How a talent incubator is tackling the diversity gap

Set in the 1950s, the hit TV show Mad Men put a spotlight on issues of diversity and equity in the advertising industry. But even in 2018, there’s much progress to be made. “I didn’t know much about the disparities,” Jay Gould, a senior at Cleveland State University, says. “I just knew that I would put on a suit sometimes, take my résumé, and go knock on doors at advertising firms. But I got the feeling that I could never get in.” That same feeling—the disparity in representation of persons of color in the advertising, marketing, and media industries—prompted Larry Yarrell II and Lincoln Stephens to start up the Marcus Graham Project (MGP) in 2007.

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