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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Third Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Award

Leadership Award Menu

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graphic

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

His call for direct action through non violent civil disobedience has forever shaped American civil rights law and international human rights law.


On January 24, 2014, Downstate will recognize The Jackie Robinson Foundation with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Award. The award, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, recognizes individuals and organizations who have a distinguished record in molding consensus to shape solutions to important societal challenges. Damian Travier Director, Mentoring and Leadership Programs, will represent the Foundation and give the keynote address.

3 men standing for photo

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson

The Jackie Robinson Foundation

Described in The New York Times in 2008 as what "might be the best educational effort in the country," the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a national, not–for–profit, organization founded in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson through the advancement of higher education among underserved populations. Uniquely, JRF provides generous four–year college scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential. JRF's hands–on, four–year program includes peer and professional mentoring, internship placement, extensive leadership training, international travel and community service options, the conveyance of practical life skills, and a myriad of networking opportunities. JRF's strategic combination of financial assistance and support services results consistently in a nearly 100% college graduation rate.