CAF Logo

CAF Stands for Justice and Equality


As a Chicago community, we find ourselves at a time of profound sadness and pain. The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) unequivocally stands with the Black community and recognizes within the nation and in Chicago, racial inequality is real, and those realities impact each of us.

Being one of Chicago’s and the nation’s oldest and most established marketing and advertising communities, CAF has always been proud of our mission to foster and unite members within our dynamic industry and diverse city.

CAF founded a Diversity Thought Leadership Council as we realized the importance of being intentional and deliberate about our diversity and inclusion efforts. The Council works to ensure we are reflective of the Chicago marketing industry, reflect diverse perspectives, drive inclusivity and understanding, and most importantly dimensionalize issues important to Chicago’s diverse community.

CAF stands behind anti-racism as part of our commitment to inclusion and will increase our collective empathy and action for support of the Black community, locally on the South and West sides of Chicago, both of which have been greatly affected by the events of this past week.

We continue our long-standing partnership with and commitment to the Off The Street Club (OTSC), which is experiencing extreme challenges. As one of Chicago’s oldest boys and girls clubs, each year OTSC serves more than 3,000 children in West Garfield Park. The Club is a place for children to have a safe place to learn, laugh, and play without worry. We’ve recognized OTSC children are in need of being supported and safe now more than ever. The CAF encourages your support for OTSC.

CAF’s commitment is to lead with empathy and action in this moment to support our Black community and continue to unite, by making meaningful progress for our industry and the city of Chicago.


Leslie Wheeler
CAF Board President

Lizette Williams
Chair, Diversity Thought Leaders Council

Kristian May-Stewart
Committee Member, Diversity Thought Leaders Council



How the Diversity Council supports CAF initiatives

The Chicago Advertising Federation is always seeking opportunities to foster thought leadership in the marketing community and our Diversity Thought Leadership Council ensures that thought leadership reflects diverse perspectives. Our strong community is reflective of the entire Chicago marketing industry, and we deliver experiences that dimensionalize issues important to the that community, supporting greater inclusivity and understanding.

Current members of the CAF Diversity Thought Leaders’ Council:

  • Lizette Williams, Meta, Chair
  • Kristian May Stewart, Leo Burnett
  • Paul Dean, Arity
  • Jason Smith, Publicis Media
  • Edna Uribe, Univision
  • Christine Stepp, BET
  • Kenard Gibbs, BET
  • Wanda Sutherland, BET
  • Jeremy Hodges, Project Art Collective/Fresh Laundry/V.O.Y.D.
  • Felicia Fortenberry, TikTok
  • Johanna Lara, Google
  • Qadree Holmes, Quriosity Productions
  • Farissa Knox, RLM Media
  • Baomy Wehrle, Turner
  • Pepper Miller, Hunter-Miller Group
  • Dani Jackson, Edelman
  • Darryl Manuel, The Spin Artist
  • Phil Lee, The Spin Artist
  • Veronica Appleton, The Marketing Arm
Join CAF

Connect with thought leaders in the Chicago-based marketing and advertising industry