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Edita Rodriguez Jun 4, 2020 1:58:34 PM 5 min read

Black Lives Matter: CLEVER Network Statement of Intent



Dear CLEVER Members,

Earlier this week we sent a communication to all of our clients and partners making it unequivocally clear where we stand with regard to recent events in our country.

  • Black pain, voices, experiences, and lives matter.

  • The brutalization of Black people, especially by police, must stop. 

  • Systemic white supremacy touches every aspect of American life, and it is up to white people to do the work of dismantling it.

We heed this call, and we are getting to work. 

We are in the process of auditing and amending all of our HR policies — with input from our diverse staff — with the goal of making our BIPOC colleagues feel safe and supported. This audit also includes policies regarding our influencer network. We’ve already made some immediate changes, and are seeking help when we don’t know the answers. 

We have spent ten years cultivating a network of “real people” who tell amazing brand stories. Our corporate values of empowerment, authenticity, and excellence have been the underpinning of our recruitment efforts. We want influencers to be themselves because realness is what engagement is all about. And yet, we recognize that there are people in this country who either cannot—or have a harder time—showing up as their most empowered, authentic, and excellent selves because systematic white supremacy is actively working against them. We see that, and will do our part to dismantle that, starting now.

It has always been our policy to present a diverse and inclusive pool of influencers to our clients at the influencer selection stage, but that is not enough. When we take a look around our network, what we see is a significant majority of white influencers. In order to secure paid work for more Black influencers and influencers of color, our network needs to look a lot different. We will do our part to make it so, starting now.

Here’s how:

  • We will create a new policy that makes diversity a priority parameter that supersedes all other parameters for a given program. Clients can expect to see this reflected in the influencer lists we present to them. 

  • As part of that, we will continue presenting and advocating for our in-network Black influencers. 

  • We will actively recruit Black influencers from outside our network for every program. 

  • If a client returns to us with an approved list of influencers that does not reflect our diversity policy, we will hold them—and ourselves—accountable to it.

This is a high-level overview of our plans. We will be sharing and checking in with you as our plans come together. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please let us know. We welcome your participation, ideas, and feedback.

Lastly, we want to be very clear about one more thing: If you are an influencer who responds to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter,” we urge you to stop, listen, and understand why that is problematic. Otherwise, the CLEVER network is not the place for you.

Thank you. Let’s get to work.