It’s undeniable that 2020 has been a “cultural wake-up call,” as Gen Zs and millennials overwhelmingly told us in this year’s Culture Next report.1 This reckoning has inspired a global movement demanding racial equality and representation for all. For many of us in the creative and advertising industries, that rallying cry has been heard loud and clear — and it’s prompted us to take a closer look at our own institutions. Although our industry includes many talented BIPOC professionals, our perspectives remain massively underrepresented across the board — from conference panels to boardroom meetings and beyond.
That’s why we’re introducing Outside Voice, an annotated playlist series celebrating and amplifying BIPOC voices in the global creative community. Each month, rising stars in the industry will create original playlists that feature their favourite music alongside spoken-word annotations. The series will give each curator a platform to tell personal stories, discuss their creative passion, and speak to important social issues affecting underrepresented communities. We’re kicking off Season One with two inspiring creatives — listen at the links below.
Outside Voice: Episode 1 & 2
Throughout the series, which will also feature creatives from the UK and Latin America, each curator will use the intimacy and richness of audio to metaphorically tap into their “outside voice” — the robust, unapologetic tone used when one needs to be understood above noise and distractions. Each creative will draw upon personal anecdotes to speak to the challenges faced by members of their community. Through their words and selected songs, they’ll encourage listeners to plot paths towards a future that goes beyond platitudes and creates lasting spaces for a diversity of voices.
“Being an outside voice gives us the advantage of being able to see the bigger picture,” says Reyes, a Black creative who has produced award-winning campaigns for Nike and others. “When people are stuck inside of what they do and only hear the same voices time and time again, it limits perspective. When you come with a vantage point that's different from others, you have an opportunity to create a greater impact.”
“To be a good ally, you need to listen,” says VICE Media’s Enriquez, a non-binary artist and advocate for LGBTQ and Latinx communities. "The world that we want to see… won’t build itself. If we’re not actively working to undo [racism and gender biases], they’re not going to get undone."
We know 2020 has been a heavy year. As it begins to wind down, we hope this series lifts you up with a little inspiration and hope. Cheers to the outside voices and allies who are guiding us towards a better tomorrow. Continue to speak out loud and proud, now and in the years to come.