On Friday, 19th June, Ada Osakwe, award-winning food entrepreneur & investor, and Founder of The Nuli Juice Company, delivered the convocation address to the Kellogg School of Management Class of 2020. She is the first African to be given this honour and fourth black woman; following in the footsteps of outstanding Black-Americans Edith Cooper, Global Head of Human Capital at Goldman Sachs in 2017, Roslyn Brock, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP in 2012 and media titan Oprah Winfrey, in 2011.
With a critical phase of their lives upended by the ongoing global health pandemic, the class of 2020 completed the last few months of their MBA degree Program virtually, instead of on campus in the classroom, and they will receive their diplomas in the mail or on their phones. Recognizing the need to offer extra inspiration at this extraordinary moment in history, in her commencement speech, Osakwe praised them for their bravery, resilience and courage!
For Ada, it’s important to believe in yourself to make it through challenging times: “So in your quest to thrive, there will be curve-balls thrown your way and you’ll have to take risks, it’s a given. But you’ve just got to trust your journey,” she advised the graduating students. As a Black-African, in her speech, Osakwe said she will always speak out against racial injustice and urged the non-blacks to also find their voices on this issue as allies to ensure there is more equality, tolerance and acceptance for all.