25 Ways To Help Solve The DEI Talent Challenge

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Most Promising Multicultural Students Recruitment Program.  Conceived by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in 1997 as part of its mission to be “the unifying voice for advertising,” the program connects the advertising industry with the nation’s top multicultural college students. 

Each year, professionals from advertising agencies, media companies and marketers get to interact and network with these candidates during industry immersions and at an exclusive recruitment expo which, this year, takes place February 7-10. 

So why am I so bullish on the Most Promising Multicultural Students Program? As a graduate of the very first year, I can testify first-hand to the importance of this initiative.  It gave me my first shot.  So it’s also a proven showcase for future industry leaders.

This program matters more now than ever. For 25 reasons.

In its 25th year, the Most Promising Multicultural Students Program has been a window into the future leaders of our industry.  To date, over 1,000 students have participated in this program.



For 25 years, the program has offered a solution to the industry’s DEI talent challenges.  More than 100 colleges and universities submit applicants every year.

For 25 years, a sizable number of graduates have gone on to long-term, important and history making careers in the creative industries.

For 25 years, sponsors of this program, leading agencies, entertainment companies, marketers and media platforms ranging from 72andSunny to Dentsu, Meta, FCB, IPG, McCann, Omnicom Group, UM Worldwide, The Trade Group, Wieden+Kennedy, Sony Music Group and more, have put their money where their mouth is to support DEI initiatives.

Yes, we have seen a strong shift in recent years towards increased diversity, but there is still much work to be done as we navigate our way towards a more satisfied and inclusive workforce. And everyone has to be on the front line in supporting programs that continue to deliver on the promise of bringing the very best to our companies.

In addition to Most Promising Multicultural Students, there are other industry initiatives to help address our DEI needs:  programs like MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Intern Program) which is sponsored by the 4A’s.

Black history is created 365 days of the year but I can think of no better time than now for the creative industries to make more history and advocate for these innovators of color.  

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