Nicolet Gatewood, Executive Director at BLAC


In episode 143, Erik and Kerel talk with Nicolet Gatewood, Executive Director at BLAC (Building Leaders and Creators).

Episode notes

In episode 143, Erik and Kerel talk with Nicolet Gatewood, Executive Director at BLAC (Building Leaders and Creators), a twelve-week, paid internship for creative thinkers that takes place at independent ad agencies across the country. Nicolet was born in Boston, but grew up in many different places after her parents split. Her mom, who is white, moved to Arizona and her dad, who is black, took Nicolet on the road a lot as he was a touring musician, based in Brooklyn. Growing up biracial, seeing a lot of diversity, and also a lot of racism, fueled Nicolet’s passion to pursue Black Studies in college. She went on to work in cultural equity for a decade and stepped into the advertising space just a few years ago.

Nicolet shares the tremendous work that’s going on at BLAC, the opportunities that are opening up for the interns in the program and agencies in getting such needed and available talent. She has realized that what she learns and gains from the interns is just as important as what she’s teaching them. And she opens up about the impact her parents have made in her life from showing her what hard work looks like to having the confidence and audacity to lead a life based on passion, as well as her many, countless mentors she’s had throughout her life.

“If you're able to attract young, diverse talent, but you're losing them within three years, it's not a problem of the talent, it's a problem of your organization. How are you supporting them, investing in them, allowing them to grow? Is it equitable and fair? These are systems. You have to transform your systems. And most importantly, the way to affect real change, as we all know, is leadership.”


Nicolet Gatewood on LinkedIn

BLAC's participating agencies

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