AIMM’s Davila and Arsuaga to be Inducted into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors (Video)

By Legends & Leadership Archives
Cover image for  article: AIMM’s Davila and Arsuaga to be Inducted into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors (Video)

In just about every leading consumer category, 80% of the growth is coming from multicultural and diverse groups. "Imagine that," exclaimed Gilbert Davila, co-founder of ANA’s Alliance of Multicultural Marketing (AIMM). "As a marketer, you almost have no choice but to be intentional in your [multicultural] efforts, and we're in a position to be able to help those companies that want to attain growth." AIMM co-founder Lisette Arsuaga added, in our important Legends & Leadership conversation, "What's interesting is that for a while we felt that the industry was indeed moving in the right direction, and unfortunately in the last year or so, I think the promises and pledges that were made in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, and the incremental investments that were made, both internally with DEIB executives and externally with messaging to the industry, are being forgotten.


"We are seeing a minimization of efforts and going back to old ways, and what we want to do with AIMM is make sure that folks don't forget their promises and companies don't forget that it's not only about the right thing to do, but also about the smart thing to do," she adds. "By investing in and prioritizing diverse segments, companies will indeed maximize their growth."

Congratulations to Gilbert, Lisette and AIMM on their induction into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors, joining 35 previous inductees. Gilbert, Lisette and their colleagues across the industry are gathering to reaffirm their commitment to DEIB leadership on April 11 at Hall des Lumieres in NYC. To join in recognizing the sixteen 2024 Hall of Honors inductees visit

I asked Davila and Arsuaga about the recent societal challenges and "loud political voices" that are concerning marketers who may want to be more proactive in their multicultural messaging. Davila suggests that "what's important is that every brand finds their way in terms of their authenticity and their purpose-driven approaches. If a brand has the authority and authenticity, I think ultimately any backlash will be far overshadowed by their success."

Arsuaga adds, "I do think that the silence that we're seeing and hearing right now is empowering those loud voices that you're talking about, and that is unfortunate."

In our conversation, Lisette and Gilbert share important new statistics on the current inequity of investments by marketers in diverse owned-and-operated media, the industry-wide responsibility to attract and retain diverse talent, the importance of recalibrating how brands understand and invest in both media and creative messaging, AIMM’s cultural inclusion accelerator, and AIMM’s essential role of informing the industry. "What marketers have to be willing to do as we move forward is, number one, become informed," says Davila. "Every marketer should ensure that every member of their team is well versed and feels like they have skin in the game, and that they have accountability."

Arsuaga asks brand marketers and the industry to simply continue moving forward. "It's about progress, not about perfection, right?"

View our full Legends & Leadership conversation here and above.

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