Danny J. Bakewell, Sr

Honorary Degrees


Dominguez Hills

An esteemed civil rights activist, noted Los Angeles businessman and media mogul, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. is an honored and respected humanitarian and community builder.

Mr. Bakewell cofounded the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade in 1968 and served as the president and chief executive officer for 35 years, making it one of the largest nonprofit community development organizations in Southern California. During his tenure, the Brotherhood Crusade gave out more than $65 million in support to small nonprofits in the African American communities of south Los Angeles. Through the Brotherhood Crusade, Mr. Bakewell also helped establish the National Black United Fund, which developed a network of support for underserved communities and includes 15 affiliates across the country. One affiliate is the Brotherhood Business Development and Capital Fund, which offers loans to small businesses; and another is the African American Unity Center, known to provide an array of specialized programs to the south Los Angeles community.

As chairman of Bakewell Media, which owns the Los Angeles Sentinel, the L.A. Watts Times, and WBOK Radio in New Orleans, he has established tremendous respect for accurate news reporting of the black community. His leadership led him to be named head of the prestigious National Newspaper Publishers Association, of which he is now chairman emeritus.

As chairman of The Bakewell Company, one of the largest African American owned development companies in the country, Mr. Bakewell owns and operates major retail shopping centers, and has lead multi-million dollar revitalization efforts that have breathed economic life into communities when few had the vision, tenacity or belief in these areas.

Mr. Bakewell has been recognized by the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, and received numerous awards including the JFK Profiles in Courage Award by the Democratic Party, the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus’ Adam Clayton Powell Award and the Roy Wilkins Award.

In 2015, California State University, Dominguez Hills awarded Mr. Bakewell its Community Builder Award for his exemplary citizenship and contributions that have greatly impacted the region. In recognition of his commitment to social justice, his dedication to his community, and his professional and civic accomplishments as a successful business owner and humanitarian, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Dominguez Hills are proud to confer upon Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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