WASHINGTON — The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Board of Governors honored La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, with its highest honor — the Louis E. Martin Great American Award.
The Louis E. Martin Great American Award recognizes individuals who have made transformational contributions that furthered the promise of America as a land of hope and opportunity for all. The award, first given in 2003, is named in the memory of Louis E. Martin (1912-1997), a principal founder of the Joint Center and the first chair of its board. Joint Center Board President Barbara Johnson virtually presented Tabron with the award Aug. 1, 2022. They were joined in conversation by Joint Center President Spencer Overton.
La June Montgomery Tabron
president and CEO “La June is so deserving of the Louis E. Martin Great American Award. We are grateful for her trailblazing leadership in advancing racial equity and justice in philanthropy,” said Johnson. “As our country continues to grapple with the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and systemic racism, under La June’s leadership, the Kellogg Foundation has shaped philanthropy’s response, centering the needs and experiences of Black children and families and other underrepresented communities, and vastly improving millions of lives across the country.”
“I am tremendously honored to be recognized by the trailblazers at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and stand alongside the many illustrious champions for equity who have also received the Louis E. Martin Great American Award,” said Tabron. “The two years since the murder of George Floyd and the racial justice reckoning that followed have underscored the simple truth that the transformation of the complicated, layered systems that shape our society requires racial healing. At the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we have long believed that philanthropy plays a crucial role in supporting community-led racial healing, and I’m excited to help continue those efforts as we work to build a country and world where all children can thrive.”
Overton said “La June’s voice and vision have led to powerful change in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. She is truly an inspirational American who embodies the spirit of Louis E. Martin and the other remarkable individuals who have received the award in the past. We are so appreciative of her leadership and support of the Joint Center.”
Past recipients of the award include Cedric Richmond, Stacey Abrams, then-Senator Kamala Harris, Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Senator Cory Booker, Ambassador Susan Rice, Congressmen John Lewis and James Clyburn, Dorothy Height, and Muhammad Ali. See the full list of recipients.
About Louis E. Martin
Martin was a 1934 graduate of the University of Michigan, a Chicago Defender journalist, the founding editor and publisher of the Michigan Chronicle, a founder of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and an advisor to three presidents. He was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.
About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.