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ADCOLOR 2014 by Kendra Croft*

We learn from the past, to plan for the present, and prepare for the future. ADCOLOR® did all of that and more in less than one week. This year I was honored to be a member of the ADCOLOR® Futures 2014 class.  Attending ADCOLOR® as a Future gave me a unique experience that exceeded my wildest imagination. At our opening dinner, ADCOLOR® Founder, Tiffany R. Warren approached me and said, “you all are the real celebrities this weekend.” At the time I just shook it off, because all I could think was “Who would want to meet me with Michael B. Jordan in the room?”

 We stared off the week by working on, and presenting our case study. It was a brand new experience for me, as a student, to work with young professionals who are already in the industry. Not only did we all have to coordinate times for meetings and tasks, but we had to do this all while being spread around the country. The case study project allowed us to come together at an early start. As a group, we then became even closer by going through efficacy training together. As ADCOLOR® Futures we recognized that we all came from different parts of life with different perspectives.  Our efficacy training taught us how to be stronger leaders when working with diverse groups such as ourselves.

The highlight of my weekend was the conference. Every panel gave insights into a new and different form of diversity in advertising. Diversity of thought, physicality, and perspective were all thoroughly analyzed and presented in the conference. I was especially excited by the closing presentation of No.2.66 (no-to-sixty-six). The No.2.66 campaign was launched at ADCOLOR® to combat the shockingly low representation of African Americans in the creative fields The entire campaign lies on the fact that “At the current rate of hiring, true equality will not be realized in the advertising industry until 2079.” It was at that moment that I was finally able to tell myself, “You will enter the advertising industry, and you will enter as a creative!”

My entire ADCOLOR® experience came full circle at the awards show after party. I had finally built up the nerve to talk to a personal inspiration of mine, Bozoma St. John. I had been admiring her groundbreaking success since the 2013 ADCOLOR® Conference, and this after party was my last chance to tell her what an inspiration she has been. So, the minute she took a break from “breaking it down” on the dance floor I was able to tell her “thank you for being an inspiration.” She ended my night by telling me, “No, thank you! I have been looking forward to meeting the ADCOLOR ® Futures this whole weekend. You all are the real inspiration and the real celebrities.”




Kendra Croft is a two-time TLF scholarship recipient and is majoring in advertising at the University of Texas, Austin

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