Jerome Bettis, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Eddie Levert Among XCEL Award Honorees

Jerome Bettis, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Eddie Levert Among XCEL Award Honorees

BLACK ENTERPRISE will present its highest honor in recognition of the achievements of black men when it presents the XCEL Awards at the 2019 Black Men XCEL on Aug. 28, 2019, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Black Men XCEL 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. 28–Sept. 1, 2019, at the PGA National Resort & Spa.

The XCEL Awards recognize the 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; former CEO of American Express Kenneth Chenault; spiritual leader and entrepreneur Bishop T.D. Jakes and more.

Honorees to be recognized at the 2019 Black Men XCEL Awards Dinner, include the following outstanding achievers:

Rev. Jesse Jackson, the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of the foremost civil rights, religious and political figures of our time. For nearly 50 years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for peace, civil rights, empowerment, gender equality, and economic and social justice the world over. Rev. Jackson has been called the “Conscience of the Nation” and “the Great Unifier,” challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all. He is known for bringing people together on common ground across lines of race, faith, gender, culture, and class.

Eddie Levert is one of the founders and lead singers of the legendary R&B group, The O’Jays. With a career that spans over 50 years, Levert still actively performs and tour the world with the O’Jays as well as performs as a solo artist currently touring with Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat, and others. To add to his résumé, Levert has written and produced many hits as well as mentored his very successful sons Gerald and Sean who also became major forces in the music industry.

Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis’ is one of the best running backs in NFL history. He was drafted in 1993, and he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft as the 10th overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams. Bettis had a successful rookie season by winning co-rookie of the year, Rams MVP, and the Sporting News Rookie of the Year. In 1997, Bettis established The Bus Stops Here Foundation to help underprivileged children improve their overall quality of life through programs like The Cyber Bus computer engineering program, Asthma and Sports Camp, and Mentoring and tutoring for at-risk kids. In 2005 Bettis capped his legendary career by helping the Steelers win Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit. While hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on the podium after the game, he announced his retirement from professional football in February 2006. Since retiring, Bettis has started a new career as an NFL analyst where he appears on numerous ESPN shows like NFL Live, SportsCenter, and First Take.

Marc H. Morial, entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator, mayor and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Morial, whose distinguished professional career has spanned 25 years, has performed all of these roles with excellence and is one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation. As president and CEO of the National Urban League since 2003, he has been the primary catalyst for an era of change—a transformation for the 105-year old civil rights organization. His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the League’s work around an empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and blacks, as well as other communities of color, and rich and poor Americans.

“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.”

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 Filling the Pipeline to Opportunity in Tech and Financial Services; Lessons on Leadership: What it Takes to Win the Trust of People, Teams, and Organizations; Mindy Body Spirit: How Black Men can Survive Trauma and Thrive, and more. Black Men XCEL will also host a golf tournament, executive leadership coaching, career opportunity showcase, concert, comedy show, and networking mixers.

The 2019 Black Men XCEL is hosted by FedEx, with presenting sponsors, AT&T and Prudential. Platinum sponsor Georgia-Pacific/Koch Industries. Corporate sponsors Apple and Walmart and Gold sponsor Accenture. To register for the Black Men XCEL or for more information, visit You can also search #BMXCEL for additional updates and information about the summit on social media.

BLACK ENTERPRISE, your ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 6 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, web content, and digital media.



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