Many people talk about diversity, but few companies actually take measures to make diversity a solid part of their corporate culture.
James Colon has worked hard to change that reality. As the vice president of African American Business Strategy at Toyota, Colon is committed to making the automobile industry one of the most diverse industries in the world. At Toyota, Colon is responsible for engaging Hispanic and African American businesses and media and optimizing relationships with important external Hispanic and African American groups. As a graduate of Howard University, I’m most impressed by Colon’s long-term support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Colon’s commitment to diversity in business and education was recognized by Grambling State University. The university awarded him an honorary doctorate degree at its 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony.
“I am honored to have received this degree from one of the most respected and distinguished historically black colleges and universities in the nation,” Colon said. “When an institution of higher education confers an honorary degree, it believes that the recipient reinforces its values, its mission. Grambling’s vision is to be a distinguished institution that produces accomplished graduates who go on to compete and succeed in a global market. In short, Grambling believes in being the best and producing the best — to help the world be the best it can be. I, along with Toyota, share in that mission every day and will continue to do so.”
In addition to his responsibilities at Toyota, Colon spreads his message on diversity to a broad audience. He serves on the boards of his alma mater, Manchester University in Indiana, and Clark Atlanta University. He is a member of The United Negro College Fund Los Angeles Leadership Council. He was also appointed to the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation two years ago, where he supports the organization’s mission by contributing to developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public.