Photos: BET and ICON MANN Celebrate 28 Men of Change

Celebrating trailblazers who empower others.


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Ron Kirk - Just in time for Black History Month, BET Networks and ICON MANN have joined forces to celebrate and share the journeys of 28 trailblazers whose formulas for success lies in empowering others at home and across the globe.Ron Kirk is a senior attorney in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm with a focus on providing strategic advice to companies with global interests. Prior to joining the firm in April 2013, Ambassador Kirk was the first African-American to serve as United States Trade Representative as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.More on ICON MANN and join the conversation on Twitter: #28menofchange and #iconmann.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Nnamdi Asomugha - Nnamdi Asomugha is the chairman of the Asomugha Foundation and a former all-pro defensive back in the NFL. The goal of the foundation is to alleviate the consequences of poverty by creating an environment to support educational opportunities. He has spoken nationally on the merits of volunteerism and education and has been a regular guest of former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative University.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Robert K. Ross, MD - Robert K. Ross, MD, is president and CEO of The California Endowment, one of the nation's largest foundations dedicated to advancing new avenues to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Nick Cannon - In addition to being the host of America’s Got Talent, Nick Cannon is a seasoned television and film actor/producer. Through his NCredible Entertainment production company, he executes the TeenNick HALO Awards, which recognizes teens who work hard to make the world a better place. He is also a advocate for the Lupus Foundation of America and the National Kidney Foundation bringing awareness to kidney disease, lupus and healthy living.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Ndaba Mandela - Ndaba Mandela is the chairman an co-founder of Africa Rising, an organization publicizing the positive image of Africa to the world through programming, films, media and social interaction to change the mind set of young Africans.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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DeVon Franklin - In addition to being an ordained preacher, motivational speaker and author, DeVon Franklin is the senior vice president of production for Columbia Tristar Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. His films include Pursuit of Happiness, Sparkle and Jumping the Broom.  His book, Produced by Faith parallels each step of the filmmaking process with the faith-making process of turning your life into a success.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Dr. Robert Gore - A proud Morehouse College graduate, Dr. Robert Gore is the executive director of Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) and is an attending physician and clinical assistant professor at Kings County Hospital – SUNY Downstate Department of Emergency Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. He is a board member of EMEDEX International, an organization dedicated to the global advancement of emergency medical care through education, training, systems development and capacity building. He is also the founder and director of the Minority Medical Student Emergency Medicine Summer Fellowship, which is a mentoring and research program for underrepresented minorities interested in emergency medicine. (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Steve Pemberton - Steve Pemberton is a trail-blazing corporate executive, child advocate, motivational speaker and author of A Chance in the World. He currently serves as the chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, and is the first person to assume this responsibility in the company’s 112-year history. (Photo: Earl Gibson III)

Edward Lewis - Propelled by the extraordinary success following his co-founding of Essence magazine, Edward Lewis has become one of the most successful and respected magazine publishers in the country. In 1995, he also co-founded Latina magazine. His book, The Man From Essence: Creation of a Magazine for Black Women, is a must-read for aspiring media moguls. As a pioneer in the field of publishing, he has shared the stories of thousands and given a voice to millions of people of color.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)

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Edward Lewis - Propelled by the extraordinary success following his co-founding of Essence magazine, Edward Lewis has become one of the most successful and respected magazine publishers in the country. In 1995, he also co-founded Latina magazine. His book, The Man From Essence: Creation of a Magazine for Black Women, is a must-read for aspiring media moguls. As a pioneer in the field of publishing, he has shared the stories of thousands and given a voice to millions of people of color.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Louis Carr - Louis Carr is president of media sales for BET Networks and is responsible for the strategic plans to generate revenue for BET Networks, the company’s flagship; CENTRIC, their network for a mature audience and, the largest portal for African-American content online. For the past decade, the Louis Carr Internship Foundation has provided paid internships for students of color at some of the world's leading marketing and media companies. He also sits on the board of Boys Hope Girls Hope in St. Louis, which provides residential homes for students who show academic promise.  (Photo: Earl Gibson III)

Photo By Photo: Earl Gibson III


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Pastor Charles Jenkins - Whether he is making music as a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, preaching or leading, Pastor Charles Jenkins is doing one overarching thing: inspiring the masses to be their best through every vehicle possible. As senior pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago, 38-year-old Jenkins serves thousands of individuals through various outreach efforts. He is also founding president of the Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corporation (FEED), which focuses on urban renewal in Chicago inner-city neighborhoods. Pastor Jenkins lives, leads and serves out of the box!(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Nile Rodgers - The winner of multiple Grammy Awards, Nile Rodgers is one of the most respected musicians and producers in the world as well as the co-founder of the ‘70s band Chic. In 2002, Rodgers formed the We Are Family Foundation as a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It is dedicated to the vision of a global family through programs that inspire and educate the next generation about respect, understanding and cultural diversity – while amplifying youth efforts to solve some of our biggest global problems.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Dr. Courtney Hollowell - On the frontlines of fighting cancer, Dr. Courtney Hollowell is a physician and the Chairman of Urology for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Dr. Hollowell has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and is nationally recognized as an expert in urologic oncology (Prostate, Kidney, Bladder, Penile, and Testicular Cancer), genitourinary trauma/reconstructive surgery and men’s health issues.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Steve Harvey - Steve Harvey is a best-selling author and talk-show host of the Steve Harvey Show as well as the Steve Harvey Morning Show on radio stations nationwide. The husband and father of seven, Harvey founded the Steve Harvey Youth Mentorship Program for Young Men in 2006 to replace the misguided traits of manhood with positive role models. It is a program of the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, which provides outreach and mentorship to fatherless children and young adults.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Marcus Samuelsson - Marcus Samuelsson is the award-winning executive chef of Red Rooster Harlem and has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2000, working with the Tap Project, a nationwide campaign that provides clean water and sanitation to children around the world. His work with UNICEF corresponds with his own foundation, Three Goats, established with wife, Maya Haile, to improve living conditions for families in Ethiopia.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Dr. Steve Perry - Educator, best-selling author and motivational speaker Dr. Steve Perry is the founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. Capital Prep has sent 100 percent of its predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated in 2006.  (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Raymond J. McGuire - Raymond J. McGuire is Citi’s Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking. He has advised on transactions valued at more than $500 billion. In addition to mentoring and motivating African-Americans in the financial sector, McGuire serves on several boards including: De La Salle Academy, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the New York Public Library, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Citi Foundation, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, the Alex Hillman Family Foundation, the International Center of Photography and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Ron Finley - Nicknamed the “gangster gardener” and the “guerilla gardener,” Ron Finley planted organic vegetables inches away from his South Los Angeles curb and a revolution was started. His belief that “gardens build community” led him to give a TED Talk in 2013 garnering over 300,000 views on YouTube. When he is not away speaking to audiences from Qatar to Watts, you will find Ron Finley with his shovel in the garden. Follow his movement on Earl Gibson III)


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Lonnie Bunch III - Lonnie Bunch III is one of the nation’s preeminent museum directors, curators, and historians who has brought African-American history to the public and engaged people from all walks of life. He currently serves as the founding director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.  (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Sanford Biggers - An L.A. native working in NYC, Sanford Biggers creates artworks that integrate film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance. He intentionally complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Swizz Beatz - In addition to being a platinum-selling music producer, Kasseem Dean, aka Swizz Beatz, is a philanthropist with a deep passion for education and health initiatives. He is a major fundraiser for Bronx Charter School For the Arts as well as the first Global Ambassador for New York City’s public hospitals system. (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Quincy Jones - Quincy Jones’ career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. Perhaps his most remembered charitable contribution was when he produced and conducted the best-selling single of all time, “We Are the World”, in 1985. The charity effort, which raised more than $63 million for Ethiopian famine relief, featured more than 30 popular musicians, including Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder. In 1990, Jones started the Quincy Jones Foundation, whose mission is to help children build self-esteem, foster sustainable self-sufficiency and develop those characteristics of leadership that can drive change.(Photo: Greg Gorman)


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Alonzo Mourning - Alonzo Mourning is a seven-time NBA All-Star and passionate philanthropist in addition to being the vice president of player programs for the Miami Heat. In 1997, Mourning Family Foundation was created to inspire others through advocacy, education and enrichment services and allows donors with varied interests in children’s issues, the benefit of giving to several charities from their one contribution.(Photo: Beau Pollock)

Photo By Beau Pollock


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Wayne Brady - Actor, singer and television host Wayne Brady prides himself on supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which supports families as sick children fight life-threatening illnesses by providing housing, medical care and scholarships. (Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Steve McQueen - Steve McQueen is the British artist and filmmaker behind the film 12 Years a Slave. He is also the genius behind the 2008 film Hunger and Shame in 2011. One of his passion projects is to see the original book by Solomon Northup be required reading for school children in America and the UK.(Photo: Djeneba Aduayom)

Photo By Photo: Djeneba Aduayom


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Lee Daniels - Lee Daniels is an award-winning director, producer, and writer whose last film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, was nominated for several awards, including recent recognitions by the Screen Actors Guild and the NAACP. Through internships and mentorship, his work with New York’s Ghetto Film School has influenced dozens of future filmmakers to capture their stories for both the small and big screens. (Photo: Earl Gibson III) 


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Forest Whitaker - Award winning artist, Humanist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work. In 2011, he was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation for his personal dedication and work in the field of conflict resolution and his commitment to promote humanitarian ideals. He founded the Los Angeles based Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative in 2012, and in partnership with Rutgers University, he co-founded of the International Institute for Peace under the auspices of UNESCO.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)


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Leland Melvin - Leland Melvin is the NASA associate administrator for education and is responsible for the development and implementation of the agency's education programs. Prior to that he served as a mission specialist operating the robotic arm on two space shuttle missions to the International Space Station. Click here for more information about NASA Programs and resources.(Photo: Earl Gibson III)

Photo By Photo: Earl Gibson III