Atlanta’s Marketing and Advertising Professionals Pledge to Develop a More Inclusive Workforce for Future Generations

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Ten Atlanta-based marketing and advertising professionals have announced the formation of The A Pledge, an alliance advocating for a more diverse and inclusive workforce within the advertising and marketing industry. The A Pledge is calling for creative agencies across Atlanta to sign a pledge committing to matching the diversity of their team to that of the city by 2023. 

“Systemic racism is prevalent in every facet of our society. It is our belief that the most effective way to fight for racial equity is to harness the power of a community - in our case the advertising and marketing industry in Atlanta - to create what we’re calling systemic opportunity. Only through harnessing the collective passion, energy, and resources of Atlanta’s agencies and brand partners, and through actionable, measurable, and public accountability, will we make significant progress toward our goal,” says Jeff Hilimire, CEO of Dragon Army, and co-founder and Board Chair of The A Pledge.

Demographic studies show that in 2020, Atlanta’s population was 62% People of Color and 38% White. Leaders of The A Pledge believe that in order to create a path for systemic opportunity for marginalized groups within the marketing and advertising industry, industry professionals must come together and commit to measurable goals.

The A Pledge founding board includes industry leaders whose purpose is to contribute to the eradication of systemic racism in society. Sitting on the board is:

Brandon Butler of Butter.ATL

Darryl Cobbin of Brand Positioning Doctors

Adam Harrell of Nebo

Jeff Hilimire of Dragon Army

Katie Kern of Media Frenzy Global

Mike Popowski of Dagger

Melissa Proctor of the Atlanta Hawks

Kyle Stapleton of WarnerMedia

Kimberly Strong of The A Pledge

Shannon Watkins of Aflac

“I'm so honored to be leading The A Pledge and working with such incredible leaders. Atlanta is, and always has been, at the epicenter of global conversations about race, politics, and community. Through the early support of partners like Coca-Cola and Mailchimp, we have high hopes that The A Pledge can influence our city, and our nation, toward recognizing where we fail systemically, and where we can all thrive culturally and benefit economically.”

Member agencies and brands will develop a city-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion plan with concrete actions that are specific to the Atlanta marketing and advertising community. Each participating agency will be responsible for creating their own company-specific strategies and plans, as well as reporting their internal demographic data. 

For more information on The A Pledge, visit, follow @theAPledge on Twitter, and The A Pledge on Instagram and LinkedIn. To request a board member for a speaking opportunity, email [email protected].