Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Colin Kaepernick to receive honorary degree from Morgan State University

Morgan State University President David K. Wilson today announced that three exemplary vanguards of social justice and the African-American experience will be awarded honorary degrees during the 145th Spring Commencement ceremony taking place at Hughes Memorial Stadium on Saturday, May 21. At the ceremony.

Among those to receive honorary degrees will be Super Bowl quarterback and champion for social justice, Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree capping the trio of honorary degrees awarded at Morgan’s 145th Spring Commencement Exercises. The holder of the all-time National Football League (NFL) record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback, Kaepernick famously took a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 to bring attention to systemic oppression — specifically police violence — of Black and Brown people. For his stance, he has been denied the opportunity to regain his employment within the NFL to this day.

Since 2016, he has founded and helped to fund three organizations — Know Your Rights Camp, Ra Vision Media, and Kaepernick Publishing — that together advance the liberation of Black and Brown people through storytelling, systems change and political education.

Kaepernick sits on Medium’s board of directors and is the winner of numerous prestigious honors, including Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope honor, GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year,” the NFL’s Len Eshmont Award, the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, the ACLU’s Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and the Puffin/Nation Institute’s Prize for Creative Citizenship. In 2019, Kaepernick helped Nike win an Emmy for its “Dream Crazy” commercial. In 2021, he released Colin in Black & White, a six-episode limited series on Netflix exploring his high school years. The show won two NAACP Image Awards. In 2022, he became a New York Times bestselling author for his acclaimed children’s picture book, “I Color Myself Different.”

Others receiving honoraary degress are Morgan alumnus and filmmaker David E. Talbert and Morgan alumnus David Burton, the chief proponent in the landmark Coalition for Excellence and Equity in Maryland Higher Education (HBCUs) vs. the State of Maryland lawsuit.

“Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, Diversity, Excellence and Respect are more than just words that appear on the flags that adorn our campus, or words that we utter casually when reciting our core values, they represent the embodiment of who we are and what a Morgan graduate stands for,” said President Wilson. “With this notion in mind, we intentionally sought a collection of individuals who truly embody these principles, and thankfully we have assembled a trio of diverse voices who have bravely stood—and kneeled—for the betterment and advancement of the voiceless, the marginalized and the disenfranchised.”

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