Feature, International, International, Student Activities, Student News



Celebrating Creative Energy that Promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

(staff, April 2024, STX).

The University of the Virgin Islands Association of Black Journalists (UVIABJ) continues to live vicariously through its members and announces another historic ‘first.’

The student organization proudly reports that former Vice President Shugga Rosenbloom, now an active UVIABJ member in France, was chosen to receive several coveted guest passes and attend the prestigious 2024 Cannes Lion Festival, or The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which has been called  the “Oscars of Advertising.”

Madame Shugga Rosenbloom. photo-credit: Rosenbloom memoirs

Cannes, France, where Shugga resides, transforms every year into a huge festival of creativity in marketing and advertising and a celebration of groundbreaking ideas, innovative campaigns, and awe-inspiring creative work.

The 2024 Cannes Lions one-week guest pass award reflects Shugga’s tenacity, ingenuity, and appreciation for industry trends, as well as her talent for assertively pursuing opportunities and ‘pushing the envelope’ of inclusion and diverse interaction.

The achievement also underscores the excellence of UVIABJ and its members. In a phone call back to Christiansted, Shugga reported, “I am absolutely thrilled and incredibly honored to have been selected after submitting my application, which highlighted the fantastic work done by UVI Voice 2.0 and UVI.”

Shugga credits the students’ online newspaper however, comparing UVIVOICE 2.0 to Cannes Lions is an exceptional compliment. According to its website, this Festival is “the industry’s most prestigious award ceremony for the world’s most incredible ideas.”

Lions Creators will run alongside the annual flagship event, offering a mix of learning and networking experiences. photo: Cannes Lion

As one of a select few, Shugga has been granted Festival passes, a privilege that provides full access to a week of exclusive activities. This award, with an estimated average value of $12,000, is a testament to the recognition of Shugga’s talent, will- power, advocacy, and optimism 

Dr. Sharon Honore, associate professor and advisor to Shugga, says, “Receiving this award is an extraordinary demonstration  that highlights the prestige of the Festival and the caliber of Shugga Rosenbloom, who continuously, and relentlessly advocates for UVI and HBCUs.”

Her efforts for more diverse representation in the media industry are echoed by Diversity in Cannes founder Yolonda Brinkley, who will showcase the 15th anniversary of the independent Diversity in Cannes Short Film & Web Series Showcase this year.

This independent event was created to “encourage content creators from unique backgrounds to share their stories during the Cannes Film Festival.”

Diversity in Cannes also acknowledges and rewards the talents of filmmakers, who may otherwise be overlooked or ignored on the mainstream Cannes platform and promotes original productions that include diverse thought, race, gender, age, religion, physical ability and sexual orientation.  

Top six to eight films & web series from ALL eligible entries as determined by Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes and its partners  are considered in competition and screened in the months prior to the festival. Winners are determined by a jury and announced at the showcase.

Shugga will be among the chosen few invited to a sneak peek of the glitz and glamour associated with these productions, witnessing incredible magic, excessive expense, and majesty. The Program Content during Cannes Lions ranges from brands to agencies, inspirational talks to practical learnings, and the five Festival Content Streams for 2024 include Trends and Insights, Innovation Unwrapped, The Creativity Toolbox, Talent and Cultures, and Creative Impact.

Select trophies -Cannes Lions

The Cannes Lion Festival offers a distinct platform for global networking. As Shugga mingles with content creators from around the world, she will have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, exchange ideas, and showcase UVI excellence.

UVIABJ is confident that she will make the most of this incredible opportunity and report valuable insights that will aid our community. 

Congratulations, Madame Shugga Rosenbloom, artist extraordinaire!


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  1. Felisha Felix says:

    How exciting. And such an amazing talent! Definitely one to aspire to. Love to see one of own living the dream. Congratulations Shugga.

  2. S.D.R. says:

    This is a well written article. I am humbled to represent UVIABJ and UVI. Thanks to Dr. Honore for her leadership and encouragement to reach for the impossible.

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