Colin Kaepernick Receives Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal


October 11, 2018

Photo credit: Steven Senne/AP Photo 

On Thursday, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick officially received Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. The athlete turned activist was among eight recipients who were honored for their contributions to Black history and culture at a ceremony presented by Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. 

“I feel like it’s not only my responsibility, but all our responsibilities as people that are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, to continue to fight for them and uplift them, empower them,” Kaepernick said during his acceptance speech. “Because if we don’t we become complicit in the problem.”


View this post on Instagram


Thank you Harvard University for honoring me tonight with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. I’m grateful for this recognition and to be amongst the other highly esteemed honorees that inspire me. Photo Credit: Amari Kenoly @footcandles

A post shared by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on


At the request of Kaepernick, his acceptance speech was not recorded nor broadcasted. Read the full transcript of his speech below. 

The other honorees are artist Kehinde Wiley, comedian Dave Chappelle, business executive Kenneth Chenault, philanthropist Pamela Joyner, social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, psychologist and author Florence Ladd, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson. 


Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees! 

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content