Thursday, November 26, 2009

7283: Lincoln Stephens Gives Thanks.

Happy belated birthday to Lincoln Stephens and his brainchild, The Marcus Graham Project. Both appear to be moving forward with great momentum, as evidenced by the following message:

A message to all members of The Marcus Graham Project

Exactly one year ago today, November 25 (ironically my birthday), I jumped on a plane to head back to Dallas to get MGP up and running. Man, what a year that it has been. We have been able to launch our pilot program and lab with little resources but great faith. And now, as we proudly announce The Marcus Graham Project as an official Texas-non profit organization, we also are equally proud to announce to you, our supporters and members, our website. On the site, located at you will be able to fully grasp the vision of what we intend for The Marcus Graham Project and our programs. You will also be able to see our strong team of advisory board members who will be instrumental in ensuring that this vision is equipped with the proper provision to successfully run our programs. However the responsibility for securing this provision doesn’t rely solely on their shoulders. It is all of our duty to ensure that we continue to support each other and progress our industry and society forward. The Marcus Graham Project is about all of us, not an individual or a character in a film. It is about seeing a need to make a difference and just making the difference, not talking about it. We all have ownership in this initiative and its success really falls on all of us.

There have been so many that have already contributed their time to bring MGP to fruition, and as we are preparing to give thanks with our family and friends, I wanted to be sure and take out the time to say thank you to those individuals.

I first want to thank my parents Calvin and Sandra Stephens for giving me a place to call home. Thanks for the support, both spiritually & fiscally to bring this dream to life.

Next I want to thank the individuals that I consider to be the founders of this movement. These gentlemen have been there since day one helping me to think about what MGP could and should be. Special Thanks to Benny Walk, Brandon Byrd, Courtney Hill, George Peters, Jamil Buie, Jeffrey Tate, John Casmon, Jon Goff, Kenji Summers, Larry Hancock, Larry Yarrell, Malcolm Gillian, Mike Tresvant, Ralph Lee, Richard Harvey, Rudy Duthil, Wil Murphy and Will Davison.

Next I want to thank the brave & uber talented gentlemen that participated in our pilot program this summer. Without your sacrifice we truly would not be able to call this a true program. Special thanks to you gents:

Wes Medlock
Tre Ford
Quinton Wash
Dominick Shelton
Phred Brown
Gbenga Obafemi

Next to the ladies in MGP, soon to be The Jacqueline Factor, thank you for the consistent encouragement and forward thinking. Your brothers appreciate your support: Carol Watson, Carol Wyatt, Cheeraz Gorman, Tanya Ward, Tiffany R. Warren, Tiffany Griffin, Nicole Oliver, Adora Andy and Morgan Owens

Lastly, I want to thank the agencies, corporations and organizations that have opened up their doors to our program and truly embraced the spirit in which we are moving. I truly look forward to working with all of you again next year.

The Design Factory
Culture Lab Creative
The Mastermind Group
The Richards Group
The Marketing Arm
The City of Dallas
Broccoli City
South Side on Lamar
Newflower Markets
Veev Spirits
Project 7
Rockstar Fitness
Dallas Designing Dreams
Texas Caribbean Foods

Happy Thanksgiving,

Lincoln C. Stephens


Anonymous said...

But kudos to lincoln I expect this program to grow with the "willing support" from ad agencies to go beyond just internships and training.
Many of the so called diversity programs do little besides offer minorities internships and scholarships. We've had programs like mgproject for at least 20 years now. The next big step is developing a pipeline for those with 2 or more years of experience opportunities to move up and get to the mid-senior level and even executive level positions agencies for the most part are not willing to offer. That would be a huge step. I would also like to see more whites become involved in mentoring and showing those of color how to make it at there GM agencies. This cant be a "all black thing", the major problem I have with most diversity programs is it is blacks doing all the heavy lifting while others stay on the sidelines and do really nothing. Those with the power need to be involved in making this program special.

allthesame said...

Sometimes I wonder with this whole diversity thing. Is progress really being made?, or are minorities just rehashing the same old internship methods/techniques with just a different name for another go around year after year.

Same goes for mixers, meetups, awards, parties, forums, etc. Minorities dont realize they've been doing the same things over and over without real Caucasian support.

bootcamps=internships.-plain and simple

And for the record anon, nobody white wants to get involved with diversity because that would taint their reputation. Just google "diversity advertising", the only white faces u might see are arnold rosoff who recently passed away and Dan Weiden who is running a summer camp called caldera, but your right more and more Caucasians for the most part dont care about diversity.

The only way your going to see real industry change is to start taking away clients from agencies or people lose their jobs. For the most part I dont think agencies are on board with diversity, sure they'll hire a asian, women or even hispanic before they even think about bringing on a black guy. What ur dealing with is a embedded system of racism. Plain and simple. Its gonna take more than the MGPROJECT for things to change. You can have a million diversity programs but if the people that control the hiring still have racist attitudes what are you going to do? You can think positive all you want but unless u get the real people of power to change this is still another internship program.