John Hope

John Hope Bryant delivers the keynote address at Men and Women of Excellence — PHOTO CREDIT: Monica Morgan

“It’s not white excellence. It’s not Latino excellence. It’s not Asian excellence. It’s just excellence. Nobody can afford to be black for a living anymore. We have to be good at what we do, and proud to be black,” said John Hope Bryant, President and CEO of Operation Hope, who served as a truly inspiring keynote speaker for the Michigan Chronicle’s Men and Women of Excellence  celebration. The event was held on Friday evening at Cobo Hall to honor some of the city’s best and brightest.

In recognition of its 80th anniversary, the Chronicle  hosted the Awards Ceremony and Alumni Reunion, recognizing nearly 100 honorees , the first time that both women and men were honored at the same ceremony.  Additionally, past Honorees of Excellence have been invited to attend this year’s gala event.

For the past eight years, the Michigan Chronicle has annually selected some of metro Detroit’s most interesting and remarkable people as “Men of Excellence” and “Women of Excellence” respectively.  These honorees have demonstrated exceptional vision, leadership, commitment, strength, passion, and the ability to affect positive change in and beyond their respective fields/careers.

Such honorees chosen by the Chronicle represent a cross-section of individuals in the community, civic circles, business, faith-based entities, media, entertainment, hospitality, education, automotive industry and many other sectors of society in greater Detroit.  Many of the past honorees have excelled in philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors.

“The whole world is looking at Detroit,” said Bryant. “Your story in Detroit is wrapped up in the American story, that America needs this city to win more than it needs any city to win, because America’s story is wrapped up in the Detroit story. The American middle class came from Detroit.  Literally.”

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