ADCOLOR Announces Winners of the 17th Annual ADCOLOR Awards


Presented by Disney, Google | YouTube and Spotify

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — ADCOLOR, the premier organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting diverse communities in the creative industries, today unveiled the winners of the 17th Annual ADCOLOR Awards at its awards show held in Los Angeles, California at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles LA Live. The black-tie event marked the end of the organization’s annual event, ADCOLOR 2023, which also consisted of the ADCOLOR Conference and its two talent programs, the ADCOLOR FUTURES and the ADCOLOR LEADERS.


As part of this year’s ceremony, ADCOLOR honored five newly-appointed agency presidents at AKQA, Wieden+Kennedy New York, Wieden+Kennedy Portland, MullenLowe East and Ogilvy. These leaders received the 2023 ADCOLOR | ADWEEK Beacon Award for using their considerable platforms and leadership positions to change the status quo in the quest for diversity, equity and inclusion.

The organization also honored DJ, rapper, producer, photographer and philanthropist D-Nice as well as an array of industry leaders from brands including McDonald’s, Mastercard and Inuit Mailchimp. Its 2023 winners represented a range of prominent companies including LinkedIn, WhatsApp, The General Insurance and more.

“This year’s winners and honorees embody our 2023 theme, Double Down & Double Up, and what it means to hold the line for diversity, equity and inclusion despite the challenges in our way,” said ADCOLOR Founder and President, Tiffany R. Warren. “We commend their relentless dedication and celebrate how they have contributed to creating more equitable spaces and opportunities within their industries. I look forward to seeing how they continue to RIse Up, Reach Back and advance positive change.”

Since 2007, the ADCOLOR Awards have highlighted and honored the achievements of diverse communities in the creative industries. The awards recognize those who go above and beyond to make a difference and who embody the organization’s mission of “Rise Up, Reach Back.” Those honored not only excel in their own careers but also give back to the creative industries and support their peers through effective campaigns and ongoing initiatives.

Winners for this year’s ADCOLOR Awards were selected by more than 50 elected judges who represented a diverse range of industries, titles, levels and backgrounds. Honorees in non-competitive categories were chosen by ADCOLOR’s highly esteemed Board of Directors and respective partners.

The full roster of ADCOLOR winners and honorees is below:



The Ad of the Year is a single execution or ongoing campaign that pushes boundaries and promotes conversation by highlighting the lives and stories of multicultural, LGBTQ+ and/or other historically excluded groups. The Ad can run on any platform (linear, print, digital, social, etc.), in any format.


Campaign: “The Black Elevation Map”

Client: Black & Abroad

Agency: Performance Art


The ADCOLOR in Tech Award recipient is a champion of diversity and inclusion in the tech industries, from digital platforms to programmers to educators to product innovators. By pushing boundaries and creating positive change, they set the stage for future generations to take the opportunities they develop even further.

WINNER: Ty Heath: Director, The B2B Institute, LinkedIn


The ADCOLOR Influencer builds community and creates change through their creative content and/or strategic planning on social media platforms. By promoting inclusivity and accessibility on their personal platform, they embody innovative means of digital influence that leads to real-life action.

WINNER: Claudine James: Social Media Content Creator – TikTok


The ADCOLOR Change Agent uses their skill and power to enhance corporate culture and creates a more equitable and inclusive environment for everyone connected to it. They call attention to the talents and potential of others around them, putting plans into action that exceed the scope of their professional role.

WINNER: Charity Pourhabib: Brand Manager, Wieden+Kennedy


The ADCOLOR DEI Executive of the Year not only inspires, facilitates and implements progressive change at their own company or organization, their innovation and determination influences the ways others integrate DEI into business models and corporate cultures.

WINNER: Adrianne C. Smith: SVP and Senior Partner – Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, FleishmanHillard


The ADCOLOR Innovator embodies progress and imagination. They stand out among their peers as a game changer when it comes to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. A pioneer in their goals and their strategies, they create breakthrough opportunities for people and organizations.

WINNER: Tray Edwards: Creative, Wieden+Kennedy


The ADCOLOR Most Valuable Partnership (MVP) occurs between people and companies that work together to provide exceptional, highly effective DE&I solutions that impact organizations and industries. The two partners can be agencies, marketers, entertainment and media companies, brands, individuals, non-profits or diverse suppliers with NMSDC or WBENC certification that team up for a short- or long-term project that furthers diversity and inclusion.

WINNER: Translation & WhatsApp


The ADCOLOR Rising Star is an up-and-comer in the creative industries with less than seven years of experience who is under the age of 30. Their brilliance, determination and shining personality makes them stand out as a leader. In their short time of rising up, they are already reaching back.

WINNER: Aarian Forman: Integrated Partnerships & Public Relations Strategist, The General Insurance®


The ADCOLOR Rockstar reveals their brilliance as a visionary leader, through their professional role or their efforts outside it. They have a track record filled with successes, and the potential to accomplish much more. Landing between the Rising Star and the Legend, this individual rocks their own singular path as they encourage others to shine.

WINNER: Kelli Richardson Lawson: CEO, House of JOY and The SonRise Project



The ADCOLOR in Music Award recipient is an artist, creative, executive or technician who champions diversity, equity & inclusion in the music industry. Whether a bold-faced name or a player behind the scenes, they use their voice and power onstage and off to fight for change that reaches beyond the world of music.

HONOREE: D-Nice: DJ, rapper, producer, photographer, and philanthropist

HONOREE: Joi Brown: Founder, CEO, Culture Creators


The ADWEEK | ADCOLOR Beacon award celebrates an executive and/or media creative who is helping to transform and move the culture forward, specifically with regards to diversity and inclusivity, by rising up while reaching back.

HONOREE: Tesa Aragones: President, North America, AKQA

HONOREE: Jiah Choi: President, Wieden+Kennedy New York

HONOREE: Jordan Muse: President, MullenLowe East

HONOREE: Darla Price: President, Ogilvy New York

HONOREE: Jason White: President, Wieden+Kennedy Portland


The ADCOLOR | One Club Creative Award is given to a creative professional from a multicultural background who has demonstrated extraordinary talent and achievement within the media, creative, digital and traditional advertising disciplines. This honor is presented by The One Club for Creativity.

HONOREE: Adam Tillman-Young: Founder, Chief Creative Officer, PASSERINE

HONOREE: Todd Triplett: SVP, Global Executive Creative Director, Known


The ADCOLOR Advocate is an LGBTQ+ a professional in the creative industries who increases awareness of issues that affect members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Their efforts to create progress within the creative industries reverberate into the culture at large.

HONOREE: Sarah Kate Ellis: President & CEO, GLAAD

HONOREE: Shawn Finnie: Entertainment Executive

HONOREE: Raquel Willis: Author, Activist, Media Strategist


The ADCOLOR Catalyst uses their platform to serve as the voice of a cause or community, educating and inspiring current and future generations of advertising, marketing, media, PR and entertainment professionals.

HONOREE: Asians in Advertising

HONOREE: CultureCon

HONOREE: Cheryl Guerin: EVP, Global Brand Strategy & Innovation, Mastercard

HONOREE: Rania Succar: CEO, Intuit Mailchimp | Co-Founder, Jusoor


The ADCOLOR Legend is a seasoned industry veteran, a trailblazer who has pushed boundaries leading to positive and long-lasting change. By opening doors for others – and showing them how to turn around and build their own entryways – they have developed a template for future changemakers to elevate the opportunities they have created.

HONOREE: Tariq Hassan: SVP, Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, McDonald’s USA

HONOREE: Steven Wolfe Pereira: Chief Business Officer, 3Pas Studios

HONOREE: Talitha Watkins: President and Head, ColorCreative Management & Productions


The ADCOLOR Lifetime Achievement Award goes to an industry icon whose longtime professional and personal successes exemplify ADCOLOR’s mission of Rising Up and Reaching Back.

HONOREE: Jerri DeVard: Founder, Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA)

HONOREE: Bernard Drayton: Music Supervision & Production, Last Minute Entertainment

HONOREE: Helen Zia: Author and Activist, Vincent Chin Institute


Mr./Ms./Mx. ADCOLOR are two individuals selected annually who not only carry out the ADCOLOR mission, but can stand in as ambassadors to the ADCOLOR organization. Through their service to the industry and to ADCOLOR, they demonstrate and showcase what it means to truly Rise Up and Reach Back.

Mr. ADCOLOR: Carlin Dixon: Associate Director, DEI Strategy, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York

Ms. ADCOLOR: So A Ryu: Associate Design Director, Energy BBDO


ADCOLOR® is a not-for-profit 501(c) (6) organization whose mission is to celebrate and champion diversity in the creative industries. Our process is twofold. First, we help individuals and organizations RISE UP, letting their accomplishments and ideas shine. Then we teach these new leaders and would-be-mentors how to REACH BACK and find others who deserve to be noticed and promoted. Our goal is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and uplift one another. Learn more by visiting

ADCOLOR 2023 Partners

Disney, Google | YouTube, Spotify, Amazon, Beam Suntory, Droga5, Meta, Activision, Delta Air Lines, Diageo, JPMorgan Chase, P&G, Sony Music Group, LinkedIn, Apple, Adweek, Deutsch LA, Mondelēz International, MSL, Nextdoor, Omnicom, TikTok, Walmart Connect, IPG, W+K, WPP, GroupM, Anomaly, Edelman, McDonald’s, Snap, American Express, Basis Technologies, Billboard, Cashmere, Endeavor, Expedia Group, FCB, Havas, McCann Worldgroup, Mediahub Worldwide, Microsoft Advertising, NBCU, Netflix, Paramount, Roundel, Warner Bros. Discovery, Yahoo

ADCOLOR Corporate Members

The Brandtech Group, Cardinal Change Consulting, Deutsch LA, Droga5, Energy BBDO, Google | YouTube, JKR, McCann Worldgroup, Meta, Microsoft, MSL, Richemont, Sony Music Group, The Advertising Club of NY, The One Club

ADCOLOR Vendor Partners

5WPR, Adewole Photography, Adrianne Lipscomb Graphic Design, Akande Music, Bravely, Debut Capital, dirty sugar, EGM Security Management, Isa Beltre-Plush Merchandising Consultants,, STAMP Event Co., Studio Mark Clennon, the STUDIO NYC, Tabernacle, Wendy Shanker

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