In celebration of Black History Month, TMAers across our offices were invited to enjoy the Museum of Black Excellence, a collection curated by over 20 contributors from our diversity and inclusion initiative, Discover_TMA.
The Museum showcased African American icons from Nipsey Hussle to Dr. Mae Jemison, as well as poems and artwork by Black creators.
We were also proud to celebrate the excellence of some of our very own TMAers and share their thoughts on the importance of Black History Month and the contributions of Black people across the globe. Here’s what they had to say:
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Paul Williams – Vice President, NYC
Black History Month is a time to reflect on the many accomplishments and contributions that Black Americans have made to their communities, country, and this world. Especially those whose accomplishments and contributions have been forgotten or are not as widely known. However, as a Black man and as a father raising three Black children, it is important that these reflections are not limited to February. It is so very important to continuously educate ourselves and remind the world around us of the many layers of Black history, achievements of the Black community, and the contributions that the Black community has and have continued to make that have positively impacted the rest of the world.
Jelani Warren – Copywriter, Irvine
Black history means American history to me. This month is an opportunity to highlight contributions that many assume come from non-Black Americans. Every year I learn something new. It’s a shame that for some, they only learn about Black history this month.
What empowers you during Black History Month?
Kimberlee Borland – Director, Production: Experience, Remote
Black History Month showcases contributions and excellence at its finest. The feeling of empowerment is year-round and ongoing, it’s simply amplified during Black History Month.
Julius Dawson – Creative Director, Dallas
The realization that the people before me endured so much more in order for us to have simple human rights. It’s a reason to continue to work hard to make sure it was not in vain.
What historical moment or figure inspires you the most?
Indigo Charles – Sr. Manager, VIP Relations, LA
I am thankful for all the disrupters who fight every day for our elevation as a culture. Movements like Black girl and Black boy magic exist because of these disrupters who empower our voice. The words of Maya Angelou inspire me daily. One of my favorite quotes from her is, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Chris Simmons – Director, Entertainment, Dallas
There are several Black leaders that inspire me, including Sean Combs, Sean Carter, Michael Eric Dyson, Jermaine Cole, President Barack Obama, Robert F. Smith, and the late-greats, Kobe Bean Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.
Mick Carter – Managing Director, UK
There have been many figures who have inspired me. Generally all those people who have made a stand against racism and injustices, no matter what creed or color, as well as those who quietly become role models in the background. Having met Nina Simone and learning about her activism through her music, she is someone I will always highlight as being inspirational.
What empowers you to be a leader in your role?
Shyrl Bagneris – Account Director, Dallas
There are very few women of color leaders in this industry. Women of color have stigmas and preconceived notions attached to them that often impact their growth. I want to serve as representation that you can be a strong Black woman leader in this industry and still be viewed as not only smart, but approachable and fun.
Aaron Frye – Creative Director, Chicago
My 14-year-old self, who wanted to be the first college graduate in the family and work in a big building, in a big city, making TV commercials.
What makes you proud to be a leader at TMA?
Thaxton Scott – Account Executive, Dallas
In our industry, there aren’t many people who look like me, think like me, and resonate with me. Being a leader at TMA is more than a title, it’s about creating an everlasting legacy for young Black men and women in the marketing industry. I am elated at the idea that I can be a role model to younger generations and help them hone their inner most talents to achieve personal and professional success.
Nicole Beatty – Associate Director, Experience, Dallas
One of the things that makes me most proud to be a leader at TMA is being afforded the privilege to lead and collaborate with tenacious, hardworking, creative people that strive to produce the very best for our clients and ourselves.
TMA is proud to celebrate Black History Month and our employees making a difference in our agency, in their communities, and in the field of marketing and advertising as a whole. Be on the lookout for more about Black History Month at TMA and the Museum of Black Excellence.
Discover_TMA is an employee-led initiative focused on increasing opportunities for education, content sharing and conversation about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.