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Honoring Black History Month - The Story of HUE

Co-leads Ernest Quarles and Antonio Newsom share the story of forming our Black Business Resource Group, HUE. With several chapters globally, HUE supports the unique issues and challenges facing our Black team members.

Ernest Quarles Antonio Newsom
Ernest Quarles Antonio Newsom

 

Why did you join Publicis Sapient (PS)? How long have you been here? What is your role today?

  • Ernest: I learned about Publicis Sapient from my time at a sister company. I would see PS in competitions and wanted to be a part of their great reputation in Technology. I’ve been here for 9 years now, leading large technology engagements, with a current focus on the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. I’m also the Technology Lead in our Atlanta office.
  • Antonio: I am a Manager of Data Science & Analytics and I’ve been here for 4 years. I was at a large home improvement company for 5 years prior and decided joining Publicis Sapient would allow me to broaden my experience across multiple sectors.

 

How has PS supported your career journey so far?

  • Antonio: The ability to learn from others. We work with a lot of smart people.
  • Ernest: From a technology standpoint, there is always a desire to push the envelope and explore new technologies – something I’m passionate about to stay relevant in my career and for our clients. Also, the variety of work and breadth of possible engagements; I’ve had the opportunity to work on several strong brands and lead global teams and initiatives.

 

What makes you proud to work here?

  • Antonio: We have found our story and our voice in Digital Business Transformation (DBT).
  • Ernest: Our commitment to excellence.

 

You were instrumental in launching the HUE Business Resource Group (BRG) - please introduce the community, what it does, and tell us what made you decide to pursue launching it?

  • Ernest: The initial formation of the group wasn’t a BRG, it was a support mechanism for people of color back in 2016 when there was an alarming number of Black men being killed in high profile police shootings. As part of the Black community in my office, I felt it was important to build support and connection inside the workplace. We wanted to acknowledge what was happening and bring visibility to the effect it had on our community. My kids could have been a victim. So, it was personal to me. There was no formal organization in support of Black employees, so after a few months of meeting Adhoc, we approached the leadership team and requested to formalize the group into a BRG. It was received positively and that was the inflection point of when it changed from a support group to an official BRG – which led to budget, branding, a name, and greater support. HUE instantly went national, and soon enough global. It was evident there was a need and I’m glad we could fill the void for so many.
  • Antonio: Ernest recruited me to co-lead after our co-founder left the organization. My main role as co-lead is managing the communications, our events, and seeking feedback and ideas.

 

"As part of the Black community in my office, I felt it was important to build support and connection inside the workplace."

 

What does being a member of HUE mean to you?

  • Antonio: It reminds me of being part of my university’s Black Student Union. The purpose of the group was to provide a smaller and more relatable community within our large college. That’s what HUE has done for me here at PS. As Black people, we don’t typically have the built-in network, or support, that the majority population does. When you work for a large company, groups like this provide an instant network of people to turn to so you don’t feel like you’re alone.
  • Ernest: There is a certain amount of pride that I have from starting HUE and that it’s serving a real need. It’s evident – with the violence that still occurs and the resulting responses around the world – that there is a lot of work to be done, and we need to do it together. Black people can’t do it themselves and white people can’t do it themselves. Everyone has to be part of the solution.

 

Your favorite or most impactful moment with HUE so far?

  • Ernest: I was involved in developing the first version of the Make Some Room Workshop, our unconscious bias experiential workshop we created in-house. That was a proud moment. I was proud of us and proud of the company for rolling it out.
  • Antonio: When COVID hit. There was so much uncertainty and it scared a lot of us. We banded together as HUE to provide a backbone of support and solidified the bond we have.

 

Your favorite thing about life at Publicis Sapient?

  • Antonio: The comradery.
  • Ernest: I agree; the sense of community, and even while working from home, we are doing the best we can.

 

Meet Other HUE Members

HUE Member Spotlight – Adrienne Graham

HUE Member Spotlight – Tanya Dacres

 

Ernest Quarles
Ernest Quarles
Senior Director, Technology
Ernest has been with Publicis Sapient for over 7 years. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, but now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and Georgia Tech. When he is not doing engineering work, he can be found playing guitar and singing at local venues around Atlanta and performing at international Jazz festivals during the summer months.
Antonio Newsom
Antonio Newsom
Manager of Data Science & Analytics
Antonio is a self-proclaimed introvert by nature. A fun time for him would be a nice night at the theater or dinner with friends. He enjoys reading and studying Socioeconomics topics and thinking about global issues.

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