There are many communications agencies that help businesses convey important messaging. However, Humanity Communications Collective goes even deeper. The company focuses specifically on groups and causes that support social justice initiatives and served underrepresented groups. Read about the company’s mission and journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides communications services to historically underserved groups and causes.
CEO Yanira Castro told Small Business Trends, “Humanity Communications Collective is a social justice-driven, strategic communications consulting group. We work with historically under-resourced communities facilitating storytelling and amplification of these stories both digitally and in real life.”
Getting fully involved with clients and their causes.
Castro says, “Due to our team’s diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we are the people our clients are working to reach. I’m a woman of color who understands the critical importance of seeing work through different lenses.
“Additionally, we dig in with our clients and go deep into our relationships with clients. Many communications agencies sit on the sidelines and count on the client to feed them tasks or activities or serve in an ancillary capacity. We’re different: we are fully in the game with our clients, leveraging our strengths and skills to complement theirs.”
How the Business Got Started
After a life-changing trip in 2017.
Castro explains, “After a life-shifting trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I knew there was more I could do to tell stories of those who typically don’t have a voice. I tailored my work towards issues and causes I felt strongly about but could not pursue with vigor while tethered to the corporate world.”
Scoring a victory for a prominent client and crossing a major milestone.
Castro says, “Two wins stood out in 2022. First, one of our clients this year was the Bring Sundiata Acoli Home Alliance. Acoli, 85, had been incarcerated since 1973 and was repeatedly denied parole, violating New Jersey law. Our team dove in and worked to amplify key legal proceedings and tell the story of who Acoli was as a man to the world. In January, a state Supreme Court hearing was held, and in May, we found out he would be granted parole and released. I’ll never forget the moment we found out: we were in a Zoom meeting with our client and everyone burst into tears. Acoli came home a few weeks later and is enjoying his first holidays with his family this year since 1973.
“Second, our business officially became a $1 million in revenue business! Only 4.2% of women-owned businesses reach this milestone, and achieving it in only five years of business is such a sweet victory. The truth is the average earned revenue per women-owned business is $142,900, and only $50,900 for Latina-owned businesses. The disparity, rooted in systemic racism, has not stopped this Afro-Latina woman from thriving!”
Hiring contractors as official employees.
Castro adds, “By hiring full-time employees, I took on the additional responsibility of maintaining people’s livelihood, something I don’t take lightly. It took faith in knowing I could bring in consistent business and keep our clients happy so people could keep their jobs.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Saving and rewarding the team.
Castro says, “Honestly, I would put it aside as a safety net to have a buffer if a client paid an invoice late. Meeting payroll twice a month is my most significant stressor as a service-based business. I would also provide a small bonus to my leadership team.”
Virtual and in-person gatherings.
Castro explains, “We are an entirely remote team that grew the most over the pandemic. To foster relationships and a great culture, we’ve created several ways to keep everyone engaged and connected. We have monthly post-work virtual events, where one team member leads us in something fun, like trivia night.
“We gather in person when we can or tack on extra time to a client visit to ensure we’re creating that time to just be with one another and continue to solidify relationships. In January, for the second time, we will gather for a retreat to map out our goals for the year and continue to build this company together. Social justice work is not for the weak-willed. It requires empathy and unwavering conviction to advance causes, and there are days when the work feels heavy. It’s so important that we have fun, laugh and honor that part of our humanity.”
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
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Image: Humanity Communications Collective, Yanira Castro