NEW YORK, Today: The One Club has launched ONE School, a free 16-week portfolio programme for young black creatives. The school will be run by Spotify CD Oriel Davis-Lyons, a New Zealander who started his career at Colenso and held creative positions at R/GA and Droga5 in New York.
The One Club PR chief Jack Mello said: “The initiative quickly came together as a result of Oriels’s early-June Linkedin post lamenting the high cost barrier of US portfolio schools for young creatives of colour – and his pledge to find a way to rectify the situation.”
Initial sponsors include Spotify, McCann Worldgroup, Ogilvy, R/GA and WPP, with more to come.
Davis-Lyons’ post was seen by Bob Isherwood, former Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide creative director and Vanderbilt University adjunct professor now in charge of the club’s professional development department, who reached out to Davis-Lyons and started the collaborative process to make ONE School a reality.
David-Lyons said: “ONE School will be unapologetically black from start to finish.
“The briefs will be written by black strategists and taught by black tutors and lecturers, and the students will be paired with black mentors in the industry.
“ONE School will be unapologetically black from start to finish.”
“This isn’t about teaching black creatives how to ‘fit in’ to a mostly white industry. It’s about helping them to build a portfolio that is both creatively excellent and 100% authentic to who they are.
“ONE School will go beyond simply teaching how to put a book together; it will also include how to navigate the industry while black.
“Most of the lecturers will be speaking not just about creativity but also their own personal experience as black creatives and passing on advice that will help a new generation.”
Official dates for the first course this September will be announced shortly.
The free online school will run two nights a week for 16 weeks. Later weeks of the course will be devoted to portfolio building, judging by top agency professionals, awarding of the top student portfolios and job placement.
Davis-Lyons said a common excuse often heard from ECDs is that they only look at the work in the book.
”That type of thinking ignores the systemic barriers and innate privilege of being able to pay $40,000 for two years at ad school to put a book together. ONE School aims to address that imbalance,” he said.
Isherwood echoed Davis-Lyons’ point about the importance of establishing ONE School as for and by people of colour.
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