UNC Senior Barbrianna Adams awarded scholarship that aims to help diversify ad industry

Durham, NC, July 10, 2017 — McKinney announced today that Barbrianna Adams has been named the recipient of the 2017 Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship. Established in 2016 to honor former McKinney COO Joni Madison, the scholarship helps students from underrepresented minority groups learn from working as interns at the agency.

Adams, a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, is a rising senior at the UNC School of Media and Journalism.

“We created the scholarship to honor and perpetuate Joni Madison’s legacy for promoting diversity in the ad industry and in our beloved Durham,” said Sue Roche, chief talent officer. “Barbrianna embodies everything the scholarship stands for. From the beginning, she exuded a passion for bringing people together so there is a mutual respect and understanding of each other. We believe she will serve as a catalyst for connecting people of different backgrounds and experiences and will help McKinney continue to build a dynamic and inclusive work culture.”

“In my earlier years of education, diversity seemed like a convenience to the school as opposed to a necessity,” said Adams. “In college, I began to understand there were so many silent voices in the fight for equality. From cultural divides to sexual orientation, my knowledge began to grow because of my willingness to gain new perspectives. Unity in the struggle became more precious to me than the divide. Diversity began to mean the access of opportunity for all types of people. I hope to use my experiences and knowledge to help McKinney and the ad industry further build an environment of inclusivity and opportunity for everyone.”

As chief operating officer from 2003 to 2016, Madison helped create an agency culture that champions diversity. She was a human rights advocate and leader both in the public and private sectors. As a volunteer for Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights agency, Madison served as a member of the board of directors from 2007 to 2014. Today, she is HRC’s chief operating officer and chief of staff.

 

About the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship

Scholarship recipients are selected by Madison and the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship committee based on their participation in campus or community activities and their demonstrated impact, with preference given to first-generation college attendees and applicants from underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community.

The Mternship program is structured for full-time graduate or undergraduate students, or a recent grad who is pursuing a career in advertising or marketing communications. In its 13th year, the program offers students career assistance, training, development, hands-on work experience and a paycheck.