feed
close
community

THE ADCOLOR FUTURES "SUPPORTING THE TALENT OF TOMORROW, TODAY."

Even in uncertain times, our commitment to empower the next generation of talent remains the same.

ADCOLOR FUTURES is a unique program that is dedicated to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders in the advertising, marketing, media, and public relations industries. The program offers sponsorship to attend the ADCOLOR Conference & Awards, career training through ADCOLOR University, short and long term mentorship, as well as activities designed to inspire creativity and build camaraderie.

Requirements Program FAQ

2019 ADCOLOR FUTURES

RECAP

2020 Futures Class

read bio

Partner Manager at Facebook

read bio

Art Director at RedFuse (VMLY&R)

read bio

Senior Associate Communications & Marketing

read bio

Brand Executive at Wieden + Kennedy

read bio

Graphic Designer at EAB

read bio

Account Executive at FleishmanHillard

read bio

Search Product Specialist at Google

read bio

Senior Media Planner at Bader Rutter

read bio

Designer at Arizent

read bio

Partner Manager at Facebook

read bio

Product Marketing Manager at Google

read bio

Marketing Coordinator at McGarrah Jessee

read bio

Art Director

read bio

Strategist at BBH

read bio

Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

read bio

Senior Creative at VICE Media Group

read bio

Senior Marketing Specialist at Truth Initiative

read bio

Associate Manager, Marketing Strategy at NBCUniversal

read bio

Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google

read bio

Partner Manager at Facebook

read bio

Marketing Strategist at Mightily

read bio

Strategist at Leo Burnett

read bio

Content Partnerships Coordinator at Forbes Media LLC.

read bio

Program Assistant (Communications) at The Wilson Center Africa Program

read bio

Assistant Account Executive at GMMB

read bio

Copywriter at FCB Chicago

read bio

Content Producer at Havas Annex

read bio

Senior Media Planner at Trilogy Interactive LLC

close

Amala Okpala

Facebook


Amala is a Partner Manager at Facebook where she exercises her passion for people and storytelling through digital advertising. As a member of the Global Business Group, she consults independent media agencies on how to build strong brands that connect with their audiences, and achieve radical business growth. Since 2017, she’s partnered with 25 agencies across 6 industries, and has had 3 client case studies published on the Facebook Business page highlighting her work.


Growing up as a first generation, Nigerian-Jamaican woman, Amala learned firsthand how it felt to be overlooked within mainstream media, fashion magazines, and American culture. This not only lit a fire in her to pursue a career in advertising to evolve the stories being told, but also inspired her to lean into uplifting and empowering communities of color. To Amala, it’s bigger than beauty, it’s about representation and reminding Black women that they are more than enough.


As a firm believer in a collective voice for change and accountability to pay it forward, she leverages her experiences and resources to create opportunities for women of color and youth. Since 2018, Amala has led workshops at local business incubators to bridge the gap in ads education for over 40 start-ups and female entrepreneurs in addition to building internal community as an avid contributor to Facebook’s Black@ ERG. Outside of her 9 to 5, Amala partners with Ladies of Ladies of Virtue, an enrichment program in Southside Chicago that empowers young women of color to be change agents through personal and educational development. From economic empowerment, to community partnerships Amala consistently leverages her position and platform to amplify their voices.

close

Amera Lulu

RedFuse (VMLY&R)

Amera Lulu is a Creative Soul turned Art Director passionate about storytelling and making an impact through design.

Currently, Amera is an Art Director at Redfuse (VMLY&R) in New York City, her clients include: Colgate, Samsung, Gerber, and Ikea. She was recently named by The Drum as one of the top 50 under 30 emerging creative females in the US, and Advertising Week 'Future is Female' award semi-finalist and Maiper to watch for 2019.

She's also a passionate award winning photographer and fashion designer who is always creating her own clothes in an effort to be more sustainable.
close

Anthony Santa Maria


Anthony is a creative storyteller and digital marketer with a passion for elevating and amplifying voices of under-represented communities to effect real change.


Throughout the course of their career, Anthony has demonstrated a passion for telling stories about human resilience and impact to effect systemic change. Anthony first realized the power of leveraging social media for social impact when they won Peace Corps Malawi’s 16 Days of Gender Activism Competition for their promoted work with teen-aged girls who used performance to dispel myths about HIV. This work was recognized by the U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, who helped standardize the project across Peace Corps training materials. Having previously worked in Washington, DC, Anthony used storytelling to advocate on behalf of people living with HIV. In this role, they learned how to use empathic storytelling to change policy and secure funding to ensure that some of this nation’s most vulnerable people have equitable access to Healthcare.


In their free time, Anthony performs as drag superstar and chef, Vita! Vita uses her platform to uplift and support the queer community, having previously organized makeup drives for shelters that support trans and gender non-conforming people. She is happiest with a platter of her homemade lasagna, an Old Country staple.

close

Anthony Williams II

Wieden + Kennedy

"Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up".

It's with this conviction and attitude that Anthony remains committed to servant leadership and championing equity. As an emerging brand executive at Wieden + Kennedy, Anthony has had the pleasure of working on noteworthy campaigns that have been deemed groundbreaking and have had an important social impact. Ultimately, Anthony is passionate about shifting culture and utilizing his God-given talents purposefully.
close

Chanel Nyre

EAB

Passionate and hardworking, Chanel Nyre is a multidisciplinary designer who uses creative solutions to solve complex problems to improve the world around her. In 2017, she graduated from George Mason University Cum Laude with her BFA in Art and Visual Technology with a concentration in Graphic Design. Since graduating, she has been able to work independently and collaboratively across a diverse range of nonprofit and commercial organizations.

Currently, Chanel works as an in-house Graphic Designer for the marketing department at EAB, where she focuses on production and design for several different projects, all to make education smarter and communities stronger. In her time with the firm, she's had a chance to serve in a leadership position for their Employee Resource Group for People of Color, as well as a mentor for the company's summer internship initiative for young people of color.

Outside of work and volunteering, Chanel enjoys illustrating, running, and collaborating on spontaneous creative projects with friends. She maintains her inspiration by surrounding herself with other twenty-somethings that share her grind for working on things they love.
close

Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt

FleishmanHillard

Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt joined the FleishmanHillard Sacramento team as an intern in 2017 and now holds the position of Account Executive. She lends her skills to a wide range of clients in strategic programs and campaigns and has developed a specialized focus for influencer relations and marketing.

Cheyenne is passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and dedicates her time to pushing those efforts forward. She has been a Diversity Champion in the FH Sacramento office, since 2018 and has worked to bring the agency's D&I efforts to the local team. In 2019, she helped develop a D&I program for the Sacramento office that will soon be adopted and adapted for FleishmanHillard globally.

Cheyenne also sits on the board of Black Womxn United in Sacramento. BWU is a grassroots community organization dedicated to uplifting, education, and empowerment of ALL Black Womxn. She has volunteered her time to help plan the Black Womxn's March and create social programs for Black Womxn and girls across the world.

Cheyenne is passionate about using her experience and passion for creating safe and welcoming spaces for diverse voices. She is passionate about creating more seats at the table and keeps the worlds of Shirley Chisholm as a mantra, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."

Outside of professional and community life, Cheyenne is passionate about a select few things, including her pug, Beyonce, good wine, and charcuterie.
close

Chizita Biosah

Google

With a name that translates to a deep thinker, Chizita Biosah is the embodiment of her namesake. Creatively pensive by name and by trade Chizita excels as a detailed analyst, thoughtful leader, and mentor both personally and professionally. She pairs her charisma with an everlasting zeal for the betterment of systems and the people, processes, and products within them.

Chizita is currently a Search Product Specialist at Google, where she engages with their highest spending clients as an organizational business analyst and problem solver. Captivated by the growing connection between media and technology, Chizita utilizes the perspectives she's gained in her core technical role and her B.B.A in Marketing (Go Irish!) to make an impact where her passions lie.

Chizita was a core Creative Strategist on Google's 2019 ADCOLOR Activation and currently manages Doodle For Google's social presence and website statistics. On multiple occasions, Google's executive leadership has recognized and rewarded Chizita's brand marketing work.

Chizita remains committed to social justice and corporate equity. Within Google, she now leads a Global Task Force dedicated to implementing systemic change for the betterment of her organization. Chizita additionally serves as a US Chapter Lead for the Black Googler Network. In this role she has used her creativity to inspire empathy through informative programming, and advocated for equity through self-produced documentaries. Since joining Google, Chizita has mentored collegiate interns of color whilst excelling in her core role and project work.

When she logs out of her corporate account, Chizita tunes in to herself. In her free time, the never-idle Capricorn can be found producing music and writing prose and poetry.
close

Christiana Burnett

Bader Rutter

In the office, Christiana helps brands tell their stories. Her background as a south-side Chicagoan, an Isenberg School of Management graduate, and an IE Business School graduate have sharpened her eye for strategic, unique media activations. She assists brands in winning hearts and minds by curating an inviting ad experience for relevant audiences through engaging media placements. Proof: she helped White Claw become a national phenomenon. Christiana currently loans her talents and passion to Bader Rutter as a Senior Media Planner.

Outside the office, she is a perennial student. Christiana knows that learning is the key to growth, which is why she mentors community college and high school students, and why she continuously seeks challenges for herself. If she's not in a classroom working on Spanish fluency, you can find her on an architecture tour learning more about Art Deco or sauntering around a Frank Lloyd Wright home.
close

Clara Lu

Arizent

Clara Lu (they/them) is a queer, second generation Han Chinese American from Queens, New York, which is the unceded land of the Lenape peoples. They identify as a multidisciplinary artist, designer, community organizer, and Chinese zither performer. Clara strongly believes in the power of arts and grassroots activism to create unique spaces for conversation, reflection, and action. They are committed to the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

As a creative, they are focused on bringing their skills and knowledge to mission-driven organizations and initiatives. In their role as a graphic designer, they champion accessible design that celebrates the stories of queer, trans, people of color. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion is also a core value in their role as the Storefront Residency Manager at the W.O.W. Project, a women and non-binary led community-based initiative based out of the oldest operating storefront in Chinatown, New York City. Clara is responsible for supporting artists-in-residence in conceptualizing and delivering programs that prioritize thoughtful, intergenerational, reciprocal community engagement, diversity and inclusion. The brilliance and creativity Clara sees in communities of color fuels them to continue working and celebrating grassroots initiatives to uplift and empower marginalized voices.
close

Esther Ladipo

Facebook

Esther is an agency partner manager at Facebook and CEO at Ranowo.org. At Facebook, she consults agencies on how to strategically leverage Facebook advertising best practices to help their clients grow and succeed. Additionally, after conducting significant research on the operations of underfunded nonprofit organizations, Esther was inspired to launch Ranowo.org, a donation platform that enables people to easily donate items online to Black and Latinx communities in need. A proud nod to her Nigerian roots, ranowo means "to help" in Yoruba. As of June 2020, Ranowo.org has given away thousands of dollars worth of goods to nonprofits supporting Black and Latinx people. Through efforts to expand Ranowo.org, Esther hopes to contribute resources to organizations nationwide in order to sustain and grow initiatives in Black and Latinx communities across the United States.

Esther was born and raised in Ohio and boasts a love for Columbus favorites: Skyline Chili, THE Ohio State Buckeyes, and, of course, Jenia's Ice Cream (despite her lactose intolerance).
close

Folasade Ade-Banjo

Google

Folasade is a Product Marketing Manager at YouTube focused on activating immersive opportunities for users through helpful product innovations. Managing the core experience for the YouTube Main App, she’s tasked with upholding the company’s values of freedom of expression, information, opportunity, and belonging. Before joining YouTube, Folasade was a Brand Marketing Manager at Google's Area 120, an in-house lab for experimental projects at the company. There, she led the creative vision and strategic brand direction for a portfolio company in the lab known as “STAND”. "STAND" addressed food insecurity within urban cities by expanding health and wellness opportunities for low-income households via smart food technologies. Prior to Area 120, Folasade began her career at Google as an Associate Product Marketing Manager, leading creative workshops on building inclusive brand campaigns for its Google Cloud business. As an Associate Product Marketing Manager, Folasade also led and oversaw the Diversity & Inclusion Committee within the program.

Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Folasade now resides in the bustling, culturally-vibrant streets of New York, New York. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Film Studies at Bates College. She is first-generation college graduate, a loving sister of eight siblings, and a proud Nigerian-American passionate about social activism and civic engagement within underrepresented communities. In her free time, she is continuing her studies at Columbia University School of the Arts in Filmmaking. There, she is further cultivating her love of narrative building and diverse storytelling as an aspiring independent director and screenwriter.
close

Jeremy Wood

McGarrah Jessee

Jeremy is currently a Marketing Coordinator at McGarrah Jessee, a full-service agency and best kept secret in Austin, Texas. He is determined to help put the McJ name and work out into the world attracting new clients alongs the way. During his time at McJ, he’s helped to bring innovative diversity initiatives to the agency.

He is a graduate of Huston-Tillotson University, which is the only HBCU and the first institute of Higher Learning in Austin, Texas. After graduating and joining McJ, he sought to create a pipeline for diverse students to find their way into advertising working with other agencies to create outreach and mentoring programs.

Through his work in the community, he has been named the VP of Diversity for Austin American Advertising Federation chapter helping to bring light to the diversity disparities in the Austin advertising community.
close

Karlie Thornton

Karlie Thornton is an artist from St. Louis. She moved to Chicago in 2015 to pursue a degree at DePaul for Advertising as a community service scholar. Karlie became heavily influenced by the city which challenged her to explore new mediums of self-expression. At 19, she created her own events company, fell in love with design and fine art and has worked with companies such as Nike, Red Bull and Party Noire as an art director, designer, installation artist and producer.

Today, she amplifies communities of color through froSkate, an organization starting movements for queer and femme skateboarders. Within the past year, froSkate has taken skate culture by storm: hosting programming that fosters self-betterment through physical activity, community building and mental health awareness. The impact of the group has caught the attention of various sports brands and press, even landing them on the cover of the Chicago Red Eye in October.

Karlie always strives to bring her real-world experiences and passions into creative concepting rooms, creating meaningful work that adds true value to consumers lives, and to the greater good of society.
close

Kevin Ma

BBH

Born and raised in Boston's Chinatown, Kevin (he/him) studied Business Management at Boston College as a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar. He takes great pride in being one of the first in his family to attend college, which laid the foundation for him serving as an advisor for first-generation college students to ensure their success on campus.

Kevin's advocacy work also extends to the queer community and people of color. From writing consultancy pieces about LGBTQ+ inclusivity in corporate spaces to leading Out For Undergrad, Kevin seeks to deconstruct and reimagine professional spaces to make them more accessible for marginalized communities. His advocacy work has been recognized by the MAIP community, where he was named MAIPer to Watch.

Kevin started his career at Digitas, where he founded the agency's first BRG for Asian-Americans. Today, he is a Strategist at BBH where he provides effective solutions to his tech and entertainment clients without ever compromising creative excellence.
close

Lauren Nicholson

Microsoft

Lauren is a creative and dynamic storyteller with a passion for elevating the narratives, aesthetics, and experiences of people of color. As a product marketing manager at Microsoft, Lauren leads global go-to-market strategy for multiple products on the Office Consumer Apps team. Before that she led relationship marketing for mixed reality and interned as a brand manager for Azure.

Coming from a non-profit and research background, Lauren is passionate about sustainable, societal level impact and change. She graduated with her BA from Harvard University in Sociology and a secondary in Government, and hopes to continue to use the knowledge and skills gained from her studies to push her industry and the world within which it operates to surface and showcase the stories of people of color. And thus, hopefully push us towards a more just, equitable, and positive future for all.

Led by her deep commitment to creating space and understanding regarding various social justice matters, Lauren co-led Microsoft's Cloud Marketing Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a group of over 65 members focused on championing a diverse and inclusive environment in an organization of 2000+ employees globally. She currently serves on the core planning team for BlackLight, a community of 1300+ Black marketers, sellers, and their allies at Microsoft that focuses on increasing the retention and advancement of Black professionals, mitigating loneliness, and increasing development opportunities.
close

Leneil Roderique

VICE Media Group

Leneil Roderique crafts stories that help brands make an impact in the world. As a senior creative at VICE Media Group, Leneil's work sits at the intersection of human-centered storytelling and audience insights, to ultimately create powerful narratives for brands in the form of documentary-style films, editorial articles, photo diaries, and experiential events to name a few. He believes the symbiotic relationship between the teller and the listener has the ability to cultivate human connections, shift behaviors, and transform life as we know it. That's why he values telling overlooked, diverse stories: to provide a platform for (people of) overlooked identities to be heard, acknowledged and revered. To achieve the most truthful and thoughtful versions of these stories, he fights daily to have them crafted by people of overlooked identities. These values have manifested for Leneil in the form of advertising campaigns for brands like State Farm, Adidas, Levis, Mailchimp, U.S Census, etc.

Outside of his daily responsibilities at work, Leneil is also a co-lead for the HR division of VICE Media Group's People of Color Employee Resource Group, actively working to bring more POCs through our doors and retain their talent by hosting workshops and building relationships between people inside and outside of VICE.

Leneil Roderique is currently pursuing a certificate in corporate finance at NYU and received his B.A in American Studies from Wesleyan University, where he grew to value social impact and creativity. To continue to nurture his creativity outside of work, he spends time pursuing film photography.
close

Logan Nelson

Truth Initiative


Logan Nelson is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Truth Initiative, where her day to day is spent running support on managing the strategic vision, creation, and development for the truth® campaign—an award-winning national tobacco and vaping prevention campaign for young people. Her unique and unapologetic perspective has remained a staple throughout her professional journey. During her time with truth®, she remains committed to mobilizing a generation to help call out Big Tobacco’s lies and manipulative tactics, as well as shed light on another health crisis – the opioid epidemic.


When she isn’t fighting to save lives in her nine-to-five, she can be found fighting to ensure that youth in Baltimore City are being provided the tools they need to be dreamers and the captains of their future. In November of 2017, Logan co-founded Fuel the Kids with five other bold, Black women. Over the years, they have actively launched initiatives and sought out ways to enrich the lives of youth in Baltimore through education and representation.


In her spare time, Logan enjoys tapping into her creativity through DIY projects, going on local food adventures, and training in her kitchen to be your favorite self-proclaimed home-chef.


Logan is an East Coast girl at heart. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and a proud alumna of the University of Maryland, College Park, she has remained committed to championing the voices of people of color and younger generations, especially in spaces where we are undoubtedly underrepresented.

close

Madison Li

NBCUniversal


Madison is an Associate Manager, Marketing Strategy at NBCUniversal. Previously, Madison worked in the tech industry as a business development manager, consultant, and entrepreneur. Her experience at NBCUniversal has inspired her to think about the future of storytelling, the opportunity for increased representation in Hollywood, and the power of diverse narratives that educate, entertain and inspire both on and off the screen.


Madison was selected as a 2019-2020 MBA Fellow in the Riordan Programs at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, founded by former Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan. She is an alumna of Emory University where she double-majored in Economics and Chinese Language and Literature and now serves on the board of the LA Chapter of the Emory Alumni Association. Madison also holds a Graduate Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


As a board member for the Riordan Programs Alumni Association and College to Career Mentor for the Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson, she advocates for education that opens doors for minorities with equal access and opportunity.


As an immigrant to Chicago, her diverse background has shaped her world views. A lover of languages and cultures; she is fluent in Mandarin and conversational in both Spanish and Italian. Her curiosity of cultures has led her to authentic storytelling in dance, the wisdom of mystics and a love for adventures off the beaten path. Madison is trained in MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion). She’s the proud parent of a spunky one-year-old goldendoodle, Chia.

close

Meghan Onserio

Google

Meghan is a first-generation Kenyan-American, born and raised in Minnesota. She earned her BA from Harvard University, where she studied History & Literature and graduated cum laude with high honors. Through her studies, Meghan realized she had a knack for telling stories and understanding people and their complicated identities and cultures. While she spent much of her time performing with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, she quickly became interested in other forms of storytelling and communication - namely, marketing. This led her to secure summer internships at Facebook and Google.

Today, Meghan is an Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) at Google on the Cloud Customer Programs Team. In her role she has built globally scaled programs to manage and approve customer reference content. Additionally, she works with business leaders across the Cloud customer base to craft success stories for premier events. Outside of her core role Meghan has led diversity and inclusion efforts in the Google Marketing Community. She sits on the Cloud Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Marketing Council and also serves as a 2020 APMM Intern Lead where she creates social and professional programming to support and develop the 2020 summer marketing interns.

In her spare time, Meghan writes creative short stories, does improv, and most recently began painting! In the future, she hopes to explore the intersection between technology and fine arts - using innovation to increase the accessibility of the arts.
close

Nehemiah Bishop

Facebook

Nehemiah Bishop is currently a Partner Manager at Facebook consulting with agency partners across North America. Nehemiah teaches agencies how to strategically leverage Facebook's family of products to accomplish their business goals.

Outside of work, Nehemiah is fully committed to giving back to his community. For four years, he led dozens of Blue 1647 youth hack-a-thons in underserved communities to expose youth to technology. During college, Nehemiah participated in the Google Community Leaders Program, teaching small businesses in underserved Chicago communities digital literacy and one of Black Tech Mecca's first members. Nehemiah currently leads Facebook Chicago partnerships with youth organizations The Bud Billiken Parade, My Block My Hood My City, and Chicago Scholars. He also serves as the secretary for 100 Black Men of Chicago and volunteers for Blue Lacuna co-working space in various capacities.
close

Phelicia Ball

Mightily

Hailing from the national's capital, Phelicia Ball is a Marketing Strategist at Mightily, a brand-first advertising agency in Louisville, Kentucky. She earned her Bachelors in Writing at Syracuse University. She is responsible for implementing and managing digital campaigns for over 15 clients in her role. Phelicia's leadership capabilities quickly led her from intern to full-time employee within the agency.

Phelicia brings a fresh ambitious perspective that can only be found in those gutsy enough to spend time in NYC interning in the fashion industry. She is a transformational leader and a byproduct of mentorship. This led her to her current role as VP of Diversity & Inclusion for The American Advertising Federation, Louisville 2020-2021. Phelicia hopes to impact communities of color through mentorship and scholarship by invigorating them to pull up a seat to the table that they might not have been invited to before.
close

Rachita Vasan

Leo Burnett

New York-made and Chicago-raised, Rachita (she/her) is a strategist at Leo Burnett, where she uses culture to unearth insights about human behavior and craft resonant, inclusive storytelling. In addition to her work on brands like Firestone, Marshalls, and Coors Light, she leads strategy on Nintendo, which is the closest she'll get to her childhood dream of being a full-time Pokémon gym leader. As strategy co-lead of Leo Burnett's diversity & inclusion task force, Create Greater Than, she's helped shape inclusivity training for executive leadership, employee workshops, and DEI programming for Publicis Groupe. A serial dabbler, Rachita has a professional background spanning UX, event production, writing, copyediting, music booking, media planning, and plenty of other things.

Outside of work, she's immersed in Chicago's creative community, through volunteer efforts in organizations like Sofar Sounds and Creative Mornings. Her writing on identity has been featured in publications like Man Repeller and the Sweathead Strategy Podcast, and she's passionate about leveraging art and tech to break down bias. A staunch intersectional feminist, pun aficionado, and dog enthusiast, Rachita is committed to using her voice to dismantle inequitable systems. When she's not tackling the patriarchy, you can usually find her planning her next meal or reading a book.
close

Sahara Gipson

Forbes Media LLC.

Sahara Gipson is a Content Partnerships Coordinator at Forbes Media. In this role, she manages site production, social promotion, and campaign reporting for partners across industries. In addition to her work with the Partnerships team, Sahara is dedicated to contributing to the overall employee community at Forbes especially among those of color.

Prior to joining Forbes, she completed her tenure in the renowned NBCU Page Program in New York City. As a former theater kid, Sahara was excited to work across departments including marketing, sales, and production for SNL, CNBC, and NBC News. While at NBC, she received the "Gold Standard" Award for her contributions to the business goals and needs of her current assignment. She is passionate about creating content, strategic storytelling, and developing impactful solutions for brands. Sahara graduated from Temple University and received her Bachelors's degree in Media Business and Public Relations. At Temple, Sahara competed for the university's Division 1 Gymnastics team where she served as a Captain her senior year.

She is currently an active member of the professional organization She Runs It and a proud alumna of the IRTS Foundation Fellowship program. Sahara is a dedicated team-player, charismatic leader and change-agent. With every new opportunity, she is often reminded that “to whom much is given, much is required” and she hopes to continue to leverage her experiences both professionally and personally to lift others up along the way.
close

Shahrazad Hired

The Wilson Center Africa Program

A first-generation Somali-American and Black Muslim woman, Shahrazad grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland. She is a Communications Program Assistant with The Wilson Center Africa Program. In this role, Shahrazad supports U.S.-Africa relations and policy through strategic communications and programming. She wears many hats as a social media/web manager, graphic designer, and content curator working to change narratives regarding Africa and the African Diaspora. Shahrazad has planned and executed over 100 events, including three international conferences in Ethiopia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Botswana, collaborating with the UN, African Union, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, and African and international governments. She is Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council at The Wilson Center, where she works to scale-up procedures and programming that positively impact DEI.

Shahrazad received a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2018, she was awarded the Influencer of the Year award by the UMD Student Success Leadership Council for her work in fostering spaces for African representation and agency.

A storyteller at heart, Shahrazad wants to bring more exposure to the stories and lives of Black Muslims. She is interested in the role Africa's creative sector plays in global entertainment and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Shahrazad hopes to increase the representation of African film in mainstream media and harness Africa's creative sector as a vehicle for economic growth. She is an ESFJ and a history buff. She enjoys eating, traveling, and learning about different cultures.
close

Sonya Bessalel

GMMB

Telling stories, including diverse perspectives and advancing equity in education are central to everything Sonya Bessalel does. Her multicultural upbringing in an Indian Muslim and Argentine Jewish family inspires Sonya to build bridges and find common ground across communities.

As an Assistant Account Executive at GMMB, an Omnicom agency, Sonya provides bilingual communications and account support for education and automotive clients. Her education work includes supporting equity in distance learning and school reopening, writing op-eds and securing earned media for the Council of Chief State School Officers, KIPP Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation and NAF. She also manages Spanish-language and digital outreach for Check To Protect, a nationwide campaign with the National Safety Council and automakers to raise awareness about vehicle safety recalls. Sonya is active in GMMB's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work, including producing weekly firm-wide anti-racism newsletters and coordinating events for women of color in communications through ColorComm.

Sonya's prior experience spans the corporate, agency and nonprofit sectors, including positions with Glover Park Group, WeatherBug, and Discovery Education, where as a T. Howard Foundation intern, she helped launch Spanish-language health and wellbeing programs in Latin America. Sonya's liberal arts education from Wesleyan University in humanities, Spanish and creative writing informs her oral and written communications, deep analytical skills, and cross-cultural savvy.

Outside of GMMB, Sonya performs as an alto soloist in the Washington, D.C.-based, award-winning a cappella ensemble, The Capital Hearings, for whom she also serves on the Board of Directors and as Communications Director.
close

Yessy Downs

FCB Chicago

Yessenia “Yessy” Downs is a hoop-wearing, pen-slinging, cafecito-drinking Copywriter. After trading law school for portfolio school, Yessy took her talents to Miami Ad School where she learned and honed her craft. After graduating, she began racking up an impressive client roster that includes Dunkin’, Burger King, MichelobULTRA, Samsung and Heinz. Today she’s the lead writer on the Boeing business at FCB Chicago, while also writing for a variety of brands across the FCB portfolio. When she’s not writing about planes and rockets, she’s running Oxford Comma Co., a writing studio that helps entrepreneurs of color find and establish their brand voice.

As a Miami-raised, Chicago-based Latina (Nicaragua, stand up!), Yessy is bold, inquisitive and fearless. Growing up in a Hispanic home prepared her to stand out in rooms with big personalities, take tough critiques, and work in a team. She tells it like it is and is unwaveringly loyal to the people she loves and the things she believes in. She doesn't back down from a challenge and isn’t afraid to say that thing everyone is thinking. She brings confidence and methodical thinking into whatever room she enters and ensures there is always a place at the table for her, and people like her. Her fiery spirit helped her break barriers, both personal and professional, and led her to create a diverse body of work. Her conviction, paired with her passion for writing, has helped her find success in a career she loves, and pushes her to keep growing.
close

Zanah Thirus

Havas Annex

Zanah is an actress, producer, writer, and director from Chicago IL. After being homeschooled until she was fourteen years old, she began her college career. She received her master's degree in cinema production from DePaul University at the age of twenty two, and began her career in independent filmmaking and content production in 2015.

In 2016, Zanah won Best Female Director for her short film 'Hourglass' at the Cineplay Film Awards. Her festival credits as a filmmaker include Official Selection - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival (2016), Best Student Documentary - London Independent Film Awards (2017), Semi Finalist at The German United Film Festival (2018), and Finalist at Cinema Los Angeles Film Festival (2018). In addition to her international credits, five of her films are streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Since launching her brand, Zanah Thirus Productions LLC, Zanah has shifted her focus to merging arts and activism though documentary and narrative storytelling. Her films surround subjects such as gender, race, politics, and mental health. In 2019, her feature documentary- Black Feminist - was an official selection at the Bronze Lens Festival of Atlanta. That same year- her short film, Demons, was also nominated for Best Short Film at the Content Creators of Atlanta Awards. Shortly after her most decorated year, Zanah was named one of Diversity in Cannes Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade.

In addition to being a filmmaker, Zanah is a content producer at The Annex, Chicago.
close

Zuha Khan

Trilogy Interactive LLC

Zuha Khan is a Senior Media Planner at progressive political firm Trilogy Interactive. Their media planning, strategy, and operations work has resulted in top-tier digital advertising campaigns that have truly delivered an impact. As a result, Zuha helped clients: raise money for animals affected by the California wildfires, spread awareness of resources available to assist union members during this pandemic, gain petition signatures for a rent strike campaign, bring awareness to Trump's attempts to allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge, persuade people around the country to pressure their legislators to vote for lower prescription drug prices, and so much more.

Additionally, Zuha has served as a trusted voice in the workplace, speaking up on matters of diversity and inclusivity -- often in collaboration with other coworkers of marginalized identities. Her tenacity and professionalism has lead to the fast-tracking of inclusivity initiatives, and they have conducted trainings on tokenism and power dynamics.

Prior to Trilogy, Zuha was a Digital Marketing Associate at Susby Internet Solutions. At Susby, Zuha's social media marketing strategies elevated the online presence of local Bay Area brands. In their spare time, Zuha radio DJs, organizes benefit concerts, participates in civic engagement, and volunteers with the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action.

2019 Agenda

Click Event To Expand For More Information

UNIVERSITY

Launched in 2012, with the belief that even the most successful professional can learn, be inspired, and share their knowledge, ADCOLOR University is an intensive training facilitated by top-ranked leadership and talent consulting firms. The FUTURES learn how to meet business objectives, increase their performance in corporate settings, excel in a professional environment, and take control of their career path. In the past, the program has introduced FUTURES and conference attendees to management and efficacy training and had special HR and management tracks focused on D&I. Currently, University is laser-focused on the FUTURES – giving specialized content to develop soft and hard skills during and around the conference.

2019 HACKATHON Stand For A Cause

The Hackathon gives FUTURES a platform to tackle a huge problem—in a not-so-huge amount of time. Working in teams of six, FUTURES will be paired with two coaches who will help them sharpen their skills in collaboration, design thinking and rapid prototyping. Teams will have seven hours to come up with a creative solution to a social issue and present that to a panel of judges.

"ADCOLOR FUTURES 2019" BY DEUTSCH

download

“ADCOLOR FUTURES 2018” BY DEUTSCH

download

2016 HACKATHON WHITE PAPER: "STANDING FOR SOCIAL ISSUES"

download

2015 HACKATHON WHITE PAPER: "Cultural Appropriation"

download

Sign up for our newsletter

General Inquiries: info@adcolor.org | 347.297.4407
437 Madison Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10022
©2020 ADCOLOR Inc. All Rights Reserved.
General Inquiries: info@adcolor.org | 347.297.4407
437 Madison Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10022
©2020 ADCOLOR Inc. All Rights Reserved.