ADCOLOR Announces 2021 FUTURES Class

The FUTURES program celebrates its 10th anniversary nurturing the next generation of leaders

ADCOLOR, the premier organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, announced its 2021 class of ADCOLOR FUTURES. Building on the motto of “Rise Up, Reach Back”, the ADCOLOR FUTURES program identifies and nurtures the next generation of leaders who have one to three years of experience in their industry. The program provides training, mentorship and empowerment to selected young professionals with the goal of supporting the talent of tomorrow, today.

Launched in 2012, the FUTURES program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The highly competitive program saw a 15 percent acceptance rate, with only 30 young professionals selected to participate in the 2021 class after an extensive application and interview process. Those chosen showed strong leadership potential, sustained involvement in reaching back, interest in partnering with leadership to drive change through DE&I initiatives and innovative thinking to solve today’s problems.

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The full roster of 2021 FUTURES is provided below.

“The selection process for the incoming class of FUTURES is something we look forward to each year,” said Deepti Turlapati, Co-Lead of the Planning Committee for the ADCOLOR Advisory Board. “The applicants never cease to inspire us, and there is truly no limit to what these young professionals can accomplish. After countless hours of reviewing their impressive applications and conducting nearly 135 interviews, we know this year’s class isn’t just here to pull up, they’re here to level up.”

“What sets the FUTURES program apart from other programs is the formula it was founded on: imagined, created and designed by the next generation of leaders for the next generation of leaders,” said Nicole Dei, Co-Lead of the Planning Committee for the ADCOLOR Advisory Board and Ms. ADCOLOR 2021. “As a 2019 FUTURE, it’s an honor to now help curate the program for the incoming classes of leaders. The 2021 FUTURES come from an array of industries, and I can’t wait for them to bring their unique perspectives, flex their skills and bring their authentic selves to the ADCOLOR family and community.”

The 30 FUTURES will be immersed in an intensive training known as ADCOLOR University, presented by Disney Advertising Sales and Omnicom Group. Facilitated by top-ranked leadership and talent consulting firms, the annual ADCOLOR University program teaches FUTURES how to meet business objectives, increase their performance in corporate settings, excel in a professional environment and take control of their career path. The specialized programming, organized around and during the annual ADCOLOR Conference and Award Show, helps the FUTURES develop soft and hard skills to excel as leaders.

The incoming class also partakes in the annual FUTURES Hackathon. This year’s hackathon, presented by Apple, has a theme of “Pull Up for Accountability”. Following the social justice issues that came to the forefront in 2020, the Hackathon brief calls on brands to go beyond hollow words and pull up with tangible change and action. While all teams receive the same brief, individual teams will be assigned to a specific industry and will customize their creative solutions accordingly. Teams receive limited time to finalize their solutions and must present it to a panel of judges, helping them to sharpen their skills in collaboration, design thinking and rapid prototyping.

“Since 2012, I’ve witnessed the force that is the FUTURES and the footprint this program has left on the industry 10 years later,” said Criseli Saenz, Director of ADCOLOR Programs. “Over the past decade, we’ve identified more than 300 of the brightest and undeniably talented individuals out there who have the thinking and skills that will push us into tomorrow. Their influence is tangible; what started as an opportunity for FUTURES to get access to ADCOLOR’s network of industry leaders has now shifted to industry leaders wanting access to the network of FUTURES.”

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