As the Black cult classic film Boomerang celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the Marcus Graham Project (MGP)— inspired by the film’s main protagonist and marketing executive extraordinaire, Marcus Graham—held a Black-tie gala commemorating the organization’s 15 years of shifting representation in media with its Crystal Clear 15 Year Anniversary event.

MGP was co-founded by Lincoln Stephens and Larry Yarrell with the impetus of aligning young Black professionals with career opportunities in the media field. In 2009, the initiative launched its first training program, the iCR8 Boot Camp, rooted in the mission of helping to jumpstart media careers and spark a shift in diversity across the media landscape. Since the boot camp's start, it has expanded to Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.

Attendees of the 15th anniversary of the Marcus Graham Project are all smiles. Image: courtesy of Stephon Latham.

EBONY Media's iconic sister brand JET served as a proud media sponsor for the Marcus Graham gala. JET was an integral part of Boomerang's legacy as it was used as a key reference within the film's plot.

"JET is currently in the middle of developing how we will fuel a new generation, and when Lincoln reached out about the Crystal Clear Gala, we felt compelled to support as a media partner," said Daylon Goff, president of JET. "This partnership birthed the first printed JET magazine since 2014, made as a commemorative program booklet for the 15th anniversary of Marcus Graham Project and the 30th Anniversary of Boomerang. This little piece of culturally significant and functional nostalgia allowed JET to fuel this stellar celebration and contribute to the future of this wonderful organization."

Image: courtesy of Marcus Graham Project.

The second day of the celebration attendees were able to participate in a screening of the film. Following the screening, servant leaders and supporters who are doing phenomenal work for the culture were highlighted via a talk back sponsored by Paramount and Procter & Gamble.

Goff spoke on the talk back panel with other prominent media leaders to discuss the movie's impact in cinema, Black culture and the marketing industry as a whole.

Daylon Goff, President of JET, attends the Marcus Graham Project's 15th anniversary gala. Image: courtesy of Michael McDermott.

The panel was moderated by Media Personality & Attorney Rachel Lindsay Abasolo and included panelists Heather Woodard, Director of Cultural & Community Communications at McDonald's USA; Dianne Sharp Parks, founder and Chief Purpose Officer at The Bootstrap Initiative; and Detavio Samuels, CEO at REVOLT.

The Boomerang Effect: You Can't Be What You Can't See panel during the Marcus Graham Project's 15th anniversary. Image: courtesy of Michael McDermott.