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ADCOLOR FUTURES Class of 2017: Melanie Liu, Travis McPhee

DigitasLBi

Melanie Liu & Travis McPhee

ADCOLOR FUTURES Class of 2017: Melanie Liu, Travis McPhee

Four DigitasLBi unicorns were honored and inducted into the ADCOLOR® FUTURES Class of 2017 at this year’s Annual Conference, held September 17-19 in Los Angeles. ADCOLOR is a nonprofit organization that celebrates and champions diversity in the advertising, marketing, media, public relations, and entertainment industries.

We asked our FUTURES three questions about their ADCOLOR experience and to share one image that best represents their time in Los Angeles. Check out our two other honorees' answers here

Melanie Liu, Producer, DigitasLBi Boston

 

What does it mean to you to be recognized as a member of the ADCOLOR FUTURES Class of 2017? 

In one of our breakout sessions, Google taught us about VR and racial identity. In a reflective portion of the presentation, we were asked to talk about a life-changing moment in our lives and how we pulled strength from it. My moment was realizing that I was never going to live up to my parents’ expectations. I knew I wasn’t going down the path they were looking for for me. When I shared this with the other Futures, every single one of them knew the struggle I described. The feeling of community I felt in those five minutes have made it worth the application, the anxiety, the nervousness. I have so many feelings towards being an ADCOLOR Future. Knowing I have this incredible support system of people of color behind me AND my agency to support me have made this a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Why is it important for the industry to have a devoted organization like ADCOLOR?

One of the other Futures, Cierra Moore, talked about Shonda Rhimes’s book, Year of Yes. In it, Rhimes mentions the struggle of finding your tribe. We, as young professionals of color, are finding our tribes here. Professionals well into their careers are finding their tribe here. We are a tribe of nurture, support, and so much more. This industry and other industries that need to diversify are finding faith in ADCOLOR because it gives validity to the feeling that people of color have to get that sense of belonging. 

What are your top three learnings you’ll share with your teams and colleagues back in the office?

First: Be your absolute, most authentic self. It’s what will set you apart from the rest and make you valued for your insight. Second: No one’s path is the same. I’ve struggled with trying to be the most successful, the most organized, the most put together…real life is nothing like that. It’s still something that I think about every day, but I know that I have the resources and the support that I need to be the best that I can be in my own timeline. Third: It’s okay to be different. One of my favorite lines was from Elaine Welteroth’s acceptance speech for the Catalyst Award. She said, “It’s one thing to be accepted by others, but another to be recognized by your own.” I feel like this is the start of my own recognition: not necessarily by others, but recognizing that I am valuable. I can make my own difference some way, somehow.

Share the one image that best represents your ADCOLOR experience:

 

Travis McPhee, Associate Planner, Paid Social, DigitasLBi New York 

 

What does it mean to you to be recognized as a member of the ADCOLOR FUTURES Class of 2017? 

To be recognized as an ADCOLOR Future gives me a platform to speak on my passion for diversity in the industry for people of color and have conversations with a diverse range of individuals who have a genuine interest in discussing the subject matter. Also, there is a responsibility to uphold the ADCOLOR credo: Rise Up & Reach Back. Having this opportunity and privilege to form relationships with industry leaders that look like me -- this fuels me to continue on a mission to create a more inclusive workspace for younger generations. Lastly, being recognized as an ADCOLOR Future means I am on the right path in my personal and professional life, one step at a time, to improve myself and those around me.

2). Why is it important for the industry to have a devoted organization like ADCOLOR?

It's important because ADCOLOR continues to recognize the talent that goes overlooked and unappreciated by most agencies. ADCOLOR is a group of individuals coming together to improve the shared voice we have and the lives we affect through our work. This combination of diversity and intersectionality equals a sum greater than the few who fail to realize the damaging effects of exclusion. 

What are your top three learnings you’ll share with your teams and colleagues back home?

The top three learnings I will share with my team and colleagues back in the office are to remain optimistic, find an intersection with someone through empathy and cultivate deep relationships with others, and lastly, ask how you can become involved with diversity and inclusion programs.  

Share the one image that best represents your ADCOLOR experience:  

Melanie Liu & Travis McPhee

Producer; Associate Planner, Paid Social

Melanie Liu is a Producer with DigitasLBi Boston, and Travis McPhee is an Associate Planner with the Paid Social team at DigitasLBi New York. 

UP NEXT

ADCOLOR FUTURES Class of 2017: Kim Chau & Justin Ollivierre