About Cephas In Cannes
This year Cephas had been invited to speak at the Cannes Lions Festival, he found himself torn between speaking to the same crowd about the change we need to see in the industry and doing something about it. As a result he set out to raise £30,000 to take 3 Black Creatives with him to the Cannes Lions Festival.
It’s one thing to have Black people out in Cannes, but it’s another thing to have us feel connected, included and benefit from a network that many ordinarily wouldn't have. It was important to Cephas that the Black talent that joined him had access to an ecosystem of support and relationships that they can build over time.
So in the spirit of putting your money where your mouth is Cephas put up £10,000 of his own money to support this mission and encouraged those within his network, and further, to support this mission in whatever way they could to help reach the goal of £30,000. In just 3 weeks, we raised over £60,000 and as a result were able to take not 3 but 6 Black creatives and a team of 14 people on this journey with us.
This was supported by Tesco, Lucky Generals, Soho House & Co, , BBH London, McCann London, OLIVER Agency, Salesforce, Clear Channel UK, Talon Outdoor, Dentsu Creative, Idris Elba and The Black British Network.
Cephas hopes to take more Black creatives over time and is working through the mandate already set by the Black British Network to improve the experience of Black talent/business across the industry alongside the Black Experience at Cannes.
If you'd like to support this in 2023 please email us at
If you're Black and interested or connected to the creative industry / would like to engage with our events across the year and join us at Cannes 2023 sign up below.
MEET THE TALENT
Intro Video to the 6 Black Creatives who came out with Cephas this year
3 PART TRAILER
6 Black Creatives, 5 Days in Cannes, 3 Talks, 1 Mission
Pre Cannes Party at Soho House
Black creatives and team at the airport
Visiting Inkwell Beach
Creatives Lunch with Coodie
In conversation with Keith Weed
Wendy Clark & Deborah Williams
In conversation with Ete Davies
In conversation with Barry Cupples
In conversation with Phill Thomas
In conversation with Adrianne Smith
Closing Party with
What leaders have said about Cephas and his work
“I’m proud to support Cephas on his mission to raise visibility and to make changes around inclusivity in the creative space. The industry needs more voices that reflect the culture and what society looks like today. This can only happen by creating more opportunity and making sure there’s a seat at the table for everyone."
"Cephas is a really important part of the Soho House community. His work to drive better representation for Black creatives is inspiring, we’re proud to support the campaign and to have the three shortlisted creatives as part of our membership"
Soho house, UK Managing Director
" I admire Cephas’ passion and unwavering dedication to address the diversity imbalance through primary behavioural and systemic change. Cephas and I speak regularly and I value his wise counsel – he has taught me that to say nothing is not an option and that positive action – no matter how small, is a step in the right direction to support the Black community. Talon is very proud to support Cephas and together with some amazing OOH media partners, we will continue to ensure his message is spread to the widest audience possible to drive the desired effect of delivering impact, action and change."
Group CEO of Talon
"Cephas is an inspiring driver of changing attitudes and his beautiful ‘Letter to Zion’ demonstrates his special combination of empathy and passion. I’m personally proud to be an ally and supporter."
Clear Channel Outdoor, Worldwide CEO
"I was introduced to Cephas Williams through Simon Pegg and was immediately captivated by the intelligence, integrity and style with which Cephas has crafted his work. Cephas’ work is important and impactful and I am delighted that Sony Pictures have been able to support his vision."
Sony Pictures TV International Production, COO
"From the moment I met Cephas, I knew that he was an agent for change. He has a remarkable combination: he is both candid and constructive, resolute but not judgmental, focused but inclusive.
If the Black British Network can reflect that, it will succeed. It challenges, it offers hope, and it paints a better future; what could be more inspiring? Ascential is committed to supporting the Black British Network in driving the necessary change to create a more equal Britain."
Ascential, President, Marketing Division & Chairman, LIONS
"A lot of this year's winners will no doubt have a diverse theme or draw directly from Black culture so it's a travesty that awards audiences don't usually reflect this. Cephas' mission to take as many Black creatives to Cannes as possible is a brilliant way to start to redress this imbalance."
Lucky Generals, Founding Partner
"I’m involved with Cephas because, like him, I believe in working together for a better future. The more people that are engaged in building a brighter future the greater the progress. What inspired me in his letter was the commitment to improvement from whatever position you or your organisation may be. It’s the commitment to improvement that is important"
“The truth is, no one is perfect and even I cannot promise you that I will not make mistakes along my journey. The more I tried to strive for perfection the more I realised “perfect “isn’t real. And so there is no “perfect “, only improvement." - Quoted from Cephas' Letter to Zion
WPP, Non-Executive Director
“I was moved by Cephas’ letter, and impressed by the speed with which he’s galvanised action across so many sectors. We’re joining the Black British Network and coming together with other businesses to help ensure people can succeed in the business world regardless of their race. We have to create positive change for the good of society, and because it’ll make our business and society at large, stronger.”
Publicis Groupe, UK CEO
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