Representation Roundtable: AntiRacism @ Work


By the minneapolis egotist / /

Tomorrow, October 21, AdFed is hosting their Representation Roundtable Series. The online event starts at 8:30 CDT and wraps at 9:30 CDT. It’s free for AdFed members and $10 to non-members. Get your tickets here.

It is high time the advertising agency take a hard look in the mirror and ask if they are holding themselves accountable when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The word “diversity” is often thrown around as an initiative or goal, but what does it really mean in practice for the advertising and marketing industries?

For us to move the needle in the direction of real, tangible progress – we need to have a real conversation about how people are hired, treated, and represented in our industry.

This conversation, driven by local BIPOC designers, copywriters, and creatives aims to bring light to the shortcomings of our industry and provide insight into how we can improve hiring processes and bring equity into the workplace.

We aren’t the only ones having this conversation, but as an organization that prides itself on supporting ALL advertising and marketing professionals, we need to do better and encourage others to do the same. Join us for this necessary conversation.


Moderated by Nathan Young, Founder at 600 & Rising.

Panelists include Cornelius Beard, Associate Designer, 10 Thousand Design and Host of the Podcast Under Represented; Irv Briscoe, Director, Global Front-End Development at Epsilon; Mike Collins, Integrated Copywriter, Periscope; and Joanne Torres, Creative Director at Fallon.


More about the panelists.

Nathan Young is a leading creative strategist with a strong digital background and a sharp hairline. Nathan excels at leading teams of strategists to uncover insights and tell powerful stories through the practice of radical empathy. Over the past decade, Nathan has had the opportunity to help top brands handle tough challenges including Intuit, Hefty, Dell, Zillow, Microsoft, Amazon, Fujitsu, and Nathan is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion, and the founder of 600 & Rising, a non-profit grassroots organization that advocates for and advances Black talent in the advertising industry.

Cornelius Beard is a creative living in Saint Paul, MN, whose ventures mostly involve graphic design and photography, focusing on branding and content strategy. He co-hosts @UnderRepresented, a podcast about design & culture from the Black perspective and is currently an Associate Designer at @10Thousanddsgn, a kick-ass design shop in the heart of Minneapolis. His experience comes from a complex background including; a few internships, three colleges and 6 years of serving in the US Army. His military background consists of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, 18 jumps out of aircrafts, 5 promotions, 5 duty stations, and an undocumented amount of miles ran in the rain and feels his military background is important because it has given him valuable lessons about leadership, perseverance, organization and the value of working as a team.

Irving Briscoe, also known as Irv, is the Director of Global Front-End Development at Epsilon. His love of technology and problem-solving has led him to work for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Google, Target, Citi Bank, AMEX, Chevron and Delta Airlines are amongst the list of companies Irv has led toward utilizing new technologies to improve how they engage with their customers.

Mike Collins is an integrated copywriter who’s worked at Best Buy in-house, Preston Kelly and, various creative internships before landing at his creative home, Periscope. He’s probably the only black person you’ve ever met from Connecticut, the country club of America.

Joanne Torres, who goes by Jo, is an ad agency receptionist-turned-finance-coordinator-turned-copywriter-turned-creative-director. She discovered she had a knack for copywriting at the same time she forgot to send a bill to a client for $30,000 in hard costs. Ooof, it was bad. Rather than get fired for her fiscal incompetence, she was embraced by the creative department and given a chance to work her ass off. Currently, she’s gainfully employed at Fallon where the majority of her time is spent thinking about Arby’s sandwiches and how to get more people to eat them. Prior to Fallon, she spent time at mono in Minneapolis and Eleven in San Francisco. She’s done work for more clients than she can remember. Mostly because Jo’s at an age where she’s starting to forget stuff. A few she knows off the top of her head are Arbys, Target, Apple, Virgin America Airlines, The North Face, the Oakland As, and the 826 Valencia Pirate Store. She’s won some awards, a few contests, and sweepstakes, but not the lottery.


  1. Keith Lowborn October 21, 2020

    Yes, our annual conversation to listen to BIPIC talk then leave inspired to take concrete steps to put together an inclusion initiative until the next client need or new business pitch arrives. Same sh*t, different panel. This is tired, Ad Fed board. Are you committed to real change? Set up a program for agencies to plug into their culture. The agencies ain’t making progress, and looking in the mirror isn’t working. See ya next year!

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