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Activist and athlete Colin Kaepernick has been an influential voice of change, and he’s inspiring the next generation of leaders to uplift and elevate their communities. Kaepernick was bestowed with an honorary degree from Morgan State University for his transformative social justice efforts.

Whether it’s through leading programming and initiatives designed to directly support those significantly impacted by injustice or the creation of literature and media projects that center Black and Brown stories, the former NFL player has stayed true to his mission of amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and fighting for liberation. He’s led these efforts through his imprints the Know Your Rights Camp, Kaepernick Publishing and Ra Vision Media.

Kaepernick was granted a Doctor of Humane Letters. During a virtual speech at the HBCU’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, he spoke about the institution’s rich legacy of activism and community empowerment; reminding scholars that they stand on the shoulders of revolutionary changemakers.

“As I was sifting through Morgan State’s archives in preparation for these remarks, one theme that came up time and again was Morgan State’s transcendent belief in the power of service to others,” Kaepernick shared with graduates and their families. “The transcendent belief that in the service of others, we can elevate our entire community…the transcendent belief that you, the 2022 graduates of Morgan State University, can pry open the possible and break down barriers toward our shared liberation.”

Other individuals who received honorary degrees included filmmaker, playwright, and Morgan State alum David E. Talbert and education advocate David Burton who graduated from the HBCU in 1967.

“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,” Morgan State University President David Wilson said in a statement. “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.”

Kaepernick’s honor comes after he announced he’s releasing a novel for young adults titled Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game.


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