Closing Session Speaker
Super Bowl QB Colin Kaepernick, and holder of the all-time NFL record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback, took a knee during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” in 2016 to bring attention to systemic oppressions, specifically police terrorism against Black and Brown people. To this day, he has been denied employment by the league for his stance.
Since 2016, he has founded and helped to fund three organizations—Know Your Rights Camp, Ra Vision Media, and Kaepernick Publishing—that together advance the liberation of Black and Brown people through storytelling, systems change, and political education.
Kaepernick recently co-created and executive produced Colin in Black and White with famed director Ava Duvernay, the limited Netflix series about his high school years. The series was released last October.
Kaepernick sits on Medium's Board and is the winner of numerous prestigious honors including Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope honor, GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year,” the Executive Leadership Council’s Global Game Changer Award, the NFL’s Len Eshmont Award, the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, the ACLU’s Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award, and the Puffin/Nation Institute’s Prize for Creative Citizenship. In 2019, Kaepernick helped Nike win an Emmy for its “Dream Crazy'' commercial.
In 2019, Kaepernick founded Kaepernick Publishing to elevate a new generation of writers with diverse views and voices through the creation of powerful works of all genres that can build a better and more just world. In October 2021, Kaepernick Publishing released its first title, "Abolition for the People: The Movement for a Future without Policing & Prisons."
In April 2022, Scholastic and Kaepernick Publishing will release "I Color Myself Different," a picture book inspired by one of Kaepernick’s significant childhood memories—when he drew his adoptive white family with the yellow crayon and then picked up the brown crayon to draw himself. Kaepernick says about the book, “I hope that it honors the courage and bravery of young people everywhere by encouraging them to live with authenticity and purpose.”