ESSENCE VENTURES’s (EV) very own God-Is Rivera is receiving a huge honor for her tireless work in amplifying inclusivity.
Rivera, who serves as EV’s Chief Content Officer, has been inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Advertising Hall of Achievement (AHOA). The AHOA recognizes power players who have made a significant impact in the industry through their work. Rivera joins other inductees, including Travis Montaque, Co-Founder & CEO, Group Black; Founder & CEO, Crater and Morgan Debaun, founder of Blavity, Inc.
“The AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement is a shining example of why our industry’s future looks so bright,” said Steve Pacheco, President & CEO, AAF in a statement shared with ESSENCE. “It is the gold standard in recognizing industry talent who are making a notable impact to the advertising community.” He continued, “It is only appropriate that we now honor these individuals under the spotlight of the evening lights.”
Rivera, who joined ESSENCE VENTURES in 2023, is a “proud Black American woman hailing from the Bronx, NY, God-is believes passionately in amplifying all communities, and that they deserve to be recognized, respected, and rewarded – not counted out.”
Before being appointed as ESSENCE VENTURES’ Chief Content Officer, she served as Twitter’s global director of culture and community where she was a staunch advocate for Black Twitter and worked to enlighten the masses on its cultural significance.
“I am so grateful for the path that my career has taken over the years,” Rivera said. “What I am most appreciative of is that so little of what I am currently doing really existed as a career path when I first began my professional journey, so I have been so fortunate to be able to lay the groundwork for a lot of new focuses and I am quite proud of that. As a writer at heart I originally wanted to pursue journalism, but during a recession found myself in marketing and honestly quickly became enamored with it. I was fortunate enough to work for ad agencies working on social media strategy which I was extremely passionate about, as it felt like a new frontier where so many worlds could connect, and people had a voice.”
She continued, “During my time in the agency world, I was extremely vocal about some of the gaps I noticed in how the ad industry approached its creative work. How were we understanding and connecting with marginalized communities? How were we challenging ourselves to ensure the output of our work was inclusive? Ultimately, those questions that I raised to interrogate and challenge industry processes led me to an opportunity to create a new position that revolved around inclusive, strategic approaches to how we thought about connecting with consumers and the study of how brands connect with and specifically serve marginalized communities.”
Induction ceremonies will take place on Thursday evening, November 16 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. It will be the first time in the 30+ years of the AHOA that induction ceremonies take place in “prime time,” according to a new release share with ESSENCE.