Ruffin: Where Are All The Black People?

The One Club’s ‘Where Are All The Black People’ Conference

Emmy and WGA Award nominee Amber Ruffin will give the keynote address at the 11th edition of the One Club’s Where Are All The Black People (WAATBP) diversity conference and career fair, taking place virtually September 29-30, 2021.  The event is free to attend and open to a global audience.

Ruffin is a writer and performer for NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and was the first African-American woman to write for a US late-night network talk show. Her own series, “The Amber Ruffin Show,” premiered last fall on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming platform. She has written and performed on Comedy Central’s “Detroiters” and been a regular narrator on “Drunk History.”  She was previously a performer at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, iO Theater and The Second City in Chicago.”

WAATBP 2021 will address how the industry has — and hasn’t — evolved over the past 18 months since the increased focus on race, inclusion and diversity in advertising.  Typically held in person in New York, the event went virtual last year due to the pandemic, attracting more than 3,400 registrants from over 50 countries.

This year’s event features two days of insightful online keynote, panels, seminars, virtual recruiting and portfolio reviews. New this year is a virtual creative workshop specifically for HBCU students, sponsored by The Martin Agency and including HBCU Buzz. Capital One will sponsor a “ThinkLab Creative Exercise” virtual workshop.

Other programming highlights include “Fireside Chat: Healing from Racial Trauma in the Workplace” with Jerry Won, CEO, Just Like Media, and author Minda Hearts; “All The Tea: How to Price Your Work + Negotiate Contracts” with panelists including Julien and Kiersten Saunders of the Rich & REGULAR blog, moderated by Neisha Tweed Bell, Creative Director at Facebook; and a panel conversation about being Black and disabled in advertising and creative leadership.

WAATBP 2021 concludes with a virtual after-party featuring RNBHouseparty also sponsored by Capital One.

WPP is providing significant support for WAATBP and other One Club DEI programs.  In addition to a partnership that includes year-round “lunch & learn” events and ONE School sponsorship, the holding company is sending creatives from 15 of its agencies to WAATBP 2021.

Capital One, The Martin Agency and WPP are just a few of the record number of sponsors who have stepped up to support WAATBP this year. Others include 72andSunny, AKQA, Arnold, BCW, Best Buy, DAVID, David & Goliath, Deutsch LA, Disney, EnergyBBDO, Essence, Golin, Grey, GTB, Havas, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Hogarth, Mediacom, Ogilvy, ONE School, Pace Communications, Shutterstock, Team One, The Many, Vayner Media, VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson and Zambezi.

WAATBP grew out of a conversation more than a decade ago between One Club Board members Jimmy Smith, chairman/CEO/CCO at Amusement Park Entertainment, and Jeff Goodby, chair, Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The pair spearheaded the initiative for the organization, which held the first WAATBP panel on diversity during The One Club’s 2011 Creative Week.