Russell Simmons To Speak at Inaugural CRO Conference

Hip-Hop activist/mogul Russell Simmons will be among the speakers at the first-ever Corporate Responsibility Officers Conference.

The entrepreneur, who will be featured in Fireside Chat with Russell Simmons, joins Wall Street Journal assistant managing editor Alan Murray, best-selling author Andy Savitz, and Citigroup vice chairman Lewis Kaden as part of the event's 20-speaker roster.

"Russell Simmons has been at the forefront of many modern cultural movements, driving social change," said conference chair and CRO co-founder Michael Connor. "His participation will enlighten our audience and reinforce the importance of corporate responsibility."

CRO is a corporate membership organization that increases the strategic impact of Corporate Responsibility Officers (CROs) by utilizing three related disciplines: audit, risk management, compliance, and ethics; corporate social responsibility; and socially responsible investing, sustainability, and philanthropy.

In addition to bringing Hip-Hop to the mainstream via music, television, and fashion, Simmons is noted for creating the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) and co-founding the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Simmons also serves as the chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening relations between ethnic communities.

The mogul's inclusion at the conference highlights the foundation's "ongoing focus of working alongside corporations to meet the needs of disadvantaged youth in the most relevant, effective ways possible," said Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's executive director Tangie Murray.

The inaugural CRO Conference will be held Nov. 1 at the Marriott New York Financial Center.