Ad Agency Diversity Agreements
In September 2006, the Commission reached agreements with the CEOs of 16 of the City’s largest advertising agencies that had been under investigation for their lack of diversity in managerial, professional, and creative positions. These groundbreaking agreements provide the framework for the hiring, retention and promotion of minorities by requiring the agencies to establish recruitment goals and report those goals at the beginning of each year to the Commission.
Additionally, the agencies are required to report their overall demographics, providing the Commission with information regarding promotions and separations each year. Should the agencies fail to achieve their goals in any year, they will hire consultants to assist them in meeting and/or surpassing the goals in the following year.
The agencies that signed agreements are: Arnold Worldwide and Euro RSCG Worldwide (HAVAS); BBDO, DDB, Merkley + Partners, and PHD USA (OMNICOM); Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, Draft New York, FCB New York, and Gotham, Inc (IPG); Grey Direct, Grey Interactive, Ogilvy & Mather, and Young & Rubicam (WPP); Kaplan Thaler Group, LTD and Saatchi & Saatchi (PUBLICIS GROUPE).
Conference for Peer Mediators
On December 1, 2006, the Commission held a unique one-day conference for 200 New York City high school students, who are practicing peer mediators in their schools, and their faculty advisors. The conference, Are We Cool? A Conference for Peer Mediators, built on the mediation and conflict resolution skills that head off serious conflict in the schools. It also gave the students the opportunity to meet other student mediators to share some of their experiences and success stories. The Commission joined with six professional mediation organizations to staff the 18 workshops. JPMorgan Chase provided supportive funding for the program, as well as space in their lower Manhattan offices for the conference.
One City Public Awareness Campaign Seen by Millions
Throughout most of 2006, the Commission reached millions of New Yorkers and visitors with a message of welcome and unity through its multi-lingual One City poster campaign displayed at hundreds of City bus shelters and phone kiosks. The Commission also covered all 6,300 “curb miles” of City streets when posters were displayed on 3,000 NYC Sanitation trucks and street sweepers. Commission staff hung thousands of smaller multi-lingual One City posters at City schools, offices, stores and government offices. The campaign was another key element in the Commission’s intense efforts to alert those who live in, work in, and visit NYC to the Commission’s work, the Human Rights Law and how to file a discrimination complaint.
Making Brighton Beach Accessible to its Residents
The Commission continued its aggressive equal access efforts under the Human Rights Law, targeting Brighton Beach because of its large number of elderly and disabled individuals and its high percentage of residential multiple-dwelling buildings. Of the 83 buildings the Commission surveyed, 56 were found to be inaccessible due to a few steps at the entrances or in the lobbies. Underscoring the severity of the situation, Commission staff interviewed residents who had been unable to leave their apartments for years. During the latter part of 2006, Commission staff successfully negotiated modifications for 23 buildings with 1,696 units, making those buildings accessible to over 3,500 tenants. The Commission achieved the modifications primarily through pre-complaint intervention and will continue to work in that community until the remainder of the buildings the Commission identified are made accessible to its residents.
Bilingual Agency Booklets and Postcards Produced and Distributed
The Commission produced and distributed two bilingual booklets: Equal Access: It’s the Law and Fair Housing: It’s the Law; and a new bilingual info card: Pregnancy and Employment Rights. The Commission also produced booklets containing the NYC Human Rights Law which incorporates all amendments to the Law since 1991 and translated its Sexual Harassment info card into Spanish. Tens of thousands of these new publications and info cards have been widely distributed at meetings, fairs, events, schools, government offices and businesses.