Celebrating leaders throughout the creative community and upholding a commitment to diversity, Culture Creators hosted its 5th annual “Innovators & Leaders” Awards Brunch at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the International Ballroom on Saturday, June 26. It was hosted by media personalities, Tanika Ray and DeMarco Morgan, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning. The the ceremony will be broadcast on the Culture Creators YouTube Channel on July 1st at 5pm PST/8pm EST. Of the fifth annual “Innovator & Leaders” Awards Brunch, Culture Creators founder Joi Brown stated, “I am so elated that we were able to come together after a very challenging year to celebrate Black Excellence. Reflecting on Culture Creators from its infancy to now is truly a testament to not only our resilience as people of color, but a reminder that we can and will continue to break boundaries.”
Check out photos of the event below!
This year, musician, super-producer, art collector, philanthropist, and co-founder of VERZUZ, Swizz Beatz accepted the Icon Award from his son and actor, Nasir Dean a.k.a. Note Marcato. His acceptance of the honor was followed by a Culture Chat that engaged attendees, moderated by DeMarco Morgan.
Actor and comedian Royale Watkins presented Derrick “D-Nice” Jones with the Innovator of the Year Award, while D-Nice spoke to the crowd about the idea of becoming an “overnight success.” D-Nice proclaimed, “I’ve been in this business 35 years, this is the longest night ever,” to thunderous applause from the crowd of entertainment industry titans.
Guests were also treated to electrifying performances by Jenson McRae andYung Baby Tate.
Check out the full list of honorees, below.
In addition to YouTube, the event graciously welcomed corporate partners such as CÎROC, Procter & Gamble, Coin Cloud, Lexus, and Ellis Isle Tea Company. The exclusive invite-only gala maintained its status as one of the most sought-after and influential events of BET Awards Weekend for the fifth year. 2021 saw the event expanded and evolved as it highlights the achievements of thought leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African American culture in an intimate setting among key players.
Talent from this year’s gala included: Past Icon Honoree Sylvia Rhone, Jimmy Jam, H.E.R. Todd Gurley, Andre Drummond, Mya, G Herbo, Pink Sweat$, Jemele Hill, Shenseea, Tai Beauchamp, Sevyn Streeter, Symphani Soto, Jourdin Pauline, actor Lodric Collins, Chaka Zulu, Kosine, YSB Tril, songwriter Kameron Glasper, fashion designer Brandon “BJ” Gray, actor Jay Reeves, Ryan Destiny, Kenneth Faried,Sam Austins, and more!
These “Culture Creators” continue to set the pace for diversity in the fields of entertainment, music, sports, and beyond.
Innovators & Leaders Awards 2021
ICON AWARD: Swizz Beatz
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR:Derrick “D-Nice” Jones
FASHION: Zerina Akers
FILM/TV: Rikki Hughes, Magic Lemonade
FINANCE: George Wells
HEALTH & WELLNESS: Shanti Das, Silence the Shame
MEDIA: Cari Champion
MUSIC:Jeff Robinson & Jeanine McCleanMBK Entertainment
SOCIAL JUSTICE: Stefani Brown-James, Collective PAC
TECHNOLOGY: Kudzi Chikumbu, Tik Tok