15th Annual ADCOLOR Awards: Honoring the DEI Champions Who Go Above and Beyond

It’s Time to Pull Up

By Tiffany R. Warren, Founder and President, ADCOLOR; EVP, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Sony Music Group

2020 challenged us in a unique way, but from the conflicts came hope for resolutions. When social justice issues came to the forefront, we saw a flood of individuals and companies speaking out and committing to positive change.

But now, a year later, we’re left asking: Who kept the same energy? Who among us, even a year later, is still ready to Pull Up?

As the world slowly heals from the pandemic, we can’t overlook the historic wounds caused by empty promises and false starts. And we can’t allow allies to slowly wane on their efforts for equality. It must remain everyone’s priority, because, as our 2021 manifesto says, “Inequality isn’t just our problem. It’s everyone’s problem. And everyone’s responsibility to get humanity to the finish line of equity for all.”

For 15 years, we have honored those who have done just that—who have found solutions, or even better, created them. This year’s class is no different. It is full of doers who are on a constant quest to Rise Up, Reach Back and create positive change; not just for themselves, but for those around them and those who are to come next. The pursuit of equity and inclusion is an unwavering passion; it never takes a day off. And our honorees, nominees and futures go above and beyond to make a difference within their communities and their organizations.

They embody what it means to Pull Up, and I am so proud to introduce them to the Adweek community. On their behalf and on behalf of the ADCOLOR organization, I’ll close with the final line of our manifesto: “If you got us like we got us, now is the time to prove it. Pull Up.”


AAFCA | ADCOLOR Breakout Creative of the Year

Michaela Coel, Actress, Screenwriter, Director, Producer and Singer

Recent Emmy winner and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020, Coel has been wowing audiences and studio executives since she wrote and starred in the BBC’s Chewing Gum sitcom in 2014. A poet from the start, Michaela is now well-known for her role in HBO’s I May Destroy You.


Viola Davis, Actress, Producer

With decades of film, TV and theater experience, Davis is only the G short of an EGOT. But if you’re going to celebrate her acting genius, don’t call Davis the Black Meryl Streep—pay her what she’s worth. Davis is an advocate for women of color in the entertainment industry and is recognized for her support of equal rights for women and women of color.

*AAFCA: African American Film Critics Association

ADCOLOR in Music (Artist)

H.E.R., Grammy Award-Winning Artist

A musical prodigy, H.E.R burst onto the scene in 2018 with Grammy nominations for best new artist and album of the year. Since then, she’s wowed us with her vocal precision and creative production. In her music and public image, she pushes boundaries to create positive change and is setting the stage for generations to come.

Lifetime Achievement                                                                                                               

Antonio Lucio, Principal and Founder, 5S Diversity; Executive Fellow, Yale School of Management

After 40 years as a celebrated marketing leader, Lucio stepped down as CMO at Facebook last year to focus fully on DEI efforts within the industry. He is known for his philosophy of empathetic leadership and for calling on marketing to become “bilingual and bicultural,” building bridges between what companies want to do and where consumers are.

Constance Cannon Frazier, Principal, Cardinal Change Consulting

Described as a sage woman with tenacity and grit, Frazier has spent her career championing diversity and inclusion. During her 17-year tenure at the AAF, Frazier worked to increase corporate support of diversity programs, as well as grow educational programs that opened doors for hundreds of high-potential advertising students of color.

Sylvia Rhone, Chairman and CEO, Epic Records

Known as the godmother of the music industry who has smashed plenty of glass ceilings, Rhone launched the careers and worked with dozens of chart-topping artists. In an effort to break down gender and racial barriers, she helps guide social justice work not only at Epic, but across Sony Music.

Beacon Award

Daniel Dae Kim, Actor, Producer


Robyn Streisand-Luppino, Founder and CEO, The Mixx

Streisand-Luppino is living her purpose to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive. When she’s not helping clients leverage DEI as a business strategy, she makes time to serve as an Adweek mentor, an advisory board member of the Phluid Project and a member of The Global Leaders.


Carla Hassan, CMO, Citi

During a two-decade long marketing career at Toys“R”Us, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s, Hassan has championed inclusion and diversity at every step. Named the first-ever global CMO at Citi, she was recently tapped to lead marketing for JPMorgan Chase, where she will no-doubt continue to push and focus on creating a more inclusive workplace for all.

Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Chief People Officer, Vice Media Group

Whether she is giving a Ted Talk, working on her upcoming book Inclusion Revolution, or leading Vice’s HR division, Auger-Dominguez is on a mission to make the workplace more equitable and inclusive. Before Vice, she founded Dominguez Ventures to create and implement programs that took inclusive workplace culture from theory to practice.

Michelle Lee, Global VP of Editorial and Publishing, Netflix

Lee joined Netflix in 2021 after an inspiring tenure as Allure Magazine’s editor in chief. While at the magazine, she abolished the phrase “anti-aging” and pushed the magazine to modernize and diversify how beauty is talked about. In her new role at Netflix, she focuses on the platform’s social media channel, podcasts and new publication, Queue.

Nancy Reyes, CEO, TBWA\Chiat\Day\NY

Throughout Reyes’s career she has championed diversity and inclusion, most recently as the founder of Circle of Women, an executive coaching program for women on the cusp of leadership. She is also a founding member of Times Up and in her fifth year of establishing a summer internship program for aspiring advertising young people of color.

ADCOLOR | One Club Creative

Juan Carlos Pagan, Founding Partner & Executive Creative Director, Sunday Afternoon

A self-admitted type troll who can’t pick one favorite typeface, Pagan is a prolific multi-disciplinary artist, designer and creative director who finds inspiration in everyday life. With a long list of honors, you’ll know Pagan’s brand identity work for Pinterest, in which he turned the ‘P’ into a map pin.

Courtney Richardson, Creative Director, Droga5

Richardson attributes her beginnings as a young storyteller to watching her uncle direct music videos for Master P, Snoop Dogg, the Wu-Tang Clan and other icons. Passionate about being an advocate for underrepresented creatives of color and female creatives, she strives to be a change agent for diversity across creative industries.


Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

Pritchard doesn’t want to see your ad storyboards if they’re not reflective of the diverse audience P&G serves. And the same goes for meetings, which is why Pritchard also champions the necessity of hiring BIPOC staff and demanding the same of partners within the industry.


Ad of the Year

“A Word”

Client: Asiancy

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

“A CODA Story”

Client: Google

Agency: Google Brand Studio

“Give Life Back”

Client: Reform Alliance

Agency: Droga5

“The Show Must Go On”

Client: Amazon

Agency: Lucky Generals

“You Love Me”

Client: Beats

Agency: Translation

ADCOLOR in Music (Leadership)

Heather Lowery, President & CEO, Femme It Forward

The Live Nation vet launched Femme It Forward in 2019. With all-female lineups, the multi-format series provides a platform for women across the musical spectrum.

Jeff S. Harleston, General Counsel and EVP of Business & Legal Affairs, Universal Music Group

During a decades-long storied career, Harleston has been named to Ebony’s “Power 100” list and recognized as one of the most powerful executives in the music industry.

Phylicia Fant, Head of Urban Music, Columbia Records

Beyond her work in the music industry, Fant is dedicated to opening opportunities for others with projects like the Spelman College Arts and Entertainment Summit.


Brandon Roots, Strategic Media Planner, Facebook

As a self-described dreamer, Roots doesn’t want to just market a product’s story. His goal is to build products that change lives and strengthen communities.

Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups, Google

Solomon launched Collab Capital, an alternative investment fundto close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs.

Stephanie Geno, CMO, Innovid

Not only is Geno Innovid’s first CMO; she also does extensive work to advocate for women leadership in tech and provide financial support for low-income students.

ADCOLOR | TikTok Creator

Carlynn Greene, Journalist Intern, ABC News Live; Content Creator, Scholarship Guru

Through her YouTube and TikTok channels, Greene has helped her followers win over $2 million for higher education, creative and career-advancing opportunities.

Joel Bervell, Medical Student

A student at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Bervell is committed to using his digital platform to fight health disparities in medicine through education.

Jonta’ Harris, Influencer, Content Creator, OHT Studios

Shaking up the fashion world as co-founder of luxury loungewear line, OHT studios, Harris was recently selected for a three-month incubator, TikTok for Black Creatives.

Change Agent

Aubrie Lee, Brand Manager, Naming, Google

Responsible for building spaces for disabled Googlers, Lee fights for a world where disabled people aren’t just accepted—they’re welcomed.

Christine Maggiore-Escribano, SVP, Head of One Platform Marketing, NBCUniversal

An award-winning marketer, Maggiore-Escribano is also founder of BOLD, an initiative that builds opportunities for leadership and diversity at NBCUniversal.

Kevin Brady, Executive Creative Director, Droga5

Brady’s award-winning creative work confronts industry norms and aims to expand advertising’s reach to be more honest, inclusive and memorable.


Florian Koenigsberger, Image Equity Lead, Google

Koenigsberger spent the last five years at Google leading digital marketing and D&I initiatives influencing organizational culture, executive leadership and the bottom line.

Oyinda Elias, Multicultural Lead, TBWA\Chiat\Day\LA

Elias launched TBWA’s multicultural practice in 2020 to ensure insight-driven cultural relevance and inclusion are represented in the agency’s strategic and creative outputs.

Kristen Marston, Chief Impact Officer, The League

Consulting on over 100 TV shows and films and collaborating with companies like Netflix and HBO Max, Marston’s actionable solutions move Hollywood towards real change.

Most Valuable Partnership

WhatsApp & Vote.org

Vote.org and WhatsApp created a chatbot for the 2020 presidential election to help voters get information about registering to vote and voting rules by state.

Edelman & Boris L. Henson Foundation

Actress Taraji P. Henson’s foundation works to combat mental health trauma in the Black community and partners with Edelman to expand the reach of its message.

The One Club for Creativity & The One School

The One Club for Creativity doubled the scope of the One School free portfolio program, introducing 120 new Black creatives into the industry this year. 

Rising Star

Brandon Heard, Senior Strategist, R/GA

When he’s not focused on helping clients make an impact, Heard engages on issues of racism and developing a more humane and informed world.

Briana Patrick, Senior Brand Strategist, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Outside of her 9-5, Patrick hosts the In My Element podcast, which explores the relationship between music and memory.

Jazmin Burrell, Creative Strategist, Snap Inc.

Burrell spearheads the Snapchat Creative Council’s partnership with ADCOLOR to celebrate diverse voices in the creative industry.


Sabrina Lynch, SVP, Taylor Strategy

Passionate about using technology to promote inclusivity, Lynch has worked on notable campaigns, such as P&G’s “Take on Race” and the “Diageo Community Fund.”

Dani Jackson, VP, Influencer & Multicultural Marketing, Edelman

Jackson’s DEI work extends outside the office. She founded The Cre8tors, a network that connects diverse high-level artists with brands and agencies.

Zain Masri, Head of Brand & Reputation, MENA, Google

Masri launched “Maharat min Google,” a digital skills education program to help youth, especially women, gain the skills they needed to thrive in the digital economy.