Havas Culture


Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Our colleagues in the UK are currently commemorating Black History Month – and Chanelle Bondswell, People Advisor at Havas Lynx Group has played an instrumental role in putting together a host of fantastic events to mark the month. Hear more from her below!

Can you give us an overview of what is happening for Black History Month at Havas Lynx Group?

This year for Black History Month (BHM) we wanted to have a range of activities that demonstrated not only our creativity as an agency but the importance of what we believe Black History Month to be all about – celebration and education!

We started with launching our BHM Intranet page and posting employee spotlights from our Black employees and allies. Employees shared their personal experiences and the challenges they’ve faced and highlighted the amazing elements of Black culture. We also posted links to local Black owned businesses and highlighted influential creatives in Manchester and London.

The first activity was a lunch and paint session with Tina Ramos Ekongo. Tina is a visual artist, illustrator, and cultural integration workshop facilitator who guided participants to sketch and paint American civil rights activist, Coretta Scott King. Our second event was delivered by Counsellor and Psychotherapist Angela Eastmond who led a wellbeing lunch and discussion session where attendees talked about how diversity can impact mental health.

Finally, we will be holding a BHM celebration day on 20th October where we will have a Caribbean buffet for lunch, a presentation from the creators of the Melanin Markets in the afternoon and finish off the day with the markets bringing six incredible stalls to our Lynx offices!

What are the goals of the programming you’ve set up for next month?

The goal for our activities this month is to continue to raise awareness, generate conversation, and educate people about Black history and culture. There are still new things every day that I learn about being Black, so I want people to know that the willingness to listen and learn really is the key to not only a successful month but a brighter future for Black people – which will always be the goal.  

As a company, we also want to make sure that our employees feel comfortable celebrating Black culture and for people to engage in conversations that may be new to them. For example, discussing how mental health affects cultures differently isn’t your everyday conversation starter – but is still an incredibly important conversation to be had. Even if just one employee takes something away from that discussion, that’s a goal met for us!  

How did you design the events? Did you work with external partners?

My initial ideas were to design activities that I would want to take part in myself as a Black employee. I usually find with BHM events – whether in the workplace or in the media – very ‘generic’ and are quite often obviously not developed by a Black person. Therefore, I wanted the events to really have central input from the Black community, but also wanted all events to be inclusive for all cultures to take part in. For example, the input we had from Kelly and Bianca for the markets was a vital part of ensuring Black culture is apparent during the celebration day.  

Can you talk about how all the different elements of your programming work together?

The theme for BHM this year is Time for Change: Actions not Words and I truly believe that the different initiatives that we’ve put together represent the overall theme.

Whether it’s highlighting local Black owned businesses to showcase Black entrepreneurs or creating Introducing Influence posters to raise the profiles of Black creatives and scientists, this all goes hand in hand to actively celebrate and educate people around the work, culture, and achievements of Black people today.

I also think that the different elements of the month acknowledge and celebrate Black history and influence, whilst looking to the future and making sure that we make positive steps going forward. For example, our spotlights not only highlight the challenges our employees have faced but also share tips, especially from our allies, on how to continue being supportive of Black people. 

How can people get involved with the events that are happening throughout the month?

Our employees can get involved throughout the month by checking out our Intranet page for all details of upcoming events. We’ve also been sending out regular emails to highlight anything coming up for people to get involved in.

Anyone outside of Lynx can look on our Instagram and LinkedIn to see what is going on throughout the month. We’ll be sharing content on Instagram throughout our celebration day, so everyone can see what we’re getting up to!

Anything we didn’t ask that you’d like to mention?

BHM is so important to me for a whole host of different reasons, so I’d just like to say a HUGE thank you to Havas Lynx Group for allowing me to bring these ideas to life. A special thank you to the Brand team, Artworkers and the People team for helping create all the amazing activities and ensuring that BHM gets the attention that it deserves – such an amazing team effort so thank you!

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