This D.C.-Based Summit is Bringing Creatives of Color to the Forefront
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Real-life connections and face-to-face interactions are coveted opportunities for many millennials in today’s digital world. Instead of merely scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reel on social media, studies show that millennials are investing in experiential activities.

Launched in 2018, the Foreground Summit provides creatives and founders of color with a safe space to network, develop their skills, and learn how to connect with brands and foster partnerships. Beyond inspiration, the summit promises to offer a diverse group of entrepreneurs tangible takeaways that can be immediately applied to creative work.

The upcoming two-day summit, which kicks off Tuesday in Washington, D.C., was created by Tamon George and Gary Williams, Jr., who initially launched Creative Theory, a multicultural marketing agency that seeks to amplify voices of color through storytelling.

“We started our company in 2015 with the aim of really finding more ways to get creatives and creatives of color more access to content, campaign ideation, and…involved in telling these stories about ourselves instead of having other agencies that don’t look like us do that for us,” George told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Over the last five years, we’ve built a really amazing client Rolodex,” he added, which includes Google, YouTube, and Under Armour.

BRINGING PEOPLE OF COLOR TO THE FOREGROUND

creative theory

The success of Creative Theory inspired the co-founders to create Foreground as a platform to empower others by sharing their ideas and strategies. As a company, we had “really early and exciting successes [as well as] access to a lot of really amazing and forward-thinking conversations about marketing and inclusivity. And we wanted to extend those concepts, thought processes, and frameworks to the people,” said George.

In addition, he says they wanted people to understand “the future of diversity, equity inclusion, and the marketing landscape.” And we wanted to bring all the corporate and creative professionals that we’ve worked with over the years to one place,” he said.

Another motivating factor was the drive to shine a light on creatives of color. “Things that become mainstream, they’re mainstream off the backs of the people who should be in the foreground but they’re kept in the background.”

THE ROOM IS THE RESOURCE

creatives of color

George says live events like Foreground are crucial for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to elevate their careers because it gives them access to a community of likeminded individuals. “The room is the resource,” he told BE. “All the people that you need, ask for, want to collaborate with and ask questions to, those people will be sitting next to you.”

In comparison to other conferences curated for millennials of color, George says Foreground is intentionally intimate and pairs people in specific industries and verticals. “Typically, when you go to some other events, you’re in a sea of 1,000 people and you really don’t have an opportunity to meet people expect [those] to your left and to your right.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to pitch their skills and collaborate with big companies and brands. “We’re giving them direct access to people who can hire them, work with them, [and] collaborate with them from the corporate side, but also from the agency side,” he added.

For more information on the Foreground Summit, click here.