Summer marks a special season for awards, concerts, and festivals highlighting the achievements of people of color. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been glued to our televisions and social media feeds to bask in the glory of our favorite artists, actors, and directors being recognized for their achievements. While celebrities are often recognized and celebrated for their work, rarely do we honor the women of color behind the scenes for making strides in their industry.
The recognition of women of color at mainstream Awards ceremonies has become an anomaly. So, it should come as no surprise that it is rare to hear the stories and the journey of women of color who have been responsible for creating some of the world’s biggest campaigns in communications, marketing, and advertising; and that is why ColorComm created the ColorComm Circle Awards to highlight the achievements and advance the visibility of women of color in communications, marketing, advertising, and digital. The ColorComm Circle Awards currently serves as the only Awards ceremony to honor women of color in this capacity.
We need our stories told, heard and shared. It’s not enough for one of us to be included on a list that highlights ‘40 under 40’, the ‘10 most Powerful’, or ‘Women to Watch Awards’. Often times you see less than a handful of people of color included on lists honoring the mainstream. Our stories are buried. And sometimes our stories are overshared as you see the same cluster of people being honored on lists time after time.
The ColorComm Circle Awards is different. We recognize women you may have never heard of, who may or may not be on the latest list, but are some of the most powerful women in the country flooded with A-list networks and business contacts that can reach international Presidents.
The Awards Dinner will take place on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, opening night during ColorComm’s Annual Conference held at the Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne. We’re excited to honor the women of color whose work and dedication in our industry result in the stories that inspire, entertain and improve our lives.
Each year, more than 400 women gather in Miami, Florida for ColorComm’s Conference (often referred to as #C2Miami), which includes three days of workshops, panels, and talks that connect women leaders across our industry.
During this year’s C2 Miami Conference, themed “Leading the Way”, we’ll celebrate our honorees who’ve excelled beyond professional and personal achievement to become women that inspire and empower us to continue working in an industry where there’s no roadmap to success.
Our honorees include women like Alexandria Boone, President and CEO of GAP Communications Group and Chairwoman and Founder of the Women of Color Foundation, who has dubbed herself as the “architect” of NBA MVP LeBron James’s media persona.
We’ll hear from Romina Rosado, Editor in Chief and SVP of Content for E! News, who did not grow up in this country and did not envision working in entertainment. Today her work contributes to a global entertainment news brand that reaches more than 80M people each month, where she is responsible for overseeing a team of 100+ reporters, writers, and producers tasked with bringing you the latest entertainment news.
We’ll celebrate Helen Shelton, Senior Partner, Finn Partners who became the first-ever Executive Vice President at Ruder Finn’s Arts & Communications Counselors practice – the oldest cultural marketing and public relations firm in the world. At the time, Helen was not only the first, but the youngest and only African American to hold that title.
We’ll also honor Jeanine Liburd, EVP, BET Networks; Monica Talan, EVP, Univision; Claudia Chan, Founder S.H.E. GLOBAL Media, and Beverly Durham, SVP, Porter Novelli. Each of these women, dynamic in their own unique ways, have raised the bar and removed the limits on what women in our industry are able to achieve.
For years, ESSENCE has supported our work and our women. We look forward to welcoming ESSENCE as an official media partner and to welcome Michelle Ebanks, President of ESSENCE Inc., to speak at our closing luncheon.
These women and their stories are the reason why ColorComm exists. We hope to fulfill a void and connect the dots through ColorComm Network Membership, ColorComm’s Conference, and the greater ColorComm community that reaches more than 40,000 professionals. We are proud to celebrate these women who help strengthen the voices of those who are often underrepresented in the overall business and political discourse.
Lauren Wesley Wilson is the President of ColorComm Inc. For a full list of the ColorComm Circle Award winners, and to learn more about the ColorComm Conference 2016 (#C2Miami), visit www.colorcommconference.com.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.