Coming Together as ONE at #BCConf24

bcconf24 main stage
The 2024 International Corporate Citizenship Conference officially kicked off Sunday, April 28th! With the common goal of making the world in which we live and do business a better place, The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and convening sponsor FedEx are proud to host corporate citizenship professionals from an array of industries and backgrounds. 
The International Corporate Citizenship Conference’s general sessions are conducted this year by an especially insightful group of corporate, educational, civil rights, and philanthropic leaders, including (in order of appearance): 

●       Jenny Robertson, Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Communications, FedEx

●       Darlene Goins, Executive Vice President, Head of Philanthropy & Community Impact, Wells Fargo & Company

●       Stacy L. Spann, Head of Housing Access and Affordability Philanthropy, Wells Fargo & Company

●       Bonnie Wallace, Senior Vice President, Head of Financial Health Philanthropy, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wells Fargo & Company

●       Anna Bard, Head of Global Impact & Volunteer Engagement, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wells Fargo & Company

●       Frederick W. Smith, Founder & Executive Chairman, FedEx Corporation

●       Dr. Indy Burke, Dean at the Yale School of the Environment

●       Brie Carere, Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, FedEx Corporation

●       Erin L. Haberman, Senior Director of Community Relations and Assistant Vice President of the Travelers Foundation, Travelers

●       Karraine Moody, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity North Central Connecticut

●       Zack Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO, SBP

●       Julie Shiyou-Woodard, President & CEO, Smart Home America

●       Kimelyn L. Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Bank of America Charitable Foundation

●       Trevia Chatman, President, Bank of America Memphis

●       Dr. Michelle Taylor, Director for Health Services, Shelby County (TN)

●       Meka Egwuekwe, Executive Director, CodeCrew

●       Dr. Jamila Smith-Young, Memphis First Lady and Assistant Professor in Nursing, University of Tennessee

●       Dr. Russell Wigginton, President, National Civil Rights Museum

●       Rey Ocañas, Executive Vice President, Director of Community Development Banking Corporate Responsibility Group, PNC Bank

●       Erin Horne McKinney, Executive Director, Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship

●       Sally McCrady, Chair and President, PNC Foundation

●       Dr. Johnny Graham, Associate and Regional Director, Howard University

●       Robert Dunlap, Regional Director, Texas Southern University

●       Wade Henderson, Advocate, Community Leader, and Governmental Activist

●       L. Joy Williams, Political Strategist, Brooklyn NAACP President, Creator and Host of #SundayCivics

●       Sonnie Johnson, Conservative Commentator and Radio Host

bcconf24 at civil rights museum



One goal, many ways to meet it

This year's conference theme is “One,” which perfectly captures the spirit of the field, as well as the reason we gather, year after year—to make our one world better, more sustainable, and more equitable. Together, we focus on the work and where it's headed. “One” represents unity, cohesion, shared purpose—nothing could be a truer description of our corporate citizenship community. “One” can also be singular—one idea, one project, one step in a better direction. Big and small, these individual “ones” are the stuff worth sharing, unpacking, celebrating, learning how to replicate and scale.
day one bcconf24



Learning from the past to advance the future

On Sunday morning, members of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Advisory Boards held their annual in-person summit. Board members visited the National Civil Rights Museum, which is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Between meetings, board members toured the museum’s exhibits and heard from Ryan Jones, Associate Curator & Historian, National Civil Rights Museum, who detailed the history of the museum and the place it holds in our country’s civil rights journey.

“We want to continue this history that we tell and move the vision to move forward to become a nationally recognized center of excellence for thought leadership and equitable solutions to address today’s challenges in civil and human rights,” said Jones. “This is a story that is—right now—somewhat under attack. We here at the museum feel that it is our patriotic duty to continue this story, so that our next generations are familiar with the courageous sacrifices of those that came before us so that we as a society can live in a more perfect union.”

Later in the afternoon, board members attended a plenary session hosted by Mike Wallace, Chief Decarbonization Officer, Persefoni, as he interviewed Simon Mundy, Moral Money Editor of the Financial Times over Zoom about the shifting state of ESG regulations. After a comprehensive overview, Mundy offered advice for those already asking what to expect next based on international regulatory trends.

“If you want to future-proof your business, look out for carbon pricing. If you haven’t already, start using internal carbon pricing within your company. That seems a very smart way to get ahead of the curve,” said Mundy.

The summit concluded with an advisory board panel, which allowed members from all boards to summarize their hard work from throughout the year.

Birds of a feather flock together

Throughout the day, more than 500 corporate citizenship professionals from across the country and around the globe began to gather in Memphis to enjoy the annual Conference. Before the official kick-off, attendees were invited to partake in a variety of welcome activities. First-time participants jumpstarted their conference experience at the Newcomer Networking Reception, a session geared toward helping new participants make connections and get to know their corporate citizenship colleagues. Attendees enjoyed an opening reception hosted by the TJX Companies, Inc. and were invited to attend the illustrious Peabody Duck March. The Peabody Ducks are a fixture at the historic hotel–they delight guests by making their way down a red carpet to the lobby fountain twice daily at 11 am and 5 pm.



Celebrating philanthropy and innovation on the mainstage

Katherine V. Smith, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Executive Director, officially kicked off the conference with opening remarks and a thank you to this year’s convening sponsor, FedEx. Jenny Robertson, Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Communications, FedEx, gave everyone a Memphis hometown welcome.

“I invite you this week to bring with you your spirit of activism, your creativity, your curiosity, as you attend the breakouts, exchange ideas and challenges, and build community affairs to help make an even greater impact,” said Robertson. “The world needs our collaborative spirit and innovation to find solutions to the challenges we face for climate change to greater equity and opportunity for all.”

Then, representatives from Wells Fargo & Company, sponsors of this year’s Innovation Awards, took the stage for a leadership discussion. Darlene Goins, Executive Vice President, Head of Philanthropy & Community Impact, Wells Fargo & Company; Stacy L. Spann, Head of Housing Access and Affordability Philanthropy, Wells Fargo & Company; Bonnie Wallace, Senior Vice President, Head of Financial Health Philanthropy, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wells Fargo & Company; Anna Bard, Head of Global Impact & Volunteer Engagement, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wells Fargo & Company discussed how the Wells Fargo Foundation is addressing systemic gaps and barriers through collaborations and innovation, with a focus on the intersection of philanthropy and business.

“As we think about the change that's needed in our communities, we really have to address the systemic barriers and the longstanding hurdles that—particularly, historically marginalized communities—have faced. We can’t effectively advance economic mobility and generational wealth with incremental change. It's got to be transformational change,” Goins said. “We’re thinking about the intersection of business and philanthropy. How can those two forces work together to drive forward your community benefits?"



2024 Innovation Award Winners & Runners-Up

Together, Smith and Goins presented the Innovation Awards. During the ceremony, runners up and winners from each of the four award categories were recognized.

Innovation Amplifier, Runner Up: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana;

Winner: The Clorox Company

Recognizes a company that has elevated a social and/or environmental program or issue to ensure greater understanding by way of advocacy, communication, and other efforts.

Eco-Innovator, Runner Up: Southwest Airlines;

Winner: CEMEX Egypt

Recognizes a company that has marshaled the financial and human resources at its disposal to address an environmental issue affecting or relating to that company’s core competencies.

Transformative Partnership, Runner Up: FTI Consulting;

Winner: Sanofi

Recognizes dynamic partnerships with nonprofit and community organizations, going above and beyond to develop problem-solving and operational capacity.

Social-Impact Changemaker, Runner up: National Gas of Trinidad & Tobago;

Winner: CEMEX Colombia

Recognizes companies that have developed unique and differentiated approaches employing multiple company assets to create positive social, environmental, and/or economic impact.

The celebration of these companies’ efforts was an exciting and inspiring end to the first day of the 2024 International Corporate Citizenship Conference.

Stay tuned as we cover more highlights from the 2024 International Corporate Citizenship Conference!