Kenard Gibbs, Class of 1986

gibbs-outside-2With uncommon business creativity and savvy, you have become a central player in the development and the spread of American urban culture. As president of Vibe, you lowered the readership age of this leading urban music magazine and expanded its reach overseas. You migrated the brand into new media and into broadcasting, executive producing yourself the syndicated television show Weekend Vibe and Vibe Awards, the first ethnically based award show to appear on a major network. At the same time Vibe worked to increase voter registration among urban populations and to advance Black artists and entrepreneurs. You brought this same energy to your role as group publisher of the magazines Ebony and Jet and as president of Ebony/Jet Entertainment Group. As CEO of Soul Train Holdings, you are now reviving “the hippest trip in America” and expanding it through a website, mobile, apps, merchandising, and the Soul Train Awards. A frequent commentator on issues of the urban marketplace, with an emphasis on social responsibility, empowerment, and change, you have become a powerful role model of how to do both well and good in the advancement of Black culture.