• Aubrei Hayes

The ADCOLOR Experience

It’s funny when you think of all the things you want to conquer in life and one day you randomly look back and realize that you have accomplished all of those goals and then some. It seems as if it was just yesterday when I was boasting to my friends about AdColor and how badly I wanted to go to a conference in the future. It’s even crazier to realize that when they dropped the free registration I was one of the first people to sign up, not realizing that in that same month I would be a part of the 2020 AdColor Futures cohort! When that email first slipped in my inbox I immediately thought it was a mistake. How could a girl who hasn’t even entered the workforce create such a change that the AdColor conference noticed and wanted to choose me as a part of the new cohort. Happy tears couldn't describe the emotions and excitement that was running through my body.

Not only was I going to be able to showcase my love and passion for Diversity and Inclusion, but I was also able to meet such talented people like myself who have similar passions and are creating the change within the advertising industry.

It felt like it was a dream that I never wanted to wake up from. Yes, COVID got the best of the situation and it had to be virtual, but in my opinion that made these interactions even more meaningful than before. I believe that many take interactions for granted and when something like this comes around and takes it all away from you, you truly start to appreciate the intentional conversations that are occurring, regardless of what they entail.

These conversations and interactions motivated me now more than ever to continue my passion in diversity and inclusion and to make the changes that I wish to see within the advertising industry. AdColor provided me with a sense of belonging, seeing the various change agents of the industry speaking so eloquently and filled with admiration for each other and the battles they face each and everyday to create a more inclusive work environment. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be in the same virtual environment as these amazing humans, because without them I wouldn’t have even thought about a career in diversity and inclusion or even the creation of my passion project, Diversity Diva.

I want to wholeheartedly thank the phenomenal ADCOLOR team, my amazing cohort, my amazing coach Tara, and a very special shout out to my amazing team the CALLS Diversity Consulting Group. Logan, Lauren, Sonya, and Chanel thank you for the constant love and support truly made my day. I never thought I could get close to people within virtual settings or in a short period of time, but boy was I proven wrong yet again. These girls truly changed my life and I am so excited to see all of the amazing things they will accomplish in the future. ADColor, thank you again for creating such a memorable experience, these feelings will last a lifetime.

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