University News

President Johnson Named One of Boston's Most Influential Men of Color

Published: March 29, 2023 | Categories: All News
WNE President Robert E. Johnson profile photo

More than 300 business leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals gathered on Tuesday evening at The Grand Boston to celebrate Get Konnected!'s 15th Anniversary by honoring and unveiling a historic first-time list of Boston's Most Influential Men of Color, including Western New England University's President Robert E. Johnson. Each year, to celebrate its anniversary, Get Konnected! focuses on a relevant theme that highlights and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. This year it's spotlighting on Men of Color.

"Boston is now regarded as one of the most culturally diverse cities in America, with 140 languages spoken and 1 in 4 Bostonians foreign-born. Today, there are more people of color and in particular men of color, leading major organizations and institutions than at any other time in Boston's history, but unfortunately, with very little recognition or acknowledgement of their contributions to the economic, civic, and social fabric of our City and Commonwealth," says Colette Phillips, Founder and President of Get Konnected!. "Get Konnected! together with our corporate partners, Amazon and PNC Bank, hope to change that by celebrating, documenting, validating, and amplifying this historic first, a list of the city's Most Influential Men of Color. We are also recognizing Boston's Mayor Michelle Wu for the most diverse administration, with the most men of color in leadership roles in the City's history along with Chris Wayland, President and General Manager of NBC10Boston, for the most diverse on-air talent, including three anchormen of color – news, sports, and weather."

"I am pleased to be included in Get Konnected!'s influential list of changemakers for 2023," said Dr. Johnson. "To be recognized among prominent men of color who are leaders and innovators of meaningful progress in their respective fields is an honor. I am proud to represent Western New England University, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni in accepting this award."

Other honorees include Deval Patrick, the first Black governor of Massachusetts; Carl Rodrigues, CEO, Harvard Allston Land Company; Scott Uzzell, CEO, Converse; Navjot Singh, Senior Partner, McKinsey; Quincy Miller, President, Eastern Bank; Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Chancellor, UMass-Boston; Damian Wilmot, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Vertex, and founder of the New Commonwealth Fund; and Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, City of Boston.

In creating the list, the Get Konnected! team invited a distinguished group of nominators to identify and recommend culturally diverse men who have distinguished themselves in the following fields: Academia; Arts & Culture; Business & Innovation; Communications & Media; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Faith & Spirituality; Founder’s Choice; Healthcare & Life Sciences; Law & Law Enforcement; Philanthropy & Social Justice; Politics & Public Sector.

Founded in 2008 as a diversity, equity, and inclusion social impact venture, Get Konnected! is Boston's award-winning nationally recognized premier cross-cultural and inclusive business networking event series. We bring together professionals, business and civic leaders, and entrepreneurs from all cultures across industries and sectors. Our mission is to curate meaningful cross-cultural business and social connections, enrich professional development, facilitate business and career opportunities, and make Boston a more welcoming and inclusive city.