Culture Creators, the esteemed organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating trailblazers in entertainment and fashion, hosted their highly anticipated 7th Annual Innovators and Leaders Awards Brunch on Saturday, June 24th, at the illustrious Beverly Hilton. This star-studded event, presented by Netflix and empowered by the Pronghorn Company and Lexus, exceeded all expectations, delivering an emotionally charged experience that left attendees inspired and deeply moved.
The prestigious awards brunch paid homage to two iconic figures that have made indelible marks on the industry. Busta Rhymes and MC Lyte, revered legends in their own right, were honored for their immense contributions to Hip-Hop and Black culture, while Chloe and Halle Bailey were recognized as the deserving recipients of the Innovator of the Year award. These remarkable individuals have redefined boundaries, shattered glass ceilings, and paved the way for future generations.
One of the undeniable highlights of the event was Busta Rhymes’ electrifying speech. After being presented with the Icon Award by Mona Scott Young and the inimitable Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes captivated the audience with his raw passion and authenticity, taking them on a journey through his illustrious career. He spoke from the depths of his soul, sharing personal anecdotes and revealing the struggles he faced while pursuing his dreams.
In a touching moment, Busta Rhymes reflected on his journey, stating, “I get a lot of love because I’m a giver of love…But I don’t get awards…not in this form. So it’s a little overwhelming for me because, Mona would know, a lot of times I would ask, ‘How much longer I gotta wait?’” As the significance of the moment began to settle in for the Icon Honoree, he stated “We are the founders of civilization, the makers and the owners of the planet, the gods of the universe. Our culture is the greatest. And with that being said, even when they gave us nothing, we created every culture.” 
The atmosphere was electric as the room hung on his every word. Busta’s speech served as a powerful reminder that success is born from perseverance, determination, and unwavering passion. His words resonated deeply with everyone in attendance, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts and inspiring them to embrace their own unique journeys.
The event was further elevated by the presence of esteemed guests and industry luminaries. Keith Powers, star of the Netflix original film “The Perfect Find,” graced the stage to present the Strong Black Lead summer lineup, igniting excitement and anticipation for the incredible content to come. The audience was captivated as Powers showcased the power of representation and the impact of storytelling.
Karl Kani, known as “Can I,” shattered the glass walls that have historically kept Black designers out, igniting a fervent call to embrace diversity and inclusivity in the fashion world. Troy Carter fearlessly challenged the tech industry to prioritize the inclusion of people of color, underscoring the need for equal opportunities.
Sevyn Streeter paid homage to Laurieann “Boom Kack” Gibson, the visionary force behind some of the industry’s most iconic artists, including Diddy and Lady Gaga. Dreamville artist Bas delivered a quirky and spirited speech celebrating the dynamic presence of Candace Rodney.
Among the 400 guests in attendance were other notable celebrities, including Jimmy Jam, Muni Long, Tone Stith, Kash Doll, Lady London, Ayoni, K Camp, Tasha Smith, Chante Moore, Kyla Imani, RAXX, Shalom Obiago, Stephen “Dr” Love, Teyonah Parris, Ts Madison, Myles Truitt, Lizzy Mathis, Christian Combs, Mitchell Edwards, Nzinga, Lodric D. Collins, Myles Bullock, Scar Lip, Novi Brown, Candiace Dillard Bassett, Amanda Reifer, and more. Their presence further enhanced the glamour and excitement of the event, emphasizing the industry’s collective commitment to celebrating diversity and fostering a sense of unity.
Additionally, the star-studded brunch provided a platform for influential personalities, industry gatekeepers, and aspiring creators to connect and collaborate. The event fostered an environment where creative minds converged, ideas flourished, and the spirit of community thrived.
Adding to the allure of the event, the Pronghorn Company curated a selection of specialty cocktails exclusively featuring Black-owned brands they have invested in. Attendees were treated to the rich flavors of Anteel Tequila, the smoothness of Old Hillside Bourbon Whiskey, the Caribbean-inspired Ten to One Rum, and the unique bitters crafted by Hella Bitters. This commitment to supporting Black-owned businesses perfectly aligned with the brunch’s mission of empowerment and celebrating diversity.
Joi Brown, the visionary founder and CEO of Culture Creators, set the tone for the brunch, delivering a powerful message that reverberated throughout the room, “We are the catalysts of change. Let us continue to defy expectations, empower one another, and shape a future where creativity knows no bounds.”