• November 29, 2018 10:57 PM | Anonymous
    Black Enterprise | by Lydia Blanco

    Being a man in the communications field can be liberating as you seek to uncover stories and make decisions about how and what narratives will be told. And with a small percentage of men of color in the industry, an organization that understands the professional value of those men is ColorComm Inc., the nation’s leading women’s platform addressing diversity and inclusion from across the communications, marketing, media, and advertising industries. Earlier this year, they launched the Men of Color in Communications community to support men. And earlier this month, they hosted their inaugural Men of Color in Communications Business Summit.

    The one day conference held at Bloomberg’s Global Headquarters in New York City gave 200-plus professional men a new perspective on the communications and advertising industries as they gained new knowledge about the business side

    The event featured in-depth conversations about accessing the C-suite; how to craft a professional game plan, financial planning and how to live richer; negotiating; the role of culture in the workplace; and the future of the industry. And men were able to network, learn about new developments in the industry, and connect with hiring managers from top media companies.

    Founder and CEO of ColorComm Inc. and MCC Inc., Lauren Wesley Wilson, says that she created the conference as a way to empower and see men within the industry.

    “Most of the events that you go to are dominated by women and sprinkled in between are a few men. And very few men of color at the top in leadership. So, it was really important to gather a group of men together because men and women, obviously there are barriers toward advancement. We want the same things in terms of success but going about getting there is different.”

    communications Moet Hennessy Senior Director of Multicultural Marketing Manny Gonzalez and Belvedere Vodka CEO Rodney Williams present a special Men of Color Belvedere Bottle for the #MCCSummit to ColorComm Founder Lauren Wesley Wilson (Photo: ColorComm, Inc.)

    And that is exactly what the conference addressed. Event speakers included Jeffrey Litvack, CEO of Adweek; Rodney Williams, President and CEO of Belvedere Vodka; Errol Cockfield, SVP of Communications at MSNBC and NBC; Manny Gonzalez, Senior Director-Multicultural at Moet Hennessy USA; Rob King, SVP of Newsgathering at ESPN; Jana Fleishman, EVP Strategic Marketing and Head of Communications at Roc Nation; Terri Hines, EVP of Communications at Fox Sports; Linda Clemmons, Sales Trainer and Body Language Expert; fashion innovator Dapper Dan, and many more.

    Connecting men to opportunities is extremely important as they climb the corporate ladder and navigate spaces that often don’t mirror their cultural backgrounds or what they look like.

    “Oftentimes, in the advertising and communications industry, they don’t know where to find men of color. Well, here’s a room full of 200-plus men of color that they say they can’t find. They’re here and they exist in the industry. Obviously, it takes work and effort to connect with these groups, but, we’re here,” says Wesley Wilson.

    And she believes that empowering men is equally as important.

    “We talk so much about women’s empowerment and we assume that men have all of the answers…  But not every man has all of the answers and not every man is in leadership,” says Wesley Wilson.

    Wesley Wilson and her team are creating a community of connectedness for men and come the new year they are looking forward to building more programming around the country so that others can glean from professionals in their respective areas.

  • February 08, 2018 10:57 PM | Anonymous

    February 08, 2018 by Perry Simpson

    PRWeek's web editor Perry Simpson attended the event and recalls the sense of "power" in the room, but wonders how PR can have a diversity problem amid such a gathering.

    ColorComm — the lauded communications events and networking group for women of color, headed by Lauren Wesley Wilson — recently launched a new group, Men of Color in Communications (MCC) during a luncheon in D.C. that I attended.

    I haven’t been around PR long, but it soon became clear this industry, like many others, has a diversity problem.

    Research conducted for the National Black Public Relations Society in 2015 in partnership with Syracuse University’s Rochelle Ford showed that 62% of respondents didn’t have black male leadership in communications at their organization, and 47% didn’t have black male communicators at their company at all.

    To its credit, PR likes to confront its diversity issues; from one end with awards and panels on the progress that’s been made, and (somewhat paradoxically) from the other with think pieces and water cooler discussions among minorities who feel there’s a lot of work left to do.

    I spoke with several black communicators in the field, including Wilson, about what it’s like to be black in PR, and had been doing so for months while working on our recently publishedmini-documentary on the topic. So, going in, I understood there was a degree of dissonance between black PR pros’ perspective on diversity and inclusion in PR, and that of the industry at large.

    I showed up at the lunch not knowing what to expect. But our room at Charlie Palmer Steak quickly filled to capacity, with prospective attendees being turned away for space before lunch was even served.

    Wilson gave some opening remarks, dishing on the growth of ColorComm, how the men’s group came to fruition, and how this gathering of more than 65 black males in communications directly counters the notion that "we can’t find diverse employees."

    She was followed by Cameron Trimble, who co-founded MCC. Arthur "Art" Collins, founder and managing partner of theGROUP, took the reins from there, rousing the assembled with tales from his storied career.

    Collins spoke of his three formal positions as a communicator, and how each ultimately ended in failure. He was unapologetically black during a time when that sort of demeanor was especially dangerous, often mortally so. But each of those "failures" collectively confirmed what Collins felt he already knew, that he needed to become an entrepreneur and create the space the industry was denying him. It was a powerful anecdote.

    The three speakers were each inspiring in their own right, but the truly empowering moments came after Trimble asked the attendees to go around the room and stand, say their name and what they do, and tell the rest of us one need they have.

    It sounds like something straight out of a college classroom. But there was something incredibly powerful in hearing the work these black men were doing in this space — a space where there are apparently so few of us — and finding places where we could help each other.

    One man called for fellowship and guidance as he worked the agency ladder. Another asked for black filmmakers with stories to tell. Another asked for support from the assembled company in his efforts to inspire local D.C. highschoolers of color to pursue PR. The veterans in the room asked for mentees.

    I left feeling inspired, and more than that, empowered by the roomful of talented and able black men working in PR and media. But what I really want to see is how the industry at large responds to this, and other similar organizations.

    There was hope and positivity in that room at Charlie Palmer Steak, but there was something else too. That old resigned sense that we as black people are going to have to get our’s on our own, and fair enough. But PR prides itself on its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    When, then, do stakeholders in the PR industry join the real diversity discussions, and the people having them, where they are? Sooner rather than later, and not just in February, I hope.

  • January 24, 2018 10:59 PM | Anonymous
    ADWEEK | By Erik Oster

    MCC aims to provide resources and build a networking community

    ColorComm, an organization for women of color in advertising, PR and communications industries that launched in 2011, is introducing a new group called Men of Color in Communications.

  • January 18, 2018 10:56 PM | Anonymous

    January 18, 2018 by Perry Simpson

    The network for women of color in PR is set to launch its male-targeted sibling at a luncheon in Washington, DC, next week.

    WASHINGTON: ColorComm, an organization promoting diversity and inclusion in PR, marketing, and advertising, is planning to launch Men of Color in Communications next Friday in Washington, DC.

    The organization will launch at Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in the nation’s capital with a keynote address from Arthur Collins, founder and managing partner of theGroup, a DC-based communications firm.

    "[The goal] is to bring together a community of men to discuss how they can advance in the industry," said ColorComm founder and chief networking officer Lauren Wesley Wilson. "This is an industry dominated by women, and at the top is white male leadership."

    Similarly to how ColorComm operates, Men of Color in Communications will work to form and fortify relationships among men to bring more awareness to their work. The male-focused group will focus on increasing diversity in leadership roles in PR.

    In the seven years since it was founded as an invite-only luncheon for women in PR in Washington, ColorComm has gained more than 1,100 members across the country, and its board is supported by executives from brands such as Comcast.

    "We really want to share the stories of the men of color who are working in this business, and showcase that they are here, that they exist, and that they are in leadership [roles]," Wilson said.

  • January 16, 2018 10:58 PM | Anonymous

    PR Newswire

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ColorComm, Inc., the nation's leading women's platform addressing diversity and inclusion from across the communications, marketing, media, and advertising industries, will launch Men of Color in Communications (MCC) on Friday, January 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.

    MCC will focus on advancing the visibility and accomplishments of men of color in communications.  The focus of MCC is to personally connect men with other like- minded individuals to build a strong network of leaders by creating mentors, business relationships and friendships.

    MCC aims to share the stories of men of color in leadership and provide the skills that help men of color advance in the industry.

    MCC will launch with a signature luncheon on Friday, January 26, 2018 at Charlie Palmer Steakhouse in Washington, DC featuring keynote speaker Art Collins, CEO, theGROUP.

    The goal of the luncheon is to create an environment that connects industry thought leaders to strategize, collaborate, and create conversations that yield to business partnerships and best practices.

    "Men of color working in communications face unique challenges in the workplace and often work in environments where there are less than a handful of men of color at their company and in leadership," said ColorComm and Men of Color in Communications Founder Lauren Wesley Wilson.

    "We created MCC to provide a community for men to come together to become a resource for one another to grow and advance," said Wesley Wilson.

    Men of Color in Communications will launch in Washington, DC and will expand to major cities across the nation in 2018.

    About ColorComm, Inc. 

    ColorComm Conference: www.colorcommconference.com

    ColorComm Network: www.colorcommnetwork.com

    ColorComm Fellows Program: https://colorcommfellows.tumblr.com

    SOURCE ColorComm, Inc.

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