Tiffany R. Warren urges AdColor audience to challenge clients on diversity

The 10th annual conference kicks off with a heartfelt plea from Omnicom's chief diversity officer.

Tiffany R. Warren kicked off the 10th annual Adcolor Conference & Awards in Boca Raton, FL, on Tuesday by urging the audience to take up the mantle of diversity across the full range of their relationships, including with loved ones, colleagues and clients. 

"Our theme for the conference is ‘Challenge Now,’ and we will have plenty to talk about when it comes to the challenges we’re all facing," said Warren, the AdColor founder and SVP and Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group. She cited the issues of police violence raised by Black Lives Matter, the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that spotlighted the second straight year of an all-white acting roster for the Academy Awards nominees, and the Orlando shootings and their aftermath.

Warren then called on the audience, which she labeled "the most innovative, diverse and creative people in our industry," to think about how they communicate those challenges "not only with friends, family and colleagues, but also clients."

Warren acknowledged the irony of holding the conference in a city that is, according to 2010 Census data, 88.5% caucasian. "It means so much to me and my team and the entire Adcolor family to be convening here in Boca Raton, Florida, the cradle of American diversity," she said, to wry laughter from the audience.

Read more: 10 years of AdColor: Progress, setbacks and hope

Publishing pioneer and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp, serving as conference moderator, summed up the purpose for the gathering in her opening remarks.

If there aren't more people with diverse backgrounds and experiences in creative spaces and media as a whole, she said, "there will never be reflectivity" -- media that truly represents its audience.

The conference continues throughout the day with sessions on topics like increasing leadership diversity, creating conversations in the workplace about race and combatting unconscious bias. On Wednesday night, the 10th annual Adcolor Awards will be presented at the close of the conference.

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