Jackie Robinson Foundation Announces Honorees for 2016 Awards Dinner

by LP Green, II

The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) announced that it will honor cosmetics industry pioneer Bobbi Brown with its ROBIE Humanitarian Award, Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Ambassador Dan Rooney with JRF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Vista Equity Partners Founder and CEO Robert F. Smith with the ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award on Monday, March 7, 2016, at its annual ROBIE Awards Dinner in New York City. Each honoree will be recognized for promoting the humanitarian ideals embodied in the life of Jackie Robinson. For over 40 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has administered a unique scholarship program that provides four-year grants accompanied by comprehensive support services for high-achieving minority college students. The Foundation is also in the throes of a campaign to build the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

The Foundation’s Awards Dinner will be hosted by actor André Holland, who played sports journalistWendell Smith in the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” and Andrew Young in “Selma”, and currently stars in the hit Cinemax series, “The Knick.”  R&B star and three-time Grammy Award nominee Angie Stone will entertain the approximately 1,000 guests expected to attend the Dinner. The evening’s presenters include fashion industry icon Norma Kamali and Founder & CEO of Legendary Pictures Thomas Tull.

“This year’s ROBIE honorees have had a remarkable impact in industry and in communities throughout the world,” said Della Britton, President and CEO of JRF. “As a 43-year old organization committed to empowering young men and women, we are proud to recognize each of them for their bold advocacy for equal opportunity and their demonstrated dedication to improving the lives of others.”

“I have personally experienced the important, positive influence that the Jackie Robinson Foundation has on the lives of so many young people,” said JRF Board Chairman, Gregg Gonsalves, Advisory Partner with Integrated Capital, LLC, and an alumnus of JRF’s preeminent scholarship program. “The awards dinner is a way for the Foundation not only to raise funds to support our mission, but to recognize leaders who have helped to level the playing field in their respective industries.”

For Annual Awards Dinner information & tickets: www.jackierobinson.org/support/awards-dinner/

The 2016 Honorees:
Bobbi Brown
JRF’s ROBIE Humanitarian Award
Before her company became synonymous with fresh, clean and modern beauty, Bobbi Brown built a cult following in New York City as the go-to makeup artist for the natural make-up look. In 2010, Ms. Brown introduced Pretty Powerful, an ad campaign featuring real women from all walks of life, and in 2013, she launched the Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls, a global initiative dedicated to funding nonprofit organizations that strive to empower women and girls through education.

Ambassador Dan Rooney
JRF’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Ambassador Dan Rooney is chairman of the iconic Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2009, President Obama named Dan Rooney United States Ambassador toIreland, where Mr. Rooney is revered as a founder of the American Ireland Fund. Similarly respected as the long-term, successful co-owner of the Steelers franchise, Dan Rooney worked closely with NFL Commissioners Rozelle, Tagliabue and Goodell to strengthen the NFL. In 2002, he was named chairman of the NFL Diversity Committee, which implemented what became known as the “Rooney Rule” to provide greater opportunities for minorities in NFL coaching and management positions.

Robert F. Smith
JRF’s ROBIE Achievement in Industry Award
Robert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a leading $14 billionprivate equity firm focused on software and technology-related businesses. Since Vista’s founding in 2000, Mr. Smith has overseen more than 170 completed transactions by the firm representing over $45 billion in transaction value. In November 2015, for the second year in a row and based on its performance over the last 11 years, Vista was named as world’s #1 performing private equity firm, according to the HEC-Dow Jones annual ranking.  An engaged philanthropist, Mr. Smith launched a national effort in 2010 entitled Project Realize, based on his visionary approach of “Free Market Philanthropy.” He is the Chairman of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Founding Director and Chairman of the Fund II Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the African-American experience, safeguarding human rights, providing music education, preserving the environment, and sustaining critical American values.

At this stand-out New York City event for the past 37 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has recognized some of the most important leaders in a great number of sectors throughout society, including Henry L. “Hank” Aaron, Tom Brokaw, Wes Bush, Clive Davis, John D. Finnegan, Dick Gregory,Gerald Hassell, Sheila C. Johnson, Michael Jordan, George Lucas, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Rita Moreno, Joseph Perella, Tyler Perry, Joseph J. Plumeri, Jr., Robert Redford, Mariano Rivera,Robin Roberts, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Henry R. Silverman, Ruth J. Simmons, Thomas Tull,Sanford I. Weill, and Stevie Wonder. For a full list of Awards Dinner honorees, click here.

As of March 1, 2016, the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner leadership sponsors include: Guardian, Major League Baseball, New Era, Praxair, The Tull Family Foundation, BNY Mellon, The Coca-Cola Company, Deloitte, Martin L. Edelman, The Ford Motor Company, GE, New York Mets, Nike, Northrop Grumman Foundation, Omnicom Group, Perella Weinberg Partners, Stephen M. Ross, Unilever, and The Windmill Foundation.

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