For The People 14 Be Equitable
Pou Auaha / Creative DirectorsAlexis Waller, Jo Roca
Pou Rautaki / Strategic LeadsDamian Borchok, Matt Pearce, Claudia Henderson
Kaituhi Matua / Copywriter LeadsArielle Bodenstein, Mat Groom
Ngā Kaimahi / Team MembersAtsaya Gabiryalpillai, Georgia Urie, Emma Turney, Mabel Tu, Sonia Uznadze
Kaitautoko / ContributorsEdward Ubiera – Illustrator, Tré Seals
Be Equitable (formerly, ‘Cook Ross’) is on a mission to cultivate a more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible world of work. Over the past thirty years, they’ve developed a reputation as leaders in Unconscious Bias Training and provided services to clients like NASA, Nintendo, and Verizon. But during the Black Lives Matter movement, Be Equitable was driven to do more. As a minority owned and operated firm, they knew that centuries of injustice would take more than a session to undo. Guided by a new Afro-Latina CEO, Be Equitable was ready to evolve from a company known for Unconscious Bias Training, to one that helped support systemic organisational change through ongoing partnerships.
With a new name, new leader and a new mission, Be Equitable needed a new way of representing themselves. To encourage businesses to commit to long-term transformations, they needed to accurately convey the complexity of their work and challenge those accustomed to quick fixes. However, it was equally important for Be Equitable’s new identity to inspire clients to take action. Illustration would play a key role in achieving this balance. In an industry often overwhelmed by the problems, illustration became a way to bring positivity and optimism to the space, through visuals that celebrated the outcomes of equity.
Working in collaboration with a local artist, we developed a suite of illustrations that authentically captured the richness and texture of a diverse world. Rather than relying on abstract metaphors or tokenistic images, Be Equitable’s illustrations visualise the human form in new and imaginative ways. With flowers for hair and wheels instead of limbs, the suite celebrates differences, defies stereotypes and redefines the category’s limited view of diversity. Together, they offer a glimpse into a truly equitable future – one where everyone is free to be.
With the suite embedded into a typeable format, the illustrations can be easily implemented by designers and non-designers alike. Their style is distinct yet forgiving in its composition, allowing anyone from Be Equitable’s team to produce instantly recognisable assets. Through their use, Be Equitable celebrates everything our world could be if we work to make it equitable.