Exclusive: Black Lives Matter Founders to Be Honored at Adcolor Awards

BLM to receive Beacon Award on Sept. 10, along with 2020 Adcolor honorees

The 2020 honorees of the Adcolor awards are here, and Adweek has an exclusive first look. Since 2007, the Adcolor awards have celebrated the best and brightest diversity champions and professionals of color in the creative industries, and this year, there’s more to celebrate than ever.

In partnership with Adweek, Adcolor will be honoring the founders of Black Lives Matter with the 2020 Beacon Award. The award honors individuals who use their considerable platform to change the status quo in the quest for diversity, equity and inclusion, and a full feature on this year’s Beacon Award winners will appear in Adweek’s Aug. 31 issue.

“We are honored to present the second annual Beacon Award to Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, the founders of Black Lives Matter,” said Lisa Granatstein, Adweek’s editor and svp of programming. “This is truly the year of BLM. We are blown away by how this remarkable group has transcended its early beginnings as a grassroots organization and become one of the most powerful political and cultural movements in U.S. history.”

Adweek partners with Adcolor on multiple initiatives in addition to the Beacon Award the publisher launched in 2019 with Eva Longoria as its first honoree. Adcolor founder and president Tiffany R. Warren also sits on Adweek’s D&I Council, and the publisher partners with the organization on the annual Champions list of diversity and inclusion leaders.

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and Adcolor also teamed up this year to create a new award category: the Creative to Watch Award. This award honors a creative of color whose career in its early stages demonstrates a vision and commitment to diverse and inclusive stories that reset and disrupt the industry across multiple platforms.

The first-ever recipient of the Creative to Watch Award will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the Adcolor awards, the organization announced its 2020 class of Adcolor Futures on Tuesday. Building on the motto of “Rise Up, Reach Back,” the Adcolor Futures program identifies and nurtures the next generation of leaders who have one to three years of experience in their industry. The program provides training, mentorship and empowerment to young professionals with the goal of supporting the talent of tomorrow.

Adcolor’s 2020 conference and awards ceremony, dubbed Adcolor Everywhere, takes place online Sept. 8-10. Registration for Adcolor Everywhere will open on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at adcoloreverywhere.virtualeventsite.com.

“While we can’t gather anywhere physically this year, going virtual allows everyone everywhere to be a part of the 2020 event,” Warren said. “With Adcolor Everywhere, we are reimagining how our industry does online events and aim to provide the same energy and premier experience we typically have in-person. It’s shaping up to be something truly memorable, as is evident from the outstanding list of nominees, honorees and Futures announced today.”

The host for this year’s Adcolor conference is independent TV correspondent Dana Blair, a veteran of CNN, BET, People and more. The Adcolor awards ceremony on Sept. 10 will be hosted by comedian Aida Rodriguez, host of the Dash Radio show Truth Serum and a veteran of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

The full list of 2020 Adcolor award winners is below.

Beacon Award presented by Adweek

  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder and strategic advisor, Black Lives Matter
  • Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter
  • Opal Tometi, co-founder, Black Lives Matter

Legend Awards

  • Soon Mee Kim, evp, global diversity, equity & inclusion leader, Porter Novelli
  • Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president, entertainment diversity, inclusion & communications, CBS Entertainment
  • Alvin Bowles, vp, global marketing partnerships, Facebook

Catalyst Awards

  • Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief diversity & inclusion officer, The Recording Academy
  • ColorComm, Inc., Women of Color in Communications

Advocate Awards

  • Damon Jones, chief communications officer, Proctor & Gamble
  • Don Lemon, anchor, CNN

Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experience officer, Publicis Groupe
  • Warrington Huddlin, founding president, Black Filmmaker Foundation

Adcolor |One Club Creative Awards

  • Ivellisse Morales, founder and CEO, bombilla
  • Soham Chatterjee, senior creative copywriter, Leo Burnett


  • Bryan Stromer, founder and co-lead, disability in marketing, Microsoft


  • Deborah Renteria, manager, multicultural marketing, HBO


  • Amala Okpala, partner manager, Facebook
  • Amera-Rime Lulu, art director, Red Fuse (VMLY&R)
  • Anthony Santa Maria, senior associate of communications and marketing
  • Anthony Williams, brand executive, Wieden + Kennedy
  • Chanel James, graphic designer, EAB
  • Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt, director of public relations and marketing, Black Womxn United
  • Chizita Biosah, search product specialist, Google
  • Christiana Burnett, media planner/buyer, Bader Rutter
  • Clara Lu, graphic designer, Zeta Global
  • Esther Ladipo, agency partner manager, Facebook
  • Folasade Ade-Banjo, global product marketing manager, Google
  • Jeremy Wood, marketing coordinator, McGarrah Jessee
  • Karlie Thornton, junior art director, Fluent360
  • Kevin Ma, strategist, BBH
  • Lauren Nicholson, product marketing manager, Microsoft
  • Leneil Roderique, creative, Vice Media
  • Logan Nelson, marketing specialist, Truth Initiative
  • Madison Li, marketing strategy, NBCUniversal
  • Meghan Onserio, associate product marketing manager, Google
  • Nehemiah Bishop, partner manager, Facebook
  • Phelicia Ball, marketing strategist, Mightily
  • Rachita Vasan, strategist, Leo Burnett
  • Sahara Gipson, content strategist, Forbes Media
  • Shahrazad Hired, communications associate, The Wilson Center
  • Sonya Bessalel, assistant account executive, GMMB
  • Yessenia Downs, copywriter, FCB Chicago
  • Zanah Thirus, content producer, Havas Annex
  • Zuha Khan, senior media planner, Trilogy Interactive