The 2019 Culture Creators Brunch Celebrates Game Changers, Innovators & Leaders

Byron Allen, Marsai Martin, Coach K & Pee among Culture Creator Brunch Honorees.

Photo by Jerritt Clark/ Getty Images for Culture Creators

(AllHipHop Features) The 4th annual Culture Creators "Innovators & Leaders" Brunch brought together some of black culture’s most impactful and inspiring voices under one roof at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Culture Creator's commitment to celebrating and highlighting the hard-working artists, entertainers, executives, and philanthropists who are pushing the culture forward is admirable.

The brunch has become one of the hottest, inspiring, and influential events during BET Awards weekend as it celebrates creative leaders and game changers in the culture.

The brunch was hosted by entertainment journalist Tanika Ray of EXTRA, and DeMarco Morgan of CBS2 News This Morning. 

Every speech was inspiring and thought-provoking, but no one moved the room as much as businessman, television producer, comedian, philanthropist, and founder, owner, and CEO of Entertainment Studios, Byron Allen.

Allen accepted the Icon Award, and shared some pretty amazing anecdotes about his success story and his journey. Before accepting his award, Allen participated in a Q&A moderated by Amy DuBois Barnett of The Grio. He discussed the importance of African Americans having access to capital that's not predatory, and also shared that he is fighting all the way to the Supreme Court for the equal rights and inclusion of African Americans in television programming.

Quality Control Music CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee accepted the Culture Creator's Music award. Pee thanked Coach K for changing his life, and he encouraged those in attendance to pay it forward when they got their "shot".

Michael Ealy presented James Lopez with the Culture Creator Award for Film & Television Excellence. Lopez's boss, the one-and-only Will Packer pre-recorded a hilarious congratulatory video that was shown.

Marsai Martin accepted the Innovator of the Year Award as she promised to continue representing and empowering young girls who may feel like they don't have a place. Issa Rae sent her praise via video and thanked Martin for inspiring her and showed gratitude for her time spent working with Martin.

Hilton's director of Multicultural & Diversity Relations and Global Affairs also announced a partnership with Culture Creators where they would support creators of the culture and their efforts first with the forthcoming HBCU Summit  in D.C. Culture creators will be afforded the opportunity to expand their reach and experience with extended resources from Hilton.

Check out the complete list of the 2019 Innovators & Leaders Award honorees below:

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