Listen Live Graphics (Indy)
PraiseIndy Featured Video

According to the

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Chenault and Tommie Smith

Among XCEL Award Honorees

'Black Nativity' New York Premiere - Arrivals

Source: Jemal Countess / Getty

BLACK ENTERPRISE will present its highest honor in recognition of the achievements of black men when it presents the XCEL Awards at the 2018 Black Men XCEL Summit on Aug. 29, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Black Men XCEL Summit 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. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at the PGA National Resort & Spa.


The XCEL Awards recognize 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; and Ariel Investments Founder and CEO John Rogers.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, a charismatic leader, visionary, provocative thinker, and entrepreneur who serves as senior pastor of The Potter’s House, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church located in Dallas. Named “America’s Best Preacher” by Time Magazine and CNN, Jakes’ voice reverberates from the world’s most prominent stages from the White House to the Aspen Institute to Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. A new model for the 21st-century Renaissance man, Jakes is a committed philanthropist who gives back on an ongoing basis to the communities that he serves worldwide. As a business leader, his media and entertainment empire spans film, television, radio, music and best-selling books.


Kenneth Chenault, spent the past 17 years steering American Express into profits. Referred by billionaire investor Warren Buffett as “the gold standard for corporate leadership”, Chenault currently serves on the boards of Facebook, Airbnb, and as chairman and managing director of General Catalyst. Chenault is the first black person to serve on Facebook’s board of directors. Chenault joined American Express in 1981. Under his leadership, American Express built one of the world’s largest customer loyalty programs – Membership Rewards – and earned global recognition as a leader in customer service. He launched lucrative corporate partnerships with companies including Delta Airlines. In 1997, Chenault was named president and chief operating officer of American Express. He was named CEO in 2001—becoming one of the first African Americans to lead a Fortune 500 company.


Tommie Smith, during the historical 19th Olympiad in Mexico City in the summer of 1968, Tommie Smith broke the world and Olympic record with a time of 19.83 seconds and became the 200-meter Olympic champion. As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played in the wind at the Mexico City Summer Olympic Games, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the victory podium, draped with their Olympic medals, each raised a clenched fist covered in a black leather glove in a historic stand for black power, liberation, and solidarity. This courageous, unexpected worldwide event propelled Tommie Smith into the spotlight as a human rights spokesman, activist, and symbol of African American pride.

Also On AM 1310: The Light:
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We’ve Lost In 2021
"When They See Us" World Premiere
57 photos