Marsai Martin and Byron Allen Honored at Culture Creators 2019


Honoring the best and the bold of black creatives, innovators and intellectuals, Culture Creators celebrates its 4th annual Awards Brunch at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. No stranger to this event, Tanika Ray, co-host of EXTRA hosted the brunch alongside DeMarco Morgan, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning.

Tanika Ray, Co-Host of EXTRA and DeMarco, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning

Tanika Ray, Co-Host of EXTRA and DeMarco, co-anchor of CBS2 News This Morning


As one of the most exclusive and influential events during BET Awards Weekend, Joi Brown, Culture Creator’s Founder, has successfully crafted a space for Black Excellence to not only be recognized, but most importantly, be enlightening.

Joi Brown, Culture Creators Founder, SVP, Marketing and Brand Partner of Atlantic Records

Joi Brown, Culture Creators Founder, SVP, Marketing and Brand Partner of Atlantic Records


Kicking off this year’s brunch with the new addition of C-Suite: Culture Chats on trending topics such as Cannabis, Politics, Women on the Rise, Representation and Changing the Game, a full day was dedicated to panels and intentional conversation with some of today’s leaders to bring awareness and push the culture forward. The C-Suite Culture Chats definitely set the tone for what the brunch attendees would experience the following day.


This year, CEO of Entertainment Studios, philanthropist, comedian and television producer, Byron Allen accepted the Icon Award, preceded by his own Culture Chat moderated by Amy DuBois Barnett, the EVP, Digital + Chief Content Officer of The Grio—an Entertainment Studios-owned platform.



Check out Byron Allen’s Culture Chat below:


The youngest person in history, serving all the black girl magic, to hold the title of Executive Producer on a Hollywood Production, Actress Marsai Martin, received the Innovator of the Year Award. James Lopez, presented by Michael Ealy, received the Film and TV Award, for his work as President of Will Packer Productions.



To celebrate the recognition of all the honorees, there was an amazing amount of talent in attendance including: Past Icon Honoree Sylvia Rhone, Lalah Hathaway, Ryan Destiny, Lecrae, Chris Chalk (When They See Us), Omar Bolden, Brandon Marshall, Mona Scott-Young, Van Lathan, Kendrick Sampson, and more.



In support of highlighting the achievements of thought leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and other pillars of African American culture were corporate sponsors such as Lyft, Pepsi, Hilton, Don Julio Tequila and Lexus.

The list of 2019 honorees:


Innovators & Leaders Award 2019


Icon Award

Byron Allen

Founder, Chairman, CEO

Entertainment Studios

Innovator of the Year

Marsai Martin

Actress, Executive Producer

Film & Television

James Lopez, President Will Packer Productions


Tiffany R. Warren,

Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group

Founder & President, AdColor


Morgan DeBaun, Founder & CEO Blavity Inc.

Iddris Sandu, Entrepreneur


Phyllis Newhouse

Founder & CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp 


Quality Control Music: CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee


Antoine Phillips

Vice President, Brand and Culture Engagement, GUCCI


Alexys Feaster

Senior Director Player Development, NBA 


Simphiwe Ndzube 




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 All image provided by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images