Andre Banks, Founder
Why us, why now.
In 20 years I've had many titles, but really only one job: a campaigner. Here's how I define it and why I wear it like a badge of honor: a campaigner narrates the relationship between people, power, justice and change. Telling the story is the job and the job is making the story worth telling.
I love this work and it has brought me into relationship with some of the most brilliant minds of our generation, the disrupters and innovators who are leading the fight against injustice today while keeping a clear-eyed vision for a where we should be tomorrow. I'm proud to have stayed in the company of those who have forced conversations around our identities and our economy, power and privilege from the margins to the mainstream. But I have also seen those same leaders struggle again and again to break through the noise, the lies, and the narratives that tell us that some people must be left behind for others to get ahead, and that change is just a slogan not something we have to fight for. And when these leaders are Black, like me, when they are women, like my business partner, when they didn't attend an elite college, or are people of color, young or have ideas that rock the boat, finding the support to tell the stories that truly subvert the status quo gets even harder.
That's why I started A/B. We are joining a professional communications industry that, for far too long, has focused on expanding the influence of the powerful while systematically excluding diverse voices. At A/B we are writing a new story. Our team is racially and gender diverse at every level, from entry level to ownership; we are bringing the best-in-class creative strategies usually reserved for the private sector side by side with deep experience in social movements and ventures; and we are building a team that can help a new generation of leaders win the debate on their terms. We are here to find new ways into the headlines and to move people toward the values that will accelerate transformative shifts in policy and human understanding.
We do this by understanding the two sides of every story: A and B. The A story is the story we can see, the news cycle we can influence. The B story is mostly invisible, but powerful. It’s driven by the unwritten rules and power dynamics that shape people’s beliefs, behaviors and values. Social and political change requires us to tackle both stories, to win the conversation but also to focus it on promoting new values and attacking the silent assumption that who we are should dictate our ability to live up to our full potential.
We're open for business. And we're here to help.
Andre for the team at A/B