Celebrating Brotherhood and Black Excellence as the Michigan Chronicle Welcomes 2024 Men of Excellence 17th Class

Scripture tells us in James 1:19, “My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Baldwin reminds us, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Brotherhood, especially among those who embody excellence, is built on these … Continued

Celebrating Brotherhood and Black Excellence as the Michigan Chronicle Welcomes 2024 Men of Excellence 17th Class
Scripture tells us in James 1:19, “My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Baldwin reminds us, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Brotherhood, especially among those who embody excellence, is built on these principles. It is about leaning on one another, supporting each other, and striving together for greatness.

This spirit of brotherhood is at the heart of the Michigan Chronicle’s 2024 Men of Excellence Class, a distinguished group of Black men from Detroit. This honor, now in its 17th year, celebrates 50 honorees excelling in public safety, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and beyond. These men inspire through their vision, leadership, exceptional achievements, and community service. They embody extraordinary stature, poise, and integrity, breaking the mold and effecting change in their professions and communities.

The influence of these men extends beyond their immediate circles. They encourage those around them to surpass the norm and aim for greatness. They are champions of economic empowerment and diversity, the backbone of our business, religious, and educational organizations, and driving forces in politics and service. The Men of Excellence Awards and Induction Ceremony is an elegant evening that commemorates the successes of these influential African American men, drawing nearly 1,000 accomplished tastemakers, influencers, executives, heroes, and decision-makers from Southeast Michigan.

On June 27, 2024, at the MGM Grand, a new class of honorees will step into this lifelong brotherhood. They will join the exclusive society of professional men who have previously received the distinction of Men of Excellence. Among the 50 esteemed honorees are BJ Pearson, VP of operations for some of the hottest Black entertainment spaces in the city, including Garden Theatre, The Block, and Floods; Sheriff Raphael Washington; Councilman Fred Durhal of District 7; Ian Conyers, head of community for Amazon; and Dwight Ferrel, GM of SMART and this year’s president.

These men represent the pinnacle of Black excellence in their fields. BJ Pearson has transformed entertainment in Detroit, creating spaces where Black culture thrives. Sheriff Raphael Washington ensures our communities are safe while advocating for justice and reform. Councilman Fred Durhal fights for the rights and needs of his constituents, driving progress in District 7. Ian Conyers connects the community with opportunities at Amazon, fostering economic growth and development. Dwight Ferrel leads SMART with a vision for better, more inclusive public transportation.

Their achievements are a testament to what can be accomplished with dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence. They are role models, not just for their professional successes, but for their contributions to the community. They volunteer their time, mentor young people, and invest in initiatives that uplift others. They are the embodiment of the James 1:19 verse, demonstrating patience, thoughtfulness, and restraint in their actions.

The Men of Excellence Awards celebrate more than individual achievements; they highlight the collective power of Black men working together to uplift their communities. Each honoree brings unique strengths and talents, but together, they form a powerful network of leaders who support and inspire one another. This brotherhood embodies a dynamic force of solidarity, unyielding ambition, and a vision of a brighter future.

As we honor these men, we also recognize the importance of continued support and investment in Black excellence. These honorees are not just symbols of success; they are active participants in the ongoing fight for equality and justice. They use their platforms to advocate for change, address systemic issues, and create opportunities for others.

In the spirit of Baldwin’s words, these men face challenges head-on, knowing that change requires confrontation and courage. They understand that true progress comes from collective action and unwavering determination. They are not content with the status quo; they push boundaries, challenge norms, and strive for a better future for all.

The Michigan Chronicle’s 2024 Men of Excellence Class is a beacon of hope and inspiration. They remind us of the power of brotherhood, the importance of supporting one another, and the impact of excellence in all its forms. As they step into this lifelong brotherhood, they carry with them the responsibility to continue leading, inspiring, and effecting change.

In celebrating these men, we celebrate the best of our community. We honor their achievements, recognize their contributions, and look forward to the continued impact they will have on Detroit and beyond. Their achievements and perseverance stand as powerful examples of the strength and resilience of Black men, and their stories fill our community with pride and inspiration.