Culture Creators Announce 2nd Annual Awards Brunch in Partnership with VIBE Saturday June 24 during BET Awards Weekend


(Los Angeles, CA) — On Saturday June 24, 2017, Culture Creators will host its second annual Awards Brunch in Los Angeles, CA in partnership with VIBE. This exclusive invite-only gala begins at 11am sharp.

Now a BET Awards Weekend tradition for two consecutive years, the event recognizes the achievements of leaders, influencers, and positive forces throughout the African American community who galvanize and inspire the next generation via unparalleled work ethic, commitment to excellence, and groundbreaking innovation. Working with Vibe, Culture Creators highlights leaders whose influence ushers the culture forward.

The brunch also benefits the “Culture Creators Scholarship at Howard University.” The scholarship supports graduating Howard seniors pursuing degrees in the creative fields of theatre arts, marketing, media, film, television, and music, inspiring the expansion of a culturally diverse executive and talent base. The event also celebrates the creation of the Culture Creators Foundation that will benefit all students studying at historically African American colleges and universities.

Upholding the motto Create Share Inspire!, Culture Creators spotlights the work of both Leaders and Innovators in the community at large. Past honorees have included industry mavens such as Ethiopia Habtemariam, Michael “Blue” Williams, Juliette Jones, Yvette Noel-Schure, Mark Pitts, Chris Atlas, Andre Harrell, DJ Drama, and many more.

About this year’s brunch, Culture Creators founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records, Joi Pitts comments, “Last year, the energy in the room was nothing short of electric. We filled the room with powerful people of color, of all ages and backgrounds unified in the cause of uplifting the next generation to ensure that we are providing more diversity to fill the seats at the table.”

2017 EMCEE

LAZ ALONSO – ACTOR

 

 

2017 HONOREES

Derrick 'D-Nice' Jones

Derrick 'D-Nice' Jones

MUSIC View Details
KEVIN LILES

KEVIN LILES

MUSIC View Details
TUNDE BALOGAN

TUNDE BALOGAN

MUSIC View Details
COURTNEY LOWERY

COURTNEY LOWERY

MUSIC View Details
SYDNEY MARGETSON

SYDNEY MARGETSON

MUSIC View Details
MARSHA ST. HUBERT

MARSHA ST. HUBERT

MUSIC View Details
NATINA NIMENE

NATINA NIMENE

MUSIC View Details
JESSE COLLINS

JESSE COLLINS

FILM & TV View Details
VALEISHA BUTTERFIELD-JONES

VALEISHA BUTTERFIELD-JONES

TECH View Details
MARLON C. NICHOLS

MARLON C. NICHOLS

TECH View Details
MISA HYLTON

MISA HYLTON

FASHION View Details
TIFFANY HASBOURNE

TIFFANY HASBOURNE

FASHION View Details
ANGELA RYE

ANGELA RYE

MEDIA View Details
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD

MEDIA View Details
DYANA WILLIAMS

DYANA WILLIAMS

MEDIA View Details
BRICKSON DIAMOND

BRICKSON DIAMOND

FILM View Details
Derrick 'D-Nice' Jones

Derrick 'D-Nice' Jones

MUSIC

A good disc jockey remains one with their core––both audience and gut instincts. The same cohesion is demanded of a photographer and their endless search for beauty in all that eyesight offers. Being Derrick “D-Nice” Jones­­ produces challenges far greater than those of your average DJ and cameraman. Not only must the NYC native navigate through the pressure afforded an internationally respected maestro who’s opened for Billy Joel and Vice President Joe Biden alike, but do so while simultaneously documenting American lifestyle and culture as an entrusted celebrity photographer. The brand that is D-Nice is a deluxe one. A luxe deluxe brand, if you will: It overproduces art and experience in premium fashion.

Consistent grade-A creative has awarded D-Nice the trust of the biggest and best––mammoth networks (ESPN), spirit leaders (Hennessy signed him as a brand DJ in 2009), and even the leader of the free world (Barack Obama). It was after being anointed an official “DJ For Obama” and surrogate during the President’s second term campaign when the BrandNice head was bestowed the honor of spinning the 2012 Inaugural Ball.

To indulge in a D-Nice set is to be consumed by rhythm and the highest education of music history. His signature brew––‘80’s treasure, Top 40 must-haves and golden era Hip-Hop––has spelled dance floors from Times Square to Paris to Singapore. He’s been spotted in Harlem (his birthplace), at the Apollo Theater’s annual Spring Gala, sharing a set with Stevie Wonder; seen spinning above Miami’s Ultra Music Fest attached to an airborne helicopter. A tireless work ethic and guarantee of excellence has culminated into a minimum four-gig week, including a residency at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino.

That D-Nice is multi-impassioned prevents him from being defined as solely brand darling party rocker. His dedication to the 1’s and 2’s fuel his second love: photography. All-star access and a natural eye for candid stills built Derrick a stellar collection rich with coveted countries and A-list variety––Halle Berry to Kid Rock. It’s why in 2009, CW leapt at the opportunity to feature him as photographer on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. Whether spinning in South Africa on Mary J Blige’s tour or capturing the endless texture of Brooklyn Heights, D is rarely without his Leica camera. His passions are so organically interdependent that he’s often dual booked. “Puff [Sean Combs] will get on the phone with me like, ‘Yo, I need you to DJ for me in Paris, but you got to bring your camera, playboy!, ” tells D. “It’s cool to have that type of access because they know I’m not trying to exploit; just show the world my friends through my eyes.”

Before Derrick Jones was a modern day renaissance man, he was the youngest member of pioneering Hip-hop crew Boogie Down Productions, lead by the legendary KRS-One. Though it was 1987 when a teenage D-Nice put his first record atop a turntable (EPMD’s “It’s My Thing”), he would mainly serve as BDP’s prodigy producer before embarking on his very own solo rap career. In 1990, he would finally birth a classic of his own––the pulse and gospel of the debut single “Call Me D-Nice” is unforgettable. As the sun set on Hip-hop’s golden era to intro the darker nights of hardcore rap, D, although barely above age 21, found himself perceived as old-school. His career as a rapper would die as an infant. “I had to figure out how to live without people clapping.”

In 1998, he began ascending towards his destiny. After attending XXL magazine’s famous “Great Day In Hip-Hop” shoot, the Bronx-raised artist discovered an idol: Gordon Parks, the shoot’s photographer. Learning how often and varied Parks dipped into the arts pool, D realized a creative inside himself that he needed to live for instead of just with. He and his camera became inseparable; initially he mainly shot rap friends like De La Soul and Slick Rick. By 2003, Derrick began showcasing his sharp eye via his blog D-Nice.com, accompanying pictures with deliciously personal stories that starred Hip-Hop royalty. He would include his blog posts in email invitations sent to promote his early DJ gigs. Under the influence of disc jockey greats Mark Ronson and Hip-hop legend Q-Tip, it would be in famed former NYC staples like Table 50 where D-Nice would unearth his own identity behind the wheels of steel.

Though he’s blossomed into the Gordon Parks of today, the man who once took out suckers without anyone knowing how craves more colors on his wings. Anticipate his first photography exhibit in mid 2014, followed by an international DJ Tour shortly thereafter. His foray into Dance Music will evolve the father of two as a producer and DJ (he’ll begin incorporating drum machines into his sets). DM will allow Derrick to better articulate his boundless taste and share it on the most optimal stage: “I love music festivals. It‘s amazing that people will come watch a DJ explore with music. They look to the DJ to take them on a musical journey.”

So D-Nice’s dilemmas remain, and, in fact, are maturating at an exponential pace. Not only has he still not figured out how to live without people clapping, the applause has risen louder and traveled further.

KEVIN LILES

KEVIN LILES

MUSIC

Kevin Liles is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 300 Entertainment, a strategic technology based entertainment company and record label featuring established and up and coming artists such as Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Coheed and Cambria, Highly Suspect, Tee Grizzly and more.

Liles has one of the most storied careers in entertainment, rising from unpaid intern in 1991 to President of Def Jam Recordings by 1998. During his seven-year tenure as President, revenues doubled to $400 million through the diversification of the Def Jam brand, artist roster, and channels. Liles was instrumental in the leap of artists from “performer” to “global brand” among many of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B including Jay Z, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, and Ludacris. In 2004, Liles joined Warner Music Group as Executive Vice President and served on the executive team that took WMG public. He led WMG’s innovative “360-degree” strategy, expanding the limits of an artist’s career, while also trailblazing a way forward for recording companies as a business model formerly built around CD sales underwent dramatic erosion.

Liles is a committed philanthropist and advocate for youth empowerment and education. He is the founder of Kevin Liles for a Better Baltimore, which empowers disadvantaged youth in his hometown, and the Make It Happen Foundation, which provides underserved youth with entrepreneurship skills and exposure to higher education. He serves as a board member or advisor to several other organizations focused on empowerment, diversity, and social justice, is the is the best-selling author of “Make It Happen: The Hip-Hop Generation Guide to Success” and a producer for the critically acclaimed Broadway play The Trip To Bountiful, which earned Cicely Tyson her first ever Tony Award.

Liles is from Baltimore, MD, where he also attended Morgan State University. He currently resides in New Jersey.

TUNDE BALOGAN

TUNDE BALOGAN

MUSIC
COURTNEY LOWERY

COURTNEY LOWERY

MUSIC

Courtney Lowery serves as the Vice President of Publicity for Epic Records. Lowery has been a major component in building the careers of artists such as DJ Khaled, Future, Yo Gotti, Travis Scott and more. He is a graduate of Hampton University and currently resides in both New York City and Los Angeles.

SYDNEY MARGETSON

SYDNEY MARGETSON

MUSIC

An inventive and innovative publicity executive with an innate propensity for embracing the future, Atlantic Records VP of Publicity Sydney Margetson has envisioned, enacted, and executed successful campaigns for current roster acts as well as legacy artists. Upon leaving Howard University in 1995, he interned at Mercury Records, Def Jam, Polygram, and BMG before officially joining the Atlantic team as a Media & Artist Relations Assistant in 1996. Recognizing the burgeoning importance of the internet, he led public relations for the entire roster online and received a promotion to Coordinator in 1997 before becoming Director in 1999. 2002 marked a milestone as he personally broke Nappy Roots, architecting the launch of their iconic platinum-certified debut Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz.

Just a year later, he began working with T.I. on the seminal Trap Muzik. Including the historic launch of T.I.’s GRAMMY® Award-winning chart-dominating double-platinum 2008 Paper Trail—which encompassed his GRAMMY® performance of “Swagga Like Us” with Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne—Sydney shepherded the rap legend’s press through his final album for Atlantic Records, 2012’s gold-certified Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head. Simultaneously, he has spearheaded every campaign for Trey Songz since his signing in 2005. Between fostering the massive crossover of B.o.B, 2010 saw Sydney upped to Vice President. During that time, he started an unstoppable run with Wiz Khalifa that continues to this day, resulting in multiple magazine covers such as Rolling Stone and TV performances everywhere from Saturday Night Live, Ellen, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, and more. He stays entrenched at the forefront in 2017. Through successfully expanding the profiles of Young Thug, Kehlani, Lil Uzi Vert, Sir The Baptist, Kap G, and more, his deft vision guides the next vanguard in urban music and culture.

MARSHA ST. HUBERT

MARSHA ST. HUBERT

MUSIC

Marsha St. Hubert got her start in the business in 2002 as an intern for Lyor Cohen at IDJ. When Cohen left IDJ for WMG in 2004, he asked Hubert to join him. Shortly after moving to WMG, Hubert went to work for Atlantic Co-Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman, first as his assistant and then as A&R Operations Manager. In 2007, St. Hubert moved to Atlantic’s marketing department as a Product Manager, spearheading breakthrough projects by artists such as Wiz Khalifa, DJ Drama, and Lupe Fiasco. In 2012, she left the company for a two-year stint at Epic Records.
St. Hubert returned to Atlantic in 2014, reuniting with Wiz Khalifa and other artists, while working on new campaigns for Gucci Mane, Missy Elliott, Kodak Black, and PNB Rock, among others.

Host & creator of The Baby’s Mother podcast, where she discusses the joys and struggles of being a working mother of a young child.

NATINA NIMENE

NATINA NIMENE

MUSIC

Since joining the Def Jam Recordings team in 2012, Natina Nimene has served in positions of increasing responsibility from Northeast Regional Manager to her current position as Vice President of Urban Promotion. The Toledo, Ohio native’s promotional skills have led to multi-platinum No. 1 records from Jay Z, Jeremih, Desiigner, Big Sean, August Alsina, Kanye West and Rihanna to name a few. In the wake of Def Jam’s success, Natina is focused on continuing “Def Jam’s legacy of culturally redefining music.

2005 – 2008:
Mid Atlantic Regional Manager – Virgin Records
Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri

2008 – 2012:
Mid Atlantic Regional Manager – Atlantic Records
Trey Songz, Wiz Khalifa, T.I, Janelle Monae

JESSE COLLINS

JESSE COLLINS

FILM & TV

Jesse Collins is the executive producer for the hit series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart and the and BET’s highest rated, critically acclaimed 3 part miniseries The New Edition Story. His drive, dedication and unmatched energy as a writer and producer has consistently contributed to the critical success for award winning television programming including the Grammy® Awards, UNCF An Evening of Stars, BET Awards, BET Honors, BET Hip Hop Awards, Soul Train Awards, ABFF Honors, Dear Mama and Love & Happiness: An Obama
Farewell.

Collins has worked with superstar talent such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyonce, Jay Z, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Rihanna, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Anthony Anderson, Chris Rock, Lil Wayne and many more. He is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and resides in Los Angeles.

VALEISHA BUTTERFIELD-JONES

VALEISHA BUTTERFIELD-JONES

TECH

Valeisha Butterfield Jones is the Head of Black Community Engagement for Google and the co­founder and CEO of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN).

Valeisha has a deep passion for diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by her work for nearly two decades driving social responsibility campaigns and community engagement programs for corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Her work received global recognition and in 2009, Valeisha was appointed to serve in the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for International Trade and as the National Youth Vote Director for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, where she helped to deliver one of the highest youth voter turnouts in American history.

Valeisha has been recognized as one of our country’s most respected leaders in business and philanthropy, including Forbes, Essence & Ebony. Valeisha is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and a North Carolina native, but considers New York City her home away from home. She’s married and the mom of one son.

MARLON C. NICHOLS

MARLON C. NICHOLS

TECH

Marlon Nichols is a co-founder and managing partner at Cross Culture Ventures (CCV), an early stage venture capital firm with a focus on cultural investing (global trends and shifts in consumer behavior). Before founding CCV, Marlon was an investment director at Intel Capital where he completed his Kauffman Fellowship. Some of Marlon’s investments include Afrostream, Gimlet Media, Hingeto, LendStreet, LISNR, Mark One (Vessyl), Mayvenn and more.

Marlon currently serves on the board of directors for private companies LISNR, Shottracker and Sidestep, and was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

MISA HYLTON

MISA HYLTON

FASHION

Misa Hylton is an internationally renowned fashion stylist known most notably for creating groundbreaking moments in fashion and music. As an accomplished costume designer, fashion visionary, and entrepreneur, Misa has shaped the images for icons such as Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Faith Evans, Chris Rock, Kimora Lee-Simmons, Sean Combs, Queen Latifah, and Lil Kim.

Her Unique vision for fashion has been the driving force behind styling collections for established brands such as Baby Phat, Sean John, Korto Momolu of Project Runway, and Simone I. Smith. As an expert on the culture of hip-hop fashion, Misa has also worked with powerhouse corporations such as Pepsi, Viacom, and Proctor and Gamble in making their desire to appeal to a specific demographic a reality.

Misa and her resplendent fashion sense has graced the pages of publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vibe, Elle, InStyle, Essence and Paper Magazine. Later she humbly accepted the position as a Fashion Technology Consultant for Microsoft.

Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to pay it forward led to the development and opening of The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy – where Ms. Hylton instructs and mentors aspiring fashion stylists arming them with the etiquette, knowledge, and skill set needed for a successful career in fashion styling.

TIFFANY HASBOURNE

TIFFANY HASBOURNE

FASHION
ANGELA RYE

ANGELA RYE

MEDIA

Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation’s capital. She is a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst. She has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post, Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process.

Rye is a prominent strategist who has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC and TV One. The depth of her dialogue ranges from political campaigns to more complex legislation and administration policies that have long-term implications nationally and internationally.

She currently serves on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBCPAC), the Seattle University School of Law Alumni, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, Inclusv, and Wilberforce University. She is a member of The Links, Incorporated, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Washington Government Relations Group.

Reserved as the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress. In her role as Executive Director, Rye was tasked with developing the overall legislative and political strategy for the Caucus. Prior to working for the CBC, she served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson. Upon moving to the Nation’s Capital, Rye co-founded IMPACT, a nonprofit organization that seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement and political involvement.

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Rye learned the importance of advocacy through her family’s political and community activism. She is a proud graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD

MEDIA

New York Times best selling author Charlamagne Tha God rose to prominence as the co-host of the nationally syndicated hip-hop iHeartRadio program.The Breakfast Club. In addition to being a featured television personality on MTV and MTV2, he is also a social media influencer; an executive producer with his own production company, CThaGod World LLC, and co-host of the popular podcast “Brilliant Idiots.”

Born and raised in a small town in South Carolina, Charlamagne quickly rose to become one of today’s most unique and compelling media personalities. His controversial opinions and provocative celebrity interviews help drive the daily national conversation about issue related to hip-hop, race, society, and politics.

DYANA WILLIAMS

DYANA WILLIAMS

MEDIA

Dyana Williams is an entertainment powerhouse. A broadcasting professional for more than four decades, Williams is currently heard weekly on Radio One Philadelphia’s Old School 100.3 where she co-hosts Soulful Sunday. In addition, Williams is CEO of Influence, where she has engineered media strategies for a diverse clientele. Past and present clients include, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, T.I., members of the Dave Matthews Band, Janelle Monae, A$AP Rocky, The Zac Brown Band, three American Idols, one Real Housewife of Atlanta and one Love and Hip Hop cast member, among many others. She is a frequent commentator for TV One’s landmark NAACP Image Award winning docu-series, Unsung. She served as co-executive producer of the Teddy Pendergrass episode. She is a go to commentator on African-American music and culture and has appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper, PBS, MTV, BET, Good Day Philadelphia, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. She has also been profiled on NBC, VIBE, Essence, Ebony, Jet, Black Enterprise, Upscale, The Philadelphia Tribune and The Philadelphia Weekly.

Ms. Williams is also a community activist, print journalist, documentarian, and lecturer at colleges, universities, and corporations across the country, and internationally. In her role as a music advocate, Dyana successfully lobbied Congress, and helped to enact House Concurrent Bill 509 to recognize African-American music as a viable economic and cultural entity, establishing June as Black Music Month. For her activism, she was recognized in the White House by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Williams, a native New Yorker moved to her adopted hometown, Philadelpha over thirty years ago, where she is a Cultural Ambassador, received a Liberty Bell for her service and last year petitioned Mayor Michael Nutter to augment the longstanding slogan, The City of Brotherly Love to now include Sisterly Affection. Dyana also received a citation from the Guinness Book of World Records for her role as a co-producer of the World’s Largest Soul Train Line in Philadelphia in 2012.

Dyana graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film from the Klein School of Communication and Media, Temple University, where she also sits on their Board of Visitors. She also is an advisory board member for the National Museum of African-American Music in Nashville. As associate producer of the Marian Anderson Award, Dyana organized tributes to Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy, rock legend, Jon Bon Jovi and jazz great Wynton Marsalis. For the last two years, Dyana served with pride and enthusiasm as President of the Philadelphia chapter of The Recording Academy also known as the GRAMMYS. While Williams has had a full professional life, she most cherishes her role as mother to her three adult children, Caliph, Salahdeen, Princess Idia and adores her grandson, Luke Gamble! When not traveling for business, Dyana divides her time between her homes in Philadelphia and Treme, New Orleans.

BRICKSON DIAMOND

BRICKSON DIAMOND

FILM

Brickson Diamond is Chief Operating Officer and a member of The Executive Leadership Council, the mission of which is to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline and to develop African-American corporate leaders — one student and one executive at a time. He is a veteran investment management industry executive, philanthropist and activist. He spent 15 years in the investment business in varied roles including institutional marketing and leadership development. Eleven of those years were in the high net worth client space, during which time he established and coordinated Capital Group Private Client Services’ marketing and service efforts with high net worth focused investment management consultants nationally – a $1.2 billion practice.

Brickson is a founding board member and chair of The Blackhouse Foundation. He is a trustee of Brown University, the Middlesex School (Concord, MA) and the Tides Network and Foundation (San Francisco, CA). He is a past chair of the board of the National Hospice Foundation, and a past board member of the Liberty Hill Foundation (Los Angeles, CA).

Brickson is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Business School.