Investment bank Luma Partners LLC has made Black-owned media, marketing and technology companies the focus of the latest installment in its LUMAscape series of charts, which investors and others use as industry references, amid a broad push for racial justice.
Terence Kawaja, a founder of Luma and its chief executive, said the company drew up the “Black LUMAscape” to raise awareness of Black-owned companies in industries that have been criticized for their lack of diversity. The new chart includes technology firm StackShare, The Weather Channel and direct-to-consumer beauty company Pat McGrath Labs.
“On social media I was sort of supporting Black Lives Matter and the notion of justice, and making donations and things like that, but that felt insufficient,” said Mr. Kawaja. “This is such a critical issue and moment and a wrong that needs to be righted.”
The police shootings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have rekindled the Black Lives Matters movement, sparking protests in many states and around the world. Most recently, the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for a playoff game last week in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. The boycott spread to other NBA teams and pro sports leagues.
Mr. Kawaja and his team spent months compiling the companies in the new chart, sorting through lists and talking to people running diversity initiatives at their own firms, he said.
“At a minimum it highlights the fact that there are many Black entrepreneurs and business owners out there,” Mr. Kawaja said.
Large players in marketing and media have expressed a desire to fight systemic racism, but over the years the ad industry has largely failed to diversify its workforce and leadership ranks.
Hundreds of Black ad agency executives also banded together earlier this year to tackle systemic racism, asking agencies to take specific steps to increase diversity.
The call to support Black-owned media is far from new. Al Sharpton held a press conference in front of ad agency giant Young & Rubicam in 1998, for example, saying that advertisers and agencies weren’t doing enough to reach Black and Hispanic consumers.
Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]
Corrections & Amplifications
The chart on Black-owned media, marketing and technology companies is called ‘Black LUMAscape.’ An earlier version of this article incorrectly capitalized its name as LUMAScape.
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Appeared in the September 4, 2020, print edition as ‘Investment Bank Luma Spotlights Black Firms.’