out our reach to work with folks from other underrepresented groups here in Lexington.

This work, now under the umbrella of our Cornett for Good initiative, has helped entrepreneurs like Jacorey Maxberry get his incredible spice blends on more shelves across the city. It’s helped people like Dan Wu get his message out to more people as he runs for Lexington City Council. It’s resulted in business plans for groups like Common Good, product catalogs for Matchstick Goods, refreshed brands for groups like Black Soil: Our Better Nature, and posters for events like Lexington’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.

We’re always looking for more ways to use our skillsets for good. If you have a group or cause that could use what we can do, let’s talk.

Cornett Diversity Spreadsheet-Race
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Cornett Diversity Spreadsheet-Gender
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