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Haywood R. Watkins III Awarded 2017 Bill Sharp Award

Awards and Events 315 Add to collection

J. Walter Thompson, the 4As and the Marcus Graham Project host event honouring top diverse talent in the industry

Haywood R. Watkins III Awarded 2017 Bill Sharp Award

Last week, the 7th annual Bill Sharp Award was presented to Haywood R. Watkins III at the 4A’s Face of Talent Society of Excellence Reception, an event honouring top diverse talent within the industry.

Watkins, currently an Associate Creative Director at digital agency, Truffle Pig, is a former WPP Fellow and creator of the ADCOLOR Futures program. Watkins has a passion for connecting diverse people in industry to share stories and beyond, and has spent time in Rio, London and Melbourne.

Named after advertising legend and industry diversity pioneer, William “Bill” Sharp, the Sharp Award was established in 2011 and provides a young person in advertising, marketing or media with a $3,500 scholarship.

“Bill has made a mark on the industry and on us as an agency. His commitment to prepare more diverse people for careers in advertising has impacted countless advertisers, agencies and creative work. We’re honoured to support his legacy and a more diverse and inclusive future for advertising,” said Laura Agostini, Chief Talent Officer, J. Walter Thompson Company.

"Being a past recipient of the Bill Sharp Award is the reason why I get to walk into my dream job every day. Like Mr. Sharp, I have a deep love for this industry, but I can clearly see where things need to improve. I've decided to walk in his footsteps by making it my duty to open doors for people of colour and vigorously champion their voices and stories within advertising," said Taylor Yarborough, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, 4A’s and 2012 Sharp Award recipient.

Bill Sharp was a group copy supervisor at J. Walter Thompson in the late 1960s, where he co-created and ran the Basic Advertising Course, which helped African-Americans learn the business of advertising. In 1969, Sharp published the book, How to Be Black and Get a Job in the Advertising Agency Business Anyway. His work and lasting devotion to helping create opportunities in the business for African-Americans has touched thousands of individuals in the industry.

“Diversity is the starting point, but without inclusion, diversity efforts have no traction. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the inaugural Basic Ad Course; which dad created as a means to diversify the industry with qualified talent. The diversity needle has not moved much since then, and with this 7th year for the ‘Bill Sharp Award for the Future of Advertising,’ his legacy continues.  At the inaugural ceremony, he said his hope was that advertising personnel would one day be consistent with the realities of society. It is an honour to partner with J. Walter Thompson, the 4A’s and the Marcus Graham Project to continue in making his hope a reality,” said Dianne Sharp-Parks, daughter of Bill Sharp.

“Having been inspired by the work that Bill Sharp started over 50 years ago, we continue to be humbled and honoured to carry on his legacy throughout the program and throughout the award like the Sharp Award,” said Lincoln Stephens, Co-founder and CEO, The Marcus Graham Project.

The award is sponsored by J. Walter Thompson, the 4As and The Marcus Graham Project, a non-profit organisation and network of diverse professionals dedicated to developing the next generation of advertising and media talent.

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Wunderman Thompson New York, Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:01:28 GMT