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Be an Ally

We need allies, and we need them all the time

Want to be a real ally? It’s about more than going to parades.

  • Listen to and learn from those who experience oppression.
  • Put those affected by oppression at the center of the conversation instead of making it about yourself.
  • Go beyond passive sentiments and take action.
  • Don’t stand for people—stand with them. If you don’t know how, ask someone what they need.
  • Be willing to take on the systems that benefit yourself but work against others.
  • Strive to build a system that works for everyone.
  • Use your privilege to help others.
  • Don’t shy away from uncomfortable conversations.
  • Keep going when the hashtags and headlines disappear.

No one is a perfect ally all the time. But we keep working at it.


Always looking for the next thing? Harness that energy.

Restlessness is one of our core values, and it can be good or bad.

When it comes to diversity, most people are expecting the bad, short-attention-span kind of restlessness from agencies, brands and White people in general. Based on past experiences, they think we’ll get bored and give up fighting for diversity, equity and inclusion when it gets hard or when the next hashtag trends.

Let’s not do that, okay?

Let’s be the good kind of restless. Let’s keep looking for ways we can take action and make things better.

And let’s continue to question the way we’ve always done things. Because, quite frankly, the way we’ve always done things sucks for a lot of people.


Reading this guide isn’t enough. It’s time for action.


  • Hire more diverse talent.
  • Fully support the diverse talent we have and make sure they have opportunities to grow.
  • Encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work.
  • Hire more diverse photographers, directors, editors, storyboard artists, voice-over talent and crew members.
  • Guide our clients to support, represent and give back to the communities that sustain them.
  • Increase our cultural fluency across the board. Be curious. Read. Bring an open mind to diversity training. Attend a webinar. Talk to people who aren’t just like you. Get outside your comfort zone. Risk your ego. Be humble. Listen.
  • Stay engaged and keep evolving as issues come to light or change.

Right now you can:


Reach out to [email protected] with any questions or suggestions.


Check out The 1619 Project from The New York Times, or even just a TV show made by people who don’t look like you.

Get the ball rolling

Make a plan for how you’re going to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on your team and for your clients.


Put a reminder on your calendar for three months from now to think about how you’re doing and what you’ll do next.


The agency is all of us

The reputation of this agency is based on more than corporate policies. It’s based on how all of us treat the people we encounter on the job.

That includes everyone who:

  • Walks in our door.
  • Works with us on production.
  • Goes to our focus groups.
  • Meets us at conferences.
  • Reads what we say on LinkedIn.

So be a good ambassador for GSD&M. It will affect who we’re able to hire, which clients and partners want to work with us and how our work is received.


If this were easy, we’d have solved it by now

Progress takes time.

So be patient and persistent.

Even when it’s two steps forward, one step back, we’re still moving forward.

So do your part to keep us going.

If we all commit to this for the long haul, we can make incredible progress.


When Things Go Wrong…


Watch, Listen, Read


Get Diverse Perspectives


When Things Go Wrong…


Get Diverse Perspectives


When Things Go Wrong…