Kids visiting the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The Foundation's museum is an inspiration for the new generations. Photo: @JRFoundation.

Rachel Robinson to be honored at the 44th Annual Robie Awards Dinner

Her life and impact will be highlighted at the foundation's awards ceremony


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Rachel Robinson, the pioneer and founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) will receive a tribute on Monday, March 13 at the New York Marriott Marquis at the foundation's 44th Annual Robie Awards Dinner.

Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter Spike Lee and filmmaker, author, and activist Tonya Lewis Lee, will emcee as co-chairs of the Gala Dinner Committee, along with honorary co-chairs former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush.

Della Britton, president and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, said through a statement:

We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate JRF’s 50th anniversary than by honoring our beloved founder who inspires all that we do.

Members of the Gala Committee include: Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Los Angeles Dodgers Owner and Chairman Mark Walter; Educator, Broadcaster, Philanthropist, and Wife of Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Aaron Billye Aaron; Salamander Hotels & Resorts owner Sheila C. Johnson; JRF Alumna Jade Dean; and JRF Board Members Leonard S. Coleman, Jr., Martin L. Edelman, Esq., Gregg A. Gonsalves, Christopher H. Koch, Peter O’Malley, and Christopher Dean.

You should know: Rachel Robinson

The foundation says that Robinson has lived a life full of compassion and perseverance.

“By the time she married Jackie Robinson in 1946, she had graduated from UCLA with a degree in nursing and spent time helping build WWII bombardiers at Lockheed Martin for the war effort. She went on to advance her career in nursing, earning a master’s degree from NYU in psychiatric nursing and serving as the Director of Nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, a collaboration between Yale University and the State of Connecticut,” highlights the Foundation.

In addition to supporting events to promote imprisoned social activists and other civil rights causes, such as celebrity jazz concerts, Robinson spearheaded initiatives to develop low-income housing with her husband.

“We wanted to publicly pay tribute to her in this year when she turned 100 and cut the ribbon to open the Jackie Robinson Museum, a fixed tribute to the legacy and a long-held dream. Alongside Jackie, she fought mightily for equal opportunity and equal justice. She is a compelling force for positive change and greater understanding. She’s our beacon,” added Britton. 

Following the untimely death of her husband in 1972, she founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which she joined in 1973 and served as president until 1996.

About the dinner

The ceremony will be attended by Jackie Robinson Foundation alumni Karissa Royster, Broadway artist and dancer from Los Angeles; Alyse Stone, visual artist; and Andia Winslow, award-winning broadcaster and actress. During the evening, attendees will also enjoy the musical talent of the legendary Ray Chew Live.

The 44th dinner kicks off the JRF's 50th anniversary celebration and raise funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation's college scholarship program, JRF IMPACT, a digital guide to college success, and the Jackie Robinson Museum, which opened at the New York City in July 2022.

“As co-chairs of this special tribute to Rachel Robinson, Tonya and I feel privileged to help celebrate such an extraordinary woman. Rachel was Jackie’s rock and kept him safe and grounded during the most unstable times. She defines courage and grace and continues to serve as a stellar role model around the world,” noted Spike Lee. 

To reserve a table or purchase tickets for the 44th Robie Awards Dinner, click here.


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