The Jackie Robinson Foundation Set To Honor Clive Davis, George Lucas and Johnnetta B. Cole at 2008 Annual Awards Dinner

Event hosted by Bill Cosby at Waldorf=Astoria will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Jackie Robinson Foundation

January 8, 2008 (New York, New York) – The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) today announced that it would hold its 2008 Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, March 3rd at 6:30pm at New York’s venerable Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Hosted by legendary entertainer Bill Cosby for nearly three decades, the iconic event pays tribute to individuals who embody the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson and raises 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 2008 Annual Awards Dinner will honor recording industry pioneer Clive Davis, Chairman of BMG Label Group (Lifetime Achievement Award); world-renowned film producer, director and screenwriter George Lucas, Chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd. (ROBIE Achievement in Industry) and higher education trailblazer Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, President Emerita of both Bennett College for Women and Spelman College (ROBIE Humanitarianism Award).

“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.”

The JRF Annual Awards Dinner has recognized some of the most decorated names in business, politics and society including Bishop Desmond Tutu, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Ruth J. Simmons, Henry L. “Hank” Aaron, John A. Thain, John Welch Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Wright Edelman, Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Tom Brokaw, Dr. Sheila C. Johnson and Katharine Graham.

The 2008 Annual Awards Dinner comes as JRF celebrates its 35th anniversary as the nation’s premiere education and leadership development program. 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 97% 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 94 different colleges and universities across the country. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $16 million in scholarship assistance has been provided.

For tickets or additional information regarding the JRF Annual Awards Dinner, please contact the Foundation at (212) 290-8600. Individual tickets are available for $1,000 with tables and sponsorships ranging from $15,000 to $100,000. A limited number of advertising opportunities is available in the special commemorative JRF Annual Awards Dinner program for $5,000. For more information about JRF, please visit


ROBIE Achievement in Industry
The Foundation’s highest tribute to an outstanding individual in the corporate world who has promoted and expanded access and opportunities for minorities.

ROBIE Humanitarianism Award
The Foundation’s highest tribute to an individual who has worked to promote equal opportunity and social justice, all in the spirit of Jackie Robinson.

Lifetime Achievement Award
First awarded in 2001, it is the Foundation’s highest tribute to an individual who has devoted their life to improving the circumstances of others through promoting equal opportunity, fighting for social justice, and by giving back to the community, all in the spirit of Jackie Robinson.