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The Code Black was created to bring together Black professionals to celebrate Black excellence, build community, and recognize trailblazers who are positively impacting the Black community,

a night
to remember

Over 600 attendees came together to celebrate black excellence, build community, recognize trailblazers who are positively impacting the black community, and honor nonprofits that are promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and entrepreneurship in communities of color.

We sampled amazing food from the black diaspora catered by California native Rene Johnson of Blackberry Soul Fine Catering. And we danced the night away to DJ LP and GRAMMY Award-winning Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton.

A huge thank you to the following presenters, awardees, sponsors, and CBEWeek planning committee members who made CODE BLACK such a huge success:


We raised over $33,000 which was all divided
among the Impact Nonprofits.

Although Code Black represented the end of Coalition of Black Excellence Week, it is just the beginning of a movement that is bringing together Black professionals across sectors to uplift our community. Stay engaged and continue to build bridges!



Monique Woodard, Venture Partner

Monique Woodard is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, that focuses on investing in Black and Latino entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of Black Founders — a national community of entrepreneurs whose mission is to increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech. Previously, she was one of the first Innovation Fellows for the City of San Francisco and has helped cities use technology to innovate workforce and other civic services. She has more than 15 years of entrepreneur and operating experience in consumer, e-commerce, and civic tech. She likes art, fashion, and fly things.


Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity

Blavity has become the top websites for Black millennials in the world reaching over 20M millennials a month, surpassing the digital traffic of many legacy black media brands. Since launching Blavity in 2014, the brand has quickly grown to be a strong voice for viral culture, social commentary and a platform for young creators to showcase their work.

Morgan has been widely quoted as a millennials expert and media entrepreneur in top tier consumer and business publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, NPR, TechCrunch and many more. In addition to Blavity, Morgan consults with enterprises on how to reach low income black and brown communities specifically focusing on financial literacy and empowerment.


Joshua Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Marcus Peters, Fam1st Family Foundation

Fam 1st Family Foundation is dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area and throughout the United States. The foundation’s mission is one of empowerment and education, aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth. The foundation plans to open a youth center in their native home of Oakland, CA . This center’s programming will include developing workshops for vulnerable communities to promote literacy, athletic training, after school tutoring, art programs, vocational training, a media center, and much more.

Fam 1st Family Foundation is led by NFL athletes, Joshua Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, and Marcus Peter, who have overcome a significant amount of adversity to become the men they are today. Even before joining the NFL, they were passionate about giving back to the community and helping underprivileged youth succeed. They are ready to take those efforts to the next level by bridging athleticism with academia: their framework for serving at-risk youth across diverse populations. These men are dedicated to empowering and educating the next generation of leaders.



BUILD is the nation’s leading nonprofit that uses entrepreneurship-based experiential learning to prepare high school students from under-resourced communities for success in a 21st-century marketplace. Working in teams, BUILD students collaborate to launch and operate real businesses, a process that entails writing business plans, pitching to funders, marketing to customers, and learning to respond to setbacks and failures. BUILD students also explore potential career paths, track their academic progress, and apply to colleges with the support of community-based mentors. Our program model seamlessly embeds 21st-century and academic success skills into the engaging experience of being an entrepreneur. While entrepreneurship is a powerful hook, high school graduation and college acceptance, enrollment, and success are the ultimate goals. Since 2012, 96% of BUILD seniors have graduated on time, at a rate 32% higher than their peer group, and 84% of BUILD graduates enroll in college immediately after graduation, at a rate 58% higher than their peer group. In addition, 49% of BUILD alumni who enrolled in college have graduated from college on time, more than double the 24% national average of low income students.



Jeff Johnson, Executive Producer and Host of BET's Mancave

Jeff is a teller of stories, developer of messages, and architect of social solutions who’s as comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind the scenes developing strategy and messages for his clients. The award-winning journalist and communications specialist is currently Managing Principal for the Baltimore based strategy firm JIJ Communications, where he provides strategic insight and messaging consulting to clients in the private, public, and entertainment sectors. He calls it double bottom-line impact and is committed to it for both his personal brand and that of his clients. Jeff states, ”The problems many of our communities face can be transformed by exploring market driven solutions that merge the public, private and philanthropic sectors into ecosystems of impact”.

He sat with both President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton for BET News and provides regular content on the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show. Jeff formally served as National Director for the Youth & College Division of the NAACP and held an appointment by Russell Simmons as the Vice President of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). In 2014 Jeff worked with Steve Harvey on his New York Times Best Seller, Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success, and is the author of his own book, Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am. This winter he will Host and Executive Produce MANCAVE, a late-night talk show targeting urban men airing on BET. Jeff is the honored husband of Jacqueline and the fortunate father of Madison, Myles, Malcolm and Baldwin.


Shellye Archambeau, Former CEO of MetricStream

Shellye Archambeau, the former CEO of MetricStream a Silicon Valley-based company that enables corporations to improve their risk management & business performance. With Shellye at the helm, MetricStream grew into a recognized global market leader in Governance, Risk and Compliance. And was recognized for growth and innovation over the years and was named in the top 10 of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50” and named a global leader in GRC by leading independent analyst firms for the last 9 years.

Shellye has over 25 years of experience in technology leading organizations focused on business to business as well as business to consumer. Her accomplishments and impact led her to be recognized with many awards for leadership, influence and innovation including being named the second most influential African American in Technology by Business Insider in 2013 and awarded the Symons Innovator award by the National Women in IT organization in 2015. She currently serves on the boards of Verizon and Nordstrom.

Shellye has held many roles in her career, but her informal role of helping to advance minorities and women in Silicon Valley is one of her favorites.