Let’s talk about employee resource groups (ERGs). We all know their importance and the meaningful impact they make for employees and their workplace experiences.
At LiveRamp, employee resource groups precede the formation of our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging team and workforce pillar. They exist to support the belonging, growth, and development of all employees, communities, and businesses, and offer an opportunity for employees to thrive.
In continuing with LiveRamp’s six-week campaign, Our Voices, and our theme of highlighting and amplifying the voices of Black and Brown employees, we are taking this week to spotlight one of our eight impactful employee resources groups: Black @ LiveRamp.
Black @ LiveRamp aims to provide a safe, authentic environment for the Black community and create room for empowerment and allyship for all. Their values are rooted in agency and organization with a focus on utilizing their platform to support their community, diversify LiveRamp’s employee base, and raise awareness of the Black experience in tech and at large.
For many, Black @ LiveRamp serves as a space to come together with like-minded individuals. This is true for the co-founder of Black @ and Data Ethics Specialist Jenell Potts. Jenell joined LiveRamp during the pandemic and realized within her first few weeks that there were few opportunities to meet other individuals who looked like her—a common experience among many Black women working in the tech industry. After seeking guidance on how to create a common space for her community, she was introduced to Analecia Smith and Ariana McMillan, who both work on our technical services team.
The three then decided to create Black @ LiveRamp with the purpose of not only connecting with other Black employees, but to also give voice to the community within LiveRamp. Today, the group has more than 100 members, inclusive of Black employees and allies, and has affectionately been shortened to “Black @.”
Black @ voices
“I’ve always been passionate about social justice and community. I wanted to help develop a safe place for people to express themselves fully and honestly,” said Communications Chair of Black @ and Data Ethics Specialist Esther Rosen.
With her specific skill set and leadership, Esther was able to elevate the cause and quality of work for the ERG. She describes Black @ as a place of friendship and pride, sharing that some of her most memorable moments at LiveRamp were through the ERG. The initiatives she is most proud of include Black @’s back-to-school supplies drive, which raised nearly $13,500 for schools and programs in New York, Oakland, and Philadelphia.
“I joined because I felt it was no longer appropriate to sit on the sidelines,” said Managing Sales Director Daria Willis. As one who experienced privilege based on her familial background and lighter brown skin tone, she felt it was her responsibility to hold doors open for others. Daria describes Black @ as providing a safe community for Black people who may feel alone navigating their journey in the tech industry.
Black @ has made an immense impact since its inception. A few points of pride include:
- Afrotech partnership: Published a three-part editorial spread across a multimedia platform
- Company series: “Let’s Take a Walk,” in partnership with the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging team, was held last year, providing a space to share thoughts and design a new narrative around the ERG’s experience at LiveRamp
- Held the No More Blues virtual art exhibit, which used art to raise conversations regarding racial equity and protest
- Monthly mental health meetings gave members space to check in with one another
- Commemoration and education for all of LiveRamp on purposeful holidays such as Black History Month, Freedom Day, Loving Day, and Juneteenth
We are proud of Black @. From its beginnings to the present day, the ERG continues to hold true to its vision. As we look to the future and success of all of our ERG’s, we are especially excited for what’s next with Black @.