Poster reading, "Racism is a Pandemic." Original image by Jon Tyson.

Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

News & Updates
“Maybe the most meaningful work we could do is fight for the value of human life in all the places where it is not valued.”
Taylor Jones

Co-founder & CEO, Whiteboard

January 23, 2021

We find ourselves at a peculiar moment in our nation’s story – one that will undoubtedly shape our way of life for years, even generations to come.  At the forefront of our current crisis is the perennial debate of race in America.

Some refer to the creation of race and racism as our nation’s original sin – the sin we have yet to truly repent of, or heal from. In truth, racism predates the founding of our nation and has over time been intricately woven into the fabric of our country. It is revealed through shocking events like the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and more subtle realities such as the deep segregation found in America’s neighborhoods and houses of faith, or the racial disparities that pervade every facet of American life.

At Whiteboard, we believe the world we live in is not yet what it ought to be, and that the most meaningful work is on the pathway toward that reconciliation. As agents of change, we are called to a redemptive path which pursues creative restoration through sacrifice in our life and our work. We are committed to manifesting the world that is yet to be, and doing whatever it takes to ensure that systemic racism is not carried into that bright future.

Our work on this redemptive frontier begins with us.

At Whiteboard, we acknowledge that race is a social construct created for the specific purpose of ascribing rights and privileges to whites and denying those same rights and privileges to non-whites. Race produces a social hierarchy that becomes reliable and persistent and a power dynamic that is self-reinforcing. This explains why in a nation where no one is a self-professed racist, systemic racism thrives.

For this reason, it is not enough to “not be racist” because not being racist welcomes “more of the same”. In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, “There is no neutrality in the racism struggle.”² If the goal is to eliminate the role of race in determining human outcomes, then we must commit to being anti-racist.

To be anti-racist is to actively advance efforts, tactics, strategies, initiatives and policies specifically designed for the purpose of identifying, describing and dismantling racism.

This is our work to do.

In aspiring to become an anti-racist organization, we at Whiteboard commit to doing the hard work of self-examination, education, experimentation and evolution – all for the purpose of manifesting a microcosm of the world that ought to be.

The purpose of this plan is to provide Whiteboard a roadmap to help navigate from where we are, to where we want to go in becoming anti-racist. The three-year plan is designed to empower Whiteboard to act.

To assist us on this journey, Whiteboard secured Founders of Color, a national organization dedicated to increasing racial equity in entrepreneurship. The team at FOC worked directly with our staff to produce this plan, but this is OUR PLAN and we own it. It is informed by data and insights gathered from our Whiteboard team through a series of surveys and one-on-one interviews, and infuses best practices from the field.

The plan has been developed and will be implemented under the stewardship of the Change Committee; a dedicated group of Whiteboard employees committed to ensuring the success of this body of work. While the Change Committee is tasked with managing the process, it is up to all of us to ensure the plan achieves its intended end – an anti-racist Whiteboard.

Objectives & Goal

There are three driving assumptions we make in carrying forward this agenda.

  1. Relationships are everything. Because of the rigid segregation presented by generations of white supremacy and systemic racism, we realize that much of the challenge we face is due to a “poverty of relationships”. Therefore, our early work in this area will involve the sort of authentic and sustained relationship building that fosters meaningful collaboration and trust.
  1. Sacrifice is required. Make no mistake, this work will be challenging in that it will require abandoning certain ways of being and doing that have served us well, but are not well-suited for building an inclusive organization. Building our network and revising our systems will require us to push beyond the limits of our comfort zone. At Whiteboard, we believe that values are not your values, unless they cost you something. Like most truly worthy endeavors, this too will come at a price.
  1. Lack of focus is fatal. This is not a sprint but a marathon. Success will require relentless forward motion. We must keep our eye on the prize, regardless of the ways that society warms or cools to the topic or even how difficult implementing these changes become. The full institutionalization of anti-racist practices will require determination, persistence, clarity and focus.  Failing to embrace these traits will inhibit success and serve to water-down our impact.

With this in mind, the following objectives and supporting goals comprise our 12-point, 3-year plan for anti-racist transformation.


Achieving increased racial diversity is foundational to Whiteboard becoming an anti-racist organization. Out of our entire staff, 2 identify as people of color. Whiteboard operates in cities that are at least 37% people of color. Atlanta is 60% people of color. Whiteboard must grow to reflect the racial diversity that exists in the communities we call home.

Goal 1: Achieve racial parity by 2023.

Numerous factors likely contribute to this disparity. The mainstream digital design industry is predominately white with few people of color obtaining access and success in larger design and digital agencies. People of color are underrepresented in technology making it more difficult to source talent. And historically we have engaged in a considerable amount of relational hiring, often attracting prospects which reflect the current demographic makeup and perpetuating the lack of racial diversity.

Setting a goal for achieving racial parity (65% white; 35% people of color) by 2023 gives us three years to fully operationalize a diverse hiring strategy, which will require the prioritization of people of color in the hiring process. While this might feel “unfair” at first blush, it is important to acknowledge that racial bias already exists in our current hiring process in informal ways that reinforce systemic racism. Priority hiring for racial diversity seeks to bring balance to the process and the outcomes.

Goal 2: Offer and require staff participation in at least one anti-racist education or training opportunity per year.

Ensuring the success of our hiring strategy requires that we foster a welcoming and inclusive environment where people of color feel seen, heard and understood. For this reason, it is important that all Whiteboard team members possess basic racial literacy to appreciate the implications of race for the workplace.

Without an ongoing commitment to education and training, one which is infused in the organization from onboarding to exit, it may be difficult to sustain staff buy-in. This will be especially true as we onboard new team members who may not be prepared to critically engage on issues of race, and therefore act in ways that are counterproductive to our commitment to anti-racism.


At Whiteboard, we are committed to leveraging the internet for good by empowering visionaries to lead meaningful brands. Our ability to effectively execute our mission is limited and constrained if our client base is made up almost entirely of white-led organizations.

Goal 3: Provide meaningful pro bono support to at least one Black or Latinx-led organization per year.

Leaders in communities of color are advancing some of the most groundbreaking and restorative work across societal domains from social justice, to emerging media and technology. Building out our client base to more intentionally work with organizations led by people of color would not only extend our reach and our impact, but build the cultural competency of our team, while pushing us beyond our creative limits.

Goal 4: Provide subsidized support to at least two Black or Latinx-led organizations per year.

For most minority-led organizations, a marketing budget is a luxury. Therefore, while we would love to bring in more market rate clients of color, we realize that based on the economic inequities that exist, this would be especially challenging. Therefore, through our anti-racism work, we will dedicate our pro bono program to supporting minority-led organizations and create a new subsidized offering for organizations who can pay something, even if it is not market rate.


Our ability to advance our mission is not only dependent upon those within Whiteboard, but also other individuals and organizations with which we strategically align. Today, the primary partner categories are vendors and mentors.

Goal 5: Develop a protégé program.

One direct way to support communities of color is to procure the services of businesses run by people of color. While design agencies tend to be predominately white, there are scores of design professionals who freelance or have small lifestyle businesses but do not have the strategic partnerships in place to grow. Through a protégé program, Whiteboard would work with small design businesses led by people of color⁶ as subcontractors, thus enabling the small business to access more large-scale projects and build their client portfolio. Whiteboard would also mentor the protégé business on how to grow sustainably over time, based on its own experience.

Goal 6: Secure a person of color to serve as an informal advisor or mentor.

While Whiteboard does not have a formal advisory board, we do have a small network of mentors who periodically counsel senior leadership on how best to steer the organization in the right direction. In our journey of becoming an anti-racist organization, it is important that we incorporate diverse individuals into that mentor circle who can not only function as mirrors or sounding boards, but also accountability partners. Because people of color have been historically relegated to subservient positions in society, it is important for our own un-learning that we identify authoritative people of color capable of wise counsel.⁷


Goal 7: Hold regular Whiteboard-wide team hangouts with diverse experiences.

Launching an anti-racism initiative in a COVID-19 reality will be challenging. However, we are committed to doing what is necessary to forge a strong and healthy culture that prioritizes inclusion, regardless of whether our workplace is physical or virtual.  Therefore, to ensure we are staying connected and continually forging cross-team bonds, we will be instituting regular Whiteboard-wide online hangouts that still allow us to spend “quality time” with our colleagues, even though we are not able to connect in person.

Goal 8: Hold quarterly lunch and learns.

In an effort to build relationships on a more human level, we will be conducting quarterly “lunch and learns” where a team member will come prepared to share a hobby, passion project or pastime that brings joy to their life. The goal being to provide deeper understanding into who we are as individuals (aside from our role at Whiteboard), thus allowing us to get to know one another better.


Goal 9: Develop an industry-directed initiative focused on advancing anti-racism within the digital design industry.

At Whiteboard, we have a powerful platform and we plan to use it to advance our aims in not only bringing about an anti-racist Whiteboard, but an anti-racist industry and world. We are committed to using our channels to convene, pilot, prompt and ignite conversations and actions directed towards creating a more fair and just world. Though we are just getting started, we are open to sharing our journey along the way and locking arms with other white-led organizations who are likewise exploring how they become better allies and partners in advancing anti-racism.

We will be explicit in our commitment to anti-racism– not to gain brownie points, but to live our values out loud.

Goal 10: Include an anti-racism pledge in all Whiteboard branding and collateral.

We believe that changing the world starts in our own backyard. Given that we have offices in three major cities - each with a considerable population of people of color - it is vitally important to our role as good neighbors that we understand their lived experiences.

Goal 11: Launch virtual coffee listening tour with community leaders to assess needs and opportunities.  

We believe that changing the world starts in our own backyard. Given that we have offices in three major cities - each with a considerable population of people of color - it is vitally important to our role as good neighbors that we understand their lived experiences.

Relationships are the foundation for any meaningful community-based work. Therefore, our first step will be to conduct outreach to a handful of local leaders to listen, learn, connect and share. Through monthly virtual coffees, we can better understand the needs and opportunities for support and collaboration, so that we are able to be a more reliable and resourceful community partner.

Goal 12: Launch one community impact project.

Based on the information derived from these conversations, we will identify a community partner or set of partners to carry out a community impact project which leverages our unique skills and gifts to add value and benefit.

⁶Recommended focus on Black, Indigenous or Latinx business owners.
⁷Recommend that the person be Black, Indigenous or Latinx.

A Ongoing Commitment

The work enclosed in this plan is capable of making us smarter, deeper, stronger, more empathetic and compassionate – and not just as an organization, but also as individuals. The skills we build through this process will enable each of us to show up in our lives, communities and our work in more thoughtful, collaborative and resourceful ways. This is good work and it is capable of making us an even greater company. We are therefore committed to carrying out this anti-racism strategy with all the intention, focus and gusto it deserves.

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