Noel Pinnock, a Houston Health Department division manager and executive coordinator for My Brother's Keeper Houston, addressed the graduating class of 2017 at the Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs.
He was also awarded the American Society for Public Administration public service award for service and leadership in the community.
Pinnock said he was honored and humbled for the recognition and the opportunity to speak to graduates.
"These graduates now stand on the foundation of history and are a part of a movement that has been in motion since the crossing of the teaming shores," Pinnock said. "Congratulations.
These graduates have earned the right to celebrate, but to quote the late Senator Ted Kennedy, 'For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.' Remember, comfort is the enemy of change, failure is not fatal but failing to change is."