Showing posts with label Rev. Leon Sullivan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rev. Leon Sullivan. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

40th Anniversary of the Birth of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

May 18, 2011 – Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, a Baptist minister, African American civil rights leader and economic justice leader/activist joined the Board of Directors of the General Motors Corporation (GM) on March 1, 1971, and was the first African American to hold a Directors seat on a major U.S. Corporate Board.

May 21, 1971 marks the date of the first stockholder's meeting attended by Reverend Sullivan. At that meeting, he challenged GM to leave South Africa until apartheid ended. This set the stage for the integration of U.S. Corporate Boards and for the development of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reverend Sullivan “was best known for creating the Sullivan Principles, a set of ethical guidelines later signed by officials from more than 125 US corporations working in South Africa." The principles were one of the first benchmarks used for corporate social responsibility (CSR), and are a methodology still in use today.

His work “illustrates the most fully developed instance of corporate reaction to shareholder pressure. It remains a successful example of corporate activism in support of social justice: U.S. companies responded to anti-apartheid pressure and shareholder' ultimate goal of eliminating apartheid was realized, eventually.”

Reverend Sullivan founded the very first Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) in 1964, in an abandoned jailhouse in Philadelphia. The OIC provided job and life skills training and matched its graduates up with the employment needs of Philadelphia businesses. The undertaking was a huge success, and the programs were replicated in cities across the United States. In 1969, OIC International was created to provide employment-training services on a global scale.

In addition to GM, Reverend Sullivan also served on the Board of Directors of Mellon Bank and the Boy Scouts of America.

Please join us on June 14th as we launch a series of webinars on the Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, corporate inclusiveness, diversity and economic justice. We will discuss Reverend Sullivan’s' background and personal history, the impact of the Principles on social ethics, the impact of the Principles on corporate behavior and the effect this effort has on succeeding generations.

Date: June 14, 2011. Time: 11 am.