Activist, Environmental and Social Justice Organizations

The Global Sullivan Principles

The Global Sullivan Principles – Leon H. Sullivan (1922-2001) worked throughout his life challenging racial discrimination in hiring practices in the U.S. and abroad. In 1971, Sullivan became the first African American appointed to the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company when he accepted a seat on General Motors’ board. He used his position to launch an international campaign to reform apartheid in South Africa, developing the Sullivan Principles, a code of conduct for human rights and equal opportunity for companies operating in South Africa. The Sullivan Principles are considered one of the most effective efforts to end discrimination against blacks in the workplace in South Africa, thus directly contributing to the dismantling of apartheid. The objectives of the Global Sullivan Principles are to support economic, social and political justice by companies where they do business; to support human rights and encourage equal opportunity at all levels of employment, including racial and gender diversity on decision-making committees and boards; to train and advance disadvantaged workers for technical, supervisory and management opportunities; and to assist with greater tolerance and understanding among peoples, thereby helping to improve the quality of life for communities, workers and children.