Olympic Hero Smith Among Black Enterprise’s XCEL Award Honorees

NEW YORK — BLACK ENTERPRISE will present its highest honor in recognition of the achievements of black men when it presents the XCEL Awards at the 2018 Black Men XCEL Summit on Aug. 29, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Black Men XCEL Summit celebrates the achievements of today’s black men.

The Summit, which offers executive development and leadership for men of color, annually attracts more than 800 corporate executives, professionals, and businessmen and women from across the country. The Summit, hosted by FedEx, will take place Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at the PGA National Resort & Spa.

The XCEL Awards recognize outstanding impact, achievement, and leadership by men in business, the arts, education, government, and other influential areas. Past XCEL Award recipients include luminaries such as U.S. Rep. John Lewis; award-winning actor Robert Townsend; historian, author, curator and Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Lonnie G. Bunch; and Ariel Investments Founder and CEO John Rogers.

Honorees to be recognized at the 2018 Black Men XCEL Awards Dinner include 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith. During the historical 19th Olympiad in Mexico City in the summer of 1968, Smith broke the world and Olympic record with a time of 19.83 seconds and became the 200-meter Olympic champion.

As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played in the wind at the Mexico City Summer Olympic Games, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the victory podium, draped with their Olympic medals, each raised a clenched fist covered in a black leather glove in a historic stand for black power, liberation, and solidarity. This courageous, unexpected worldwide event propelled Tommie Smith into the spotlight as a human rights spokesman, activist, and symbol of African American pride.



“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to pay well-deserved honor to men who are gifts to the world,” says BLACK ENTERPRISE President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “Their examples are a proper tribute and powerful motivation to the XCEL Award honorees to come.”

Other honorees are Bishop T.D. Jakes and former CEO Kenneth Chenault of American Express.

The Black Men XCEL Summit has also partnered with the That Suits You and FedEx to collect men’s professional wear from the Summit attendees and donate hundreds of articles of clothing to help disadvantaged black men and men reentering the workforce. Attendees can donate their gently-used professional clothing, including men’s suits, ties, jackets, pants, and belts.

Black Men XCEL will host more than 800 men and women attendees who will engage in development sessions and activities designed to train, equip, and encourage leadership. Topics will include The CEO Pipeline: Grooming Black Men for Corporate LeadershipYou OK, Brother? Making Our Mental Health a PriorityBlack Men in Television and Film, and more. Confirmed speakers include actor, writer, and producer Chris Spencer; Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon; actor Malik Yoba; psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor, and many more.

The 2018 Black Men XCEL Summit is hosted by FedEx, with a platinum sponsor, AT&T, Georgia-Pacific, Prudential, and Koch. Corporate sponsors, Accenture, Carnival, Dell, Discover Palm Beaches, JPMorgan Chase and Co., and Walmart.

NOTE: To register for the Black Men XCEL Summit or for more information, visit www.blackenterprise.com/bmx. You can also search #BMXCEL for additional updates and information about the Summit on social media.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s