Colin Kaepernick To Be Awarded Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal
It’s been said that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. However, it seems that since he took a knee in silent protest against police brutality, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been held in high regard by supporters, peers and even the whole Nike athletic brand for his social activism work.
ESSENCE reports that on October 11, Kaepernick will be awarded the highly distinguished W.E.B. Du Bois Medal by Harvard University. Harvard shares that the medal is the university’s “highest honor in the field of African and African-American studies.”
Other honorees include comedian Dave Chappelle, artist Kehinde Wiley, famously known for painting the official portrait of former U.S. president Barack Obama that sits on display in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, businessman Kenneth Chenault, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson, philanthropist Pamela Joyner, psychologist and author Florence Ladd and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson.
According to Harvard’s press release, recipients past and present have all made significant contributions to African and African-American culture:
“All of the Du Bois medalists have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly, are individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.”
“Emerging from a variety of backgrounds and professions, each represents the quest for knowledge, freedom of expression, and pursuit of truth that are foundational to black history and culture, and that were foundational to Du Bois as a thinker and activist.”
Kaepernick’s individual efforts were also specifically noted, including his charity work in addition to his protest on the field:
“Kaepernick has pledged to donate $1 million to ‘organizations working in oppressed communities.’ And, in a recent highly publicized endorsement deal with Nike — Believe in Something. Even if it Means Sacrificing Everything — the company has agreed to donate to Kaepernick’s ‘Know Your Rights’ nonprofit organization.”
We’re proud to see Kaepernick stand with his head held high for this well-deserved honor.