Rachel Robinson, founder, the Jackie Robinson Foundation
The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) hosted its 2008 Annual Awards Dinner at Manhattan’s venerable Waldorf Astoria hotel on Monday, March 3rd, celebrating the Foundation’s 35th anniversary. The star-studded gala paid tribute to individuals who embody the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson and raised funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides four year college scholarships and extensive mentoring to academically distinguished minority students with financial need and records of leadership capacity. The event attracted more than 1,100 guests.
Clive Davis, JRF Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Rachel Robinson and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks
Established in 1973 by Rachel Robinson, the wife of baseball and civil rights luminary Jackie Robinson, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is the nation's premier education and leadership development program. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including mentoring, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students.
The nearly 1,200 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie Robinson's legacy of community service. This academic year (2007-2008), JRF is providing more than $3.1 million in scholarship assistance and program support to 259 Jackie Robinson Foundation students representing 30 states and enrolled in 93 different colleges and universities across the country. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $16 million in scholarship assistance has been provided.
Leonard Coleman, Jr., Chairman, JRF; Inez Jones, JRF scholarship recipient sponsored by Winograd/Prudential Financial; George Lucas, JRF award recipient; Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, JRF award recipient; Rachel Robinson; Della Britton Baeza, President and CEO, JRF
Chanel Cathey, a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar and a senior at Fordham, sponsored by JRF’s first and longest-running corporate partner, Unilever, was saluted in a poignant video tribute. Cathey, an aspiring journalist, has a profound record of public service. She founded a program that provides job-training and professional development for previously incarcerated teenagers and has launched a culinary arts program for adolescents, creating and implementing curriculum that combines professional culinary training and teaches entrepreneurship and job-training skills.
Leonard Coleman, Jr.; Della Britton Baeza; Rachel Robinson; Jimmy Smitts, actor and presenter
Legendary entertainer Bill Cosby served as the Master of Ceremonies once again—a role he has held for nearly three decades. The iconic event honored world-renowned film producer, director and screenwriter George Lucas, Chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd. with the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award presented by noted actor and Brooklyn-native Jimmy Smits; higher education trailblazer, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, President Emerita of both Bennett College for Women and Spelman College with the ROBIE Humanitarianism Award presented by Dr. Camille O. Cosby, decorated producer, writer and educator; and recording industry pioneer and cultural icon Clive Davis, Chairman, BMG Label Group, with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Tony-Award winning actress Julie White.
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole
The evening was highlighted by a riveting performance by last year’s American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks.
Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee, Mellody Hobson and George Lucas
“Our distinguished honorees have truly embraced Jackie Robinson’s guiding tenet, ‘A life is not important except in its impact on other lives,’ said JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. “These individuals are extraordinary not only for their profound record of professional achievement but also for their significant commitments to advancing equal opportunity and improving the human condition.”
Rachel Robinson with Clive Davis
Danielle McKinley, JRF scholarship recipient sponsored by Bernard Winograd/Prudential Financial; Sayan Ibrahim, JRF scholarship recipient sponsored by Goldman Sachs; Clive Davis; Adriana Lee, JRF scholarship recipient sponsored by Irving Caesar Lifetime Trust; Alex Kado, JRF scholarship recipient sponsored by the University of Minnesota; and Julie White, Tony-award winning actress
Source: Jackie Robinson Foundation