16th Annual ADCOLOR Awards: Recognizing Those Who Rise Up and Reach Back

We’re Still Rising

By Tiffany R. Warren, Founder and President, ADCOLOR

After Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic appointment to the Supreme Court, she gave an inspiring speech in which she quoted Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise,” a powerful piece on the strength and perseverance of the human spirit.

It was an impactful moment for me and many in the ADCOLOR community. The past few years have truly been a time of uncertainty and difficulty. But despite impossible challenges and obstacles, we have banded together and continued to make prominent strides in advancing social justice, inclusivity and belonging.

Our theme for this year’s conference, “Still Rising,” celebrates the resilience of underrepresented communities. It’s a rallying call, a verbal manifestation of our persistence, even in the face of ongoing injustices. It shows our fight and struggle, and the messy road we’ve taken to get to where we are—and is a defiant promise that we will continue to rise.

For the past 16 years, I have been so proud to see the ADCOLOR community continue to reaffirm our mission of rising up and reaching back. Diversity, equity, inclusion and justice have become more integral in our industries than ever before, and our 2022 honorees and nominees have used their platforms to go above and beyond in creating positive change.

As we return to our first, fully in-person event in two years, ADCOLOR 2022 is a way for us to honor the moments that have provided the tools and inspiration to build a better, more inclusive future. One where we all rise together.


Lifetime Achievement

Louis Carr, President of Media Sales, BET Networks

There’s a reason why people think about Carr when they think about BET’s impact—he’s been with the network for 36 years and has headed media sales for 21. Through the Louis Carr Internship Foundation, he’s helped improve diversity in corporate America with 200 paid internships and 62 alumni securing full-time jobs in the industry.

Aaron Walton, CEO, Walton Isaacson

In 2005, Walton, Cory Isaacson and Magic Johnson came together to create the eponymous agency that constantly challenges conventions. It continues to use diversity as an engine for innovation for greater creativity and better business results.

Raúl Alarcón, CEO, Chairman, Spanish Broadcasting Systems

The media mogul started SBS with his father (who had owned and operated radio stations in his native Cuba) in 1983. Since then, he’s created a national network that includes radio, TV and digital properties, as well as a unit that produces live entertainment.


Neal Arthur, CEO, Wieden+Kennedy

Arthur oversees the business side of the creative powerhouse that had its best year on record in 2021. He’s also chair of Ghetto Film School, forming a decade-long relationship between Wieden and the organization that educates and develops the next generation of great American storytellers. 

Jill Kelly, U.S. CEO, EssenceMediaCom

The longtime agency exec has a new challenge ahead of her as she takes over the largest market of the new merged GroupM agency. Kelly is also on the ColorComm board and former operating board chair of She Runs It.

Shawn Martinbrough, Artist & Author

A 2021 Eisner Award nominee for Prometheus 13:13, Martinbrough literally wrote the book on “How to Draw Noir Comics” and has penned adventures for Batman, Luke Cage, The Black Panther and more. Catch his TedTalk, “How I change perceptions by drawing comics.”

ADCOLOR in Music Artist of the Year

Robert Glasper, Grammy Award-Winning Producer and Musician

Glasper embodies the Black music experience from Dolphy to J Dilla, Mingus to Mos Def. A true musical multi-hyphenate, the pianist is as compelling in a jazz trio as he is with artists like Bilal, Lalah Hathaway or Kendrick Lamar. An artist at the heart of a moment and a movement, he is a champion of Black music, Black people and the possibility of a better future.


Alana Mayo, President, Orion Pictures

In 2020, Orion relaunched with Mayo at the helm to focus exclusively on underrepresented filmmakers. As she told The New York Times: “As a person who is a woman and Black and queer, I want to create something that will hopefully make other people like me feel like they are finally a part of the Hollywood system.” 

Leanne Pittsford, CEO & Founder, Lesbians Who Tech & Allies

Pittsford believes that economic power is the driving force for cultural and societal change. She founded Lesbians Who Tech, whose 40,000 members and 40+ city chapters make it the largest LGBTQ+ community of technologists in the world.

Beacon Award

Issa Rae, Writer, Producer, Actress & Entrepreneur

Rae has mastered the art of relatable storytelling through an inclusive lens. Check out the the full interview with the Beacon Award winner.


Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon

As Scotti led the transformation of Verizon into a purpose-led technology and experience brand, he has also been an activist for DEI. He founded adfellows—a marketing training program for diverse talent—with a goal of placing 90% of fellows in full-time jobs.

Oriel Davis-Lyons, Founder, ONE School

A one-time chef, Lyons has won countless awards for his work on multinational brands. He founded the ONE School, a free online portfolio program for aspiring Black creatives. And he still had the bandwidth to start work-from-home merch brand Corpleisure.

Marvin Chow, VP, Global Marketing, Google

Widely recognized for his contributions in marketing and DEI, Chow is a leading voice for a new approach to cause marketing that engages with societal issues in a sincere and impactful manner. He serves on Google’s Asian Leadership Group and as executive sponsor of Asians in Marketing.

ADCOLOR | One Club Creative

Kinney Edwards, Global Head of Creative Lab, TikTok

For Edwards, creative work, regardless of the medium, requires an emotional soul. At TikTok’s in-house agency, he brings that belief to experiences that inspire, educate and unlock possibilities of the content platform for marketers.

Rony Castor & Anthony O’Neill, Creative Directors, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Partners for over a decade, Castor and O’Neil drive campaigns for top brands like BMW, Pepsi, Kraft/Heinz and their beloved Golden State Warriors. Their acclaimed “Not a Gun” campaign raised awareness of unconscious bias against people of color.


Ad of the Year

“In The Spotlight”

Client: SAY (The Stuttering Association for the Young) 

Agency: BBDO New York

“Teenage Dream”

Client: Sandy Hook Promise

Agency: BBDO New York

“The Hug Project”

Client: Cox Communications

Agency: FCB Chicago

“Unbox Me”

Client: UNAIDS

Agency: FCB Chicago, FCB India and Kinnect

“The Myth”

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

DEI Executive of the Year

Jason Rosario, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, BBDO Worldwide

A believer in removing stigmas through storytelling, Rosario’s projects like the web series Dear Men seek to redefine modern masculinity.

Kai Deveraux Lawson, SVP, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, dentsu Creative

A champion of gender parity and BIPOC representation, Deveraux led brand inclusivity for 11 years while sharing her experience as a millennial woman of color.

Jeff Marshall, Chief Diversity Officer, Head of Diversity, Equity & Belonging, UM Worldwide

A 22-year advertising vet, Marshall spearheaded Breaking Media, a certificate program to educate BIPOC students about the industry and to encourage them to join.


Annie Jean-Baptiste, Director, Product Inclusion & Equity, Google

Baptiste’s book, Building for Everyone, shows people how to expand their market by using design practices from Google’s Product Inclusion team.

Shadi Nayyer, Head of Community, North America, TikTok

Nayyer has a passion for empowering women in tech and serves as a mentor and speaker for the TechWomen program run by the U.S. State Department.

Maria Teresa Hernandez, VP Brand Partnerships, Mirriad

Responsible for virtual brand placement, Hernandez also leads the entertainment tech firm’s growing Multicultural Marketplace that connects brands to diverse content and creators.

ADCOLOR Influencer

Tony Weaver, Jr., Founder, Weird Enough Productions

Through his national nonprofit, Weaver uses award-winning comic books to improve social emotional wellness, impacting 2.5 million students.

Claudine James, Educational Content Creator, TikTok

Dedicated to creating and nurturing lifelong learners, James is an esteemed public speaker and was named the No. 1 TikTok educational follow.

Renee Reid, Senior Manager, User Experience Research – Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn; Host of Tech Wrap Queen Podcast

A respected activist for representation and change, Reid hosts the popular Tech Wrap Queen podcast that amplifies Black voices industry-wide.

Change Agent

Cass Cruz, Senior Brand and Integrated Marketing Strategy Manager, Bose Corporation

An unwavering equity warrior, Cruz is transforming the Bose brand to make inclusive connections with consumers through sound and music.

Trishna Shah, Director, Recruitment & People Experience, Big Spaceship

Shah defines herself as a helper. As a talent acquisition and management specialist, she ensures all colleagues are heard and supported.

Mira Kaddoura, Founder, Red & Co.

An Arab immigrant, artist, founder and parent, Kaddoura’s projects redefine cultural assumptions around myriad topics from feminism to parenting.

Rising Star

Rosalina Jowers, Director of Communications & Marketing, Participant

Award-winning Participant produces “entertainment that inspires” and Jowers’s campaigns for films like the just-released Descendant live at the intersection of art and activism.

Isioma Odita, Sr. Account Manager, Twitter

When not helping SMBs launch campaigns on Twitter, Odita leads her department’s Black-owned business initiative.

Mariam Dabboussi, Product Marketing Manager, Google

Dabboussi developed and led the creation of Google Assistant’s emotional wellbeing responses in Arabic—now being scaled to more than 33 languages.


Devin Baker, Global Creative Director, 72andSunny

Going from homeless to Emmy-nominated, Baker’s drive and culture-first approach has served him throughout his career in film, TV and advertising.

Tiffany Golden, Director of Community Partnerships, Wieden+Kennedy

For Golden, “partnership” goes beyond the global brands she works with and extends to helping others rise up in the creative industry.

Danielle Cornejo Calhoun, VP, Inclusive Practices, Weber Shandwick

Calhoun develops strategies to promote DEI through talent acquisition and founded business groups that support underrepresented workers.


Filippia Iboko, Director, Roundel Partner Strategy, Roundel

Iboko develops multicultural go-to-market strategies. As part of Target’s commitment to DEI, Roundel is awarding $25 million in media to BIPOC brands.

Kamala Avila-Salmon, Head of Inclusive Content, Lionsgate

Not only is Avila-Salmon the studio’s first head of inclusive content, she also hosts the podcast From Woke to Work: The Anti-Racist Journey.

Shaheed Peera, Global Executive Creative Partner, IPG Health

As founder of The Creative Floor Awards, Peera raises capital to help those from under-represented backgrounds break into advertising.

Most Valuable Partnership

Google & WNBA

Only 4% of sports coverage celebrates women, and Google and the WNBA aim to fix that by increasing representation of women in front of and behind the scenes.

Hologic & Cheryl Overton Communications

To highlight women’s health issues, medical tech company Hologic worked with Cheryl Overton Communications to launch its first-ever Super Bowl ad, starring Mary J. Blige.

TBWA\Chiat\ Day New York & Family Equality

The film “Love, Lawyers and The Government” answers the age-old question “where do babies come from?” by telling a new version from the eyes of an LGBTQ+ couple.