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Approximately 100 digital and tech leaders assembled in New York City on the evening of Thursday, October 19 for networking; food and libations; and a celebration of Digital Diversity Network’s (DDN) 2nd annual Innovation & Inclusion Awards honorees.

Launched by DDN in 2016, the Innovation & Inclusion Awards recognize the achievements of diverse digital and technology professionals of all ages, nationwide. In addition to providing the reward and recognition so critical to retaining talent the awards program serve to: Inspire the digital and tech sectors to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion; Facilitate networking among diverse tech professionals, hiring companies and tech investors; and Inspire future generations to pursue STEAM careers, regardless of socio-economic background.

Nominees were sourced from an open and public call for nominations from June 13 through August 4, 2017 that yielded nearly 100 entries in five categories: Code Breakers, Change Agents, Culture Catalysts, Inventors/Innovators and Social Entrepreneurs. A total of 16 honorees were selected by a confidential committee of digital and tech execs on the basis of their outstanding achievements; career success; volunteer and civic engagement; and honors and recognitions. Honorees were also required to attend the ceremony.  Photos of the honorees are below.

The awards celebration also included two special recognitions. NBCNews.com was recognized with an Impact Award for its groundbreaking role in providing a suite of digital products—NBC Asian American, NBC BLK, NBC Latino and NBC Out– to engage, inspire and inform underserved communities. Moreover, each diversity vertical is managed by a woman who is reflective of their audience demographic and thereby helping to bridge gender and diversity gaps in the newsroom.

Additionally, a Connector Award was jointly conferred upon Vicky Colf, Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Raymond Ealy, Founder & CEO, STEAM:CODERS for their partnership to provide STEAM education and mentoring to girls in underserved communities in the Los Angeles area while simultaneously fostering a more diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline at Warner Bros. Technology.

Congratulations, again, to all of our honorees! As summed up in many of your acceptance speeches, you are “living your dream while also changing the dreams and aspirations of those who come behind you.”

Highlights from the evening may be found in the event gallery.