From his early days at Conde Nast, to the adtech world of PubMatic, to his present senior post at AT&T, he’s “always been alone.”  The feeling has been most acute at industry events, which somehow appear “unfamiliar,”explains Kirk McDonald, Chief Business Officer of AT&T’s Xandr unit.*

Fully qualified, he often saw himself as an “imposter” at these gatherings.

I interviewed him this week to get his feelings and outlook during the nation’s upheaval over race.

He spoke with the formation of the I.D.E.A. Initiative as  a”safe space” for people of color to gather – and more recently, to advocate for change in the C-suite and boards of media, tech and marketing companies.

Emotionally exhausted by the present turmoil, he is optimistic about change, although not sure how it will look.   At  AT&T, he is finding an “awakening across leadership.”

*Note:  This recording was made in June.  We have republished today as one of the most important segments from 2020.   Kirk is not longer at Xandr having been named. CEO of GroupM NA  in August.

This video is part of an ongoing Beet.TV series of interviews with men and and women of color, addressing their personal experiences and hopes for essential change addressing racial inequality. Please find additional videos here.