Opportunities to build experience in the workplace are not easy to come by. Whenever the playing field levels through technology or culture, the gatekeepers tend to find a way to default to those that they’ve always trusted.
This constant uphill path experience keeps Black and Brown talent out of contention for the roles that most people don’t consider. Say what you will about Tyler Perry’s work, but the workers behind the scenes are getting the chance to develop their skills and earn a living at the same time.
Jon Lopez saw that dismal representation of folks of color behind the scenes when he found his way onto NBA sidelines. The level of talent is as undeniable as the level of diversity is unquestionable. The number hurdles that Black & Brown creatives must clear to find themselves next Jon is difficult to fathom, but he understood that his rise started with opportunities to handle real equipment in real situations.
Through And Them and their client list — a combination of big and small businesses — Jon is able to create highly technical opportunities on low risk projects in order to prepare his teams for higher stakes projects. One day he’s shooting at a local restaurant or community center and the next day he’s capturing future NBA stars or building scenes for Hypebeast.
Jon is thankful for the opportunities that have been provided for him as he built his professional skills — those skills he continues to grow daily — but he’s being more intentional about building better commercial and editorial content through chemistry in front of AND behind the lens.