Cephas Williams taking Black creatives to Cannes

by Cephas Williams in London, England, United Kingdom


£50,000 stretch target 3 days left
114% 66 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 25th May 2022 at 12:49pm

Cephas wants to help diversify Cannes Lions by taking Black creatives who wouldn't ordinarily have the access or opportunity to do so.

by Cephas Williams in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

- If you came here to apply to go to Cannes with Cephas please click here 

- If you'd like to learn more, please read below;

There is a huge amount of Black talent across the country who would love to go to Cannes, but may not have the funds to get there. Equally, 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's important for the Black creatives we take to have access to an ecosystem of support and relationships that they can build over time and while Cephas may not have much, with what he does have, he wants to give back and pay it forward, to make sure their presence at the festival is fruitful.

When Cephas was in Cannes Lions 2019, he genuinely felt like the odd one out. As much as he appreciated efforts to try and make forums like Cannes more inclusive, from his personal experience it’s going to take people like him who have a direct connection to the communities they represent, to take action and use their own platform and money to help drive change in this space.


The Mission

So, this year Cephas will be taking 3 Black creatives from any agency or any university/creative higher education course to Cannes with him and three members of his team. Alongside taking the creatives to Cannes, Cephas will also be personally connecting the creatives with leaders and forward-thinking people within the advertising and media industry. Each creative will benefit from Cephas' personal network and will be invited to all the events/places where he will be speaking. Cephas and his team will help coordinate their time alongside his to help them build relationships and connections that hopefully go on to last through their career/lifetime.


Cephas will be putting £10,000 of his own money to support this mission and he is encouraging those within his network, and further, to support this mission in whatever way they can to help reach the goal of £30,000. However, the more funds we can raise together, the more Black creatives we can take on this journey with us.

Cephas hopes to take more Black creatives over time and position himself as a conduit to increase representation and genuine inclusion at forums like this.

If you are a Black creative and would like the chance to come to Cannes with Cephas and his team, please visit our website here to submit your application. We will be shortlisting the Black creatives across this period. The application deadline is Sunday 22nd May 2022 11:59pm.

If you are an organisation and would like your Black staff members to join Cephas and his team in Cannes, please email us directly at [email protected]

If you would like to join Cephas on this mission and contribute, please donate below. #CephasInCannes


About Cephas Williams

Cephas is the photographer and creator behind the groundbreaking 56 Black Men campaign, the Portrait of Black Britain exhibition series and the founder of the Black British Network

Since launching the 56 Black campaign in December 2018, it has had both a local and global impact and has since been featured in The Guardian, The Metro, The Independent, on Channel 5, Sky News, BBC and Aljazeera amongst other local and global news outlets. 

Over the years Cephas has been successful in galvanising support for his businesses from key partners and industry leaders,  and more recently through an his open letter to his son, Letter to Zion which he used as an introduction to the Black British Network. 

Since it’s release in 2020, Letter to Zion has been signed by 44 executives who have committed to supporting the conversation, and coming together collectively to drive toward systemic change for Black people throughout the UK. During this time, Cephas and his team have also engaged and onboarded 17 founding member companies to the BBN across 2021 including Tesco, EY, Alfa, Publicis Groupe, Clear Channel, Virgin Media O2, Lucky Generals, AMVBBDO, The Co-Op Group, Dechert LLP, Sainsbury’s, Facebook (Meta), Mother, Accenture, Salesforce, Unilever, Ascential as well as involving friends in leadership roles, Paul Polman (Ex CEO of Unilever), Simon Pegg and others. 

Last year, Cephas launched Portrait of Black Britain, a series co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival and later supported by Landsec. Cephas showcased the initial 116 portraits with the aim to amplify and recognise the contributions made by Black people living in the UK, giving a holistic picture of the various roles Black people play in society and providing more visibility for future generations in a centralised way that speaks to legacy. With the mission to reach1000 portraits, the Portrait of Black Britain series has gone from strength to strength and has since grown to 219 portraits with coverage in the BBC, ITV News, Metro, The Drum and many more. You can read more about Portrait of Black Britain and see the entire collection of images and exhibitions to date here.

At this time Cephas is focused on raising the social consciousness, with a specific focus on the issues Black people face and how we dismantle systemic racism through the Black British Network. Some of the activities to look out for this year include the release of The Black Paper, the second year of our Roundtable Conversations, the BBN Conference and the Portrait of Black Britain UK Tour to name a few.


UPDATE 12TH MAY 2022 - Lucky Generals contribute £4,500 to support taking Black creatives to Cannes!



UPDATE 18TH MAY 2022 - Soho House contributes £5,200 to support taking Black creatives to Cannes



UPDATE 19TH MAY 2022 - OLIVER Agency contributes £6,000 to support taking Black creatives to Cannes


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