AAF DALLAS & AD 2 DALLAS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: KYRA MARYLAND

Tell us about yourself.

I am a beauty/skincare addict and social media enthusiast. I’m passionate about cultivating spaces that uplift and connect people across different backgrounds. In my free time, I build social strategies for the Denton Black Film Festival and run their social media. When I’m not constructing marketing strategies, I enjoy writing about my favorite products on my blog, perfecting my skincare routine, and reading poetry, non-fiction or any article that will teach me something new.

Why did you join Ad 2 Dallas?

I joined Ad 2 Dallas to meet new people in advertising after moving back from college. It’s been perfect because you get a mix of professional growth as well as a network of people with varying expertises, levels of experience and cool ideas.

What has been your favorite project to work on? 

Co-hosting the No Filter: Unfolding Bias event was super exciting because I got to see an idea come to life over the course of several months. It was also nice seeing people come together to have real genuine conversations about topics we don’t often get to talk about in the regular workplace.

List three or more things you’ve learned as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair?   

I learned that adaptability is key and that teamwork really does make the dream work. I also grew confidence in my leadership abilities.

How would you like to see the advertising industry become more diverse? 

I would love to see a wider variety of demographics and perspectives represented in leadership positions as well as in the work done by brands. I’d also love to see advertising agencies focus more on diversifying their recruiting efforts by finding new ways to seek out candidates.

What does it mean for the advertising industry to be committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? What changes need to happen to get there?

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion looks like REPRESENTATION! If your internal teams don’t mirror the market you’re serving, it becomes easier to lose a pulse on reality and you lose out on creating great and relevant work.

AAF DALLAS & AD 2 DALLAS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: CASSANDRA VILLAREAL

Tell us about yourself.

 I’m Cassandra Villarreal – a hardworking, passionate, goal-driven Latina who strives to influence the voices of minorities and those underrepresented. By the age of 23, I received my undergrad degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and recently obtained my Master of Arts degree in Communications. Getting to meet new people along with being outdoors are some of my favorite things to do!

 

Why did you join Ad 2 Dallas?

 Along with working in the advertising industry, I wanted to become a part of a local non-profit organization that would help me advance in my career and make new connections.

 

What has been your favorite project to work on? 

 Co-hosting the No Filter: Unfolding Workplace Bias event in January 2020 was one of my favorite projects to work on. It was great to see an event I worked hard on turn into a major success!

 List three or more things you’ve learned as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair?   

Three things I’ve learned about being a DE&I Co-Chair:

– How to help involve people who feel misrepresented

– How to make others feel comfortable regardless of who they are

– How to effectively contribute to a successful event to help increase diversity engagement within the community

 How would you like to see the advertising industry become more diverse? 

 I would like to see the advertising industry become more diverse by allowing minorities of all ages, races, and backgrounds to seek opportunities in the industry regardless of the amount of experience under their belt.

 

What does it mean for the advertising industry to be committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? What changes need to happen to get there?

 It means to accept the reality of the ongoing racism, prejudice, and discrimination in and outside of the industry, and configure ways to combat inequality. Necessary changes like including a higher representation of minorities in leadership positions, along with educating others over cultural differences can help us commit to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.