Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone, Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee and RCA Records exec VP of A&R Tunji Balogun are among the honorees who will be saluted at the Culture Creators 2018 Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch. The third annual invite-only event will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on June 22.
Rhone will be presented with the Icon Award, while Gee and Balogun will be recognized for their contributions to the music industry. ESPN journalist Jemele Hill will receive Culture Creators’ other special honor, the #MadeDefiant Award. Additional entertainment industry honorees include Roc Nation exec VP of strategic marketing & business development/head of communications Jana Fleishman (public relations), music video director/choreographer Fatima Robinson (dance/art) and producer Charles D. King and writer/producer Kenya Barris (both for film/television). Awards will also be handed out in the areas of technology, finance, fashion, sports, business and social activism.
Culture Creators was founded by Joi Brown, who is also senior vp of marketing, brand partnerships at Atlantic Records. “We must create a door that stays open for people of color, while reaching back and pulling forward our future generation of leaders,” Brown said in a statement to Billboard. “Our goal is to not only praise those behind the scenes who are real ‘culture creators’ but to further the conversation on diversity, opportunity, fiscal responsibility and investment, community building and dream defining. We want to ensure that we are creating space for more leaders in various industries who are empowered to be the curators of black culture and business globally.”
Last year’s Culture Creators honorees included 300 Entertainment CEO Kevin Liles, actress Tiffany Haddish and media personality Angela Rye. “The Culture Creators organization was founded because of the void in the recognition and celebration of black culture,” Liles told Billboard. “I’m proud to be associated with an organization that encourages the passing of the torch and looks to power players in the industry to solve communal issues.”
Culture Creators’ Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch is being sponsored by Rémy Martin, The Mane Choice and Morgan Stanley.