As organizations across the country continue to pivot during the pandemic, ADCOLOR opted to present its annual conference virtually last month complete with celebrity speakers, musical performances, multiple stages, interactive rooms, and an awards show.
According to a news release, over 100,000 people in 50 countries attended the three-day virtual experience from Sept. 8 – 10 titled ADCOLOR Everywhere, while 8,300 people signed up to become members of the online community. During the event, high-profile entertainers, executives, entrepreneurs, and change agents addressed the need for more inclusion in the ad and media industry. Speakers included actress and entrepreneur Gabrielle Union, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, African American Policy Forum Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw, Bishop T.D. Jakes, activist Tamika Mallory, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy, Valeisha Butterfield Jones. Other speakers included “The Breakfast Club” radio show host Angela Yee and Color of Change president Rashad Robinson who moderated a one-on-one conversation with Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza.
During the 14th Annual ADCOLOR Awards, Garza and her BLM co-founders, Patrissee Cullors and Opal Tometi, received the Adcolor Beacon Award for their social justice work. Mastercard was honored with the biggest award of the event, Ad of The Year, for its True Name ad, which highlighted discrimination against transgender and gender-nonbinary people and their names on credit cards. The ceremony also featured performances by Anthony Hamilton, MAJOR, and Wyclef Jean, who streamed live from the legendary Apollo Theater.
ADCOLOR, which presents the industry’s largest diversity and inclusion conference, was created in 2005 to celebrate and champion professionals of color and diversity within creative industries. It was founded by advertising veteran Tiffany R. Warren, the Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group.
“Our annual gathering is something attendees look forward to each year, and by going virtual, we decided to not only offer the same premier experience, but to maximize it for attendees and really push it to the next level,” said Warren in a press release. “In addition to our staple events, which include the ADCOLOR Conference and Award Show, we wanted to continue to offer additional perks, such as our after party and concert.”
The organization has panels to evolve ADCOLOR Everywhere into a digital community and a premier platform where people can share ideas, network and build online relationships, and launch products and concepts.
Some sessions from the more than 50 hours of content presented during ADCOLOR Everywhere until December 31. To register for ADCOLOR Everywhere, visit Adcoloreverywhere.
Editors’ Note: This article was updated on Oct. 9, 2020, to reflect that over 100,000 people tuned into the ADCOLOR Everywhere virtual conference and that 8,300 became members of the ADCOLOR Everywhere community.