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Stories of being black in advertising

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In this session, we hear from four Black ad professionals who started in different decades about what advertising life was like when they were starting out and how the industry has – or hasn’t – changed in the years since. Valerie Graves, the former chief creative officer of Leo Burnett’s Vigilante, the UniWorld Group and Motown Records, takes us back to the 80s. Derek Walker, today the founder of Brown and Browner Advertising, puts us in his shoes as a copywriter in the 1990s. Shameka M Brown, co-founder and executive coach at The Only One There, walks us through her formative years at FCB in the 2000s. And our moderator, ace copywriter and 600 & Rising founder Bennett D Bennett, brings us into the 2010s. Together they contrast their lived experiences and explore the outlook for Black advertising professionals in the 2020s.

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