WASHINGTON, DC — October 15 — Last night, athlete and social justice advocate, Colin Kaepernick, accepted The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) Global Game Changer Award at the organization’s Annual Recognition Gala and 35th Anniversary Celebration.
Prompted by the event’s theme “Celebrating Our Impact and Inspiring Our Future,” Kaepernick praised The ELC’s history and called on Black corporate executives to build futures through collective efforts that do not replicate the very ideas and structures that need to be uprooted to achieve racial and economic equality.
“As you commemorate your 35 years of community impact and educational outreach, know, too, that I celebrate your accomplishments and recognize the importance of the work you have done in supporting global Black leaders who support our communities without apology or exception,” Kaepernick said. During the annual gala, Kaepernick underscored the critical need for personal sacrifice and disruption in order to effectively change the status quo and change the narrative for future generations.
President and CEO of The ELC Michael C. Hyter echoed Kaepernick’s message, acknowledging that as The ELC’s leader, his vision for the organization and its members includes a commitment to the mission of bringing about change from the inside out. He believes that the only way forward is to challenge the policies and behaviors that have kept progress stagnant over the course of time.
“As some of the most powerful Black leaders in this economy, we have a responsibility to advocate for our rightful place in corporate boardrooms; not just for ourselves, but for the next generation. As recent historic events have illustrated, the Black community has cultivated some of the most influential women and men on the planet. We owe it to them, to our economy, and to those coming behind us,” Hyter said.
The theme of collective responsibility and taking timely action reverberated throughout the night from the event’s other honorees and speakers. In addition to Kaepernick, The ELC recognized contemporary Black trailblazers throughout the night, including filmmaker, director, playwright and movie exec Tyler Perry as well as Rosalind Brewer and Thasunda Brown Duckett who were honored for becoming the second and third ever Black female Fortune 500 CEOs, respectively.
The ELC Global Game Changer Award is presented to an individual whose achievements transcend traditional roles for Black Americans, women, and other underrepresented people and who represent a new, dynamic vision of how Black leaders globally can impact their communities through political, economic, educational, and philanthropic empowerment and stewardship.
ABOUT THE ELC:
The Executive Leadership Council opens channels of opportunity for the development of Black executives to positively impact business and our communities. An independent non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1986, The ELC is the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. Comprising more than 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global Black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.elcinfo.com. Engage during the event on social media: #ELCGALA on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.