Press Release

America's Promise Honors Six Exceptional Leaders at Fourth Annual Promise Night Gala

Jeff Weiner, Dr. Michael Lomax, Katherine & David Bradley, and Sondra Samuels Named  2018 Promise of America Honorees; Dr. Wintley Phipps Named 2018 Promise Hero

Washington, DC – America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, will honor six exceptional leaders with its Promise of America and Promise Hero Awards on April 18.  The awards will be presented by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret) and Alma Powell, the founding chair and chair of America’s Promise, at the fourth annual Promise Night Gala which will be held at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
The Promise of America award, the organization’s highest honor, recognizes extraordinary individuals who have made an exceptional difference in the lives of young people and, through their work, have demonstrated the power of the Five Promises – caring adults, safe places, a healthy and safe start, an effective education, and opportunities to serve – to change the odds, transform lives, and build positive futures. 
“Our honorees are extraordinary leaders, working diligently to make the promise of America real for every child,” said Alma J. Powell, chair, America’s Promise. “As we enter our third decade of work on behalf of young people in this country, these individuals remind us of the impact we can have if we use our time, talents and influence to make life better for the next generation.”

“Promise Night is an opportunity for us to celebrate the successes of our honorees while being inspired by their community and national impact,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “Their commitment to the advancement of young people is essential to keeping youth on the path to adult success. America’s Promise is proud to recognize such a dedicated group.”

2018 Promise of America Honorees

  • Katherine and David Bradley are co-founders of the CityBridge Foundation, a private family foundation based in Washington, D.C. In 2000, CityBridge began investigating successful practices for combating entrenched, multigenerational poverty—all with the intention of launching a new, signature program in Washington, D.C. CityBridge Education, a nonprofit enterprise dedicated to advancing equity and opportunity for all children, was launched out of CityBridge Foundation as an education incubator that seeks out the teachers, leaders, and school teams with the ideas and the drive to create new, better models of school in Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Michael Lomax is president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $2.5 billion and helped more than 92,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers.
  • Sondra Samuels is the president & CEO of Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a collaborative of over 40 partner non-profits and schools. Along with parents, students, partners, and staff, Ms. Samuels is leading a revolutionary culture shift in North Minneapolis that is focused on ending multigenerational poverty through education and family stability. The NAZ collaborative is working toward a single goal—to prepare low-income North Minneapolis children to graduate from high school college and career-ready.
  • Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with more than 546 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Under his leadership, LinkedIn for Good has reached more than 1 million underserved youth, veterans, refugees, employees and nonprofits, connecting them to greater economic opportunities. Most recently, they’ve introduced LinkedIn Coaches, their signature program to connect underserved young adults and other underrepresented communities to the mentors, networks, and jobs they need to succeed.

2018 Promise Hero Honoree

In addition, this year America’s Promise will also recognize one individual who has made a sustained commitment and unheralded contributions to young people.

  • Dr. Wintley Phipps is founder and CEO of US Dream Academy, an organization dedicated to helping the nation's children reach for their dreams through academic, social, and values enrichment; empowering young people most at risk of incarceration to believe in themselves and to succeed. In addition to his role with the US Dream Academy, Dr. Phipps is a world-renowned vocal artist, education activist, motivational speaker, pastor. For his work at the U.S. Dream Academy he has received numerous service awards, among them: The Excellence in Mentoring for Program Leadership Award from MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnerships; the Oprah Winfrey Angel Network Use Your Life Award; and Philanthropist of the Year Award from The National Center for Black Philanthropy, Inc.

Last year's Promise of America Award recipients included Kenneth I. Chenault, former chairman and CEO of American Express Company; Common, hip-hop artist, actor, and founder of the Common Ground Foundation; Arne Duncan, managing partner of Emerson Collective; Bryan Stevenson, executive director of Equal Justice Initiative; and Dorothy Stoneman, founder of YouthBuild.

In 2017, the Promise Hero Award was given to singer and songwriter Andra Day and New England Patriot Malcolm Mitchell.

The title sponsor for the 2018 Promise Night Gala is the Ford Foundation. This year’s platinum sponsor is Salesforce. Gold sponsors include Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault, College Board, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Say Yes to Education, State Farm and the Walton Family Foundation.

To learn more about the 2018 Promise Night Gala and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or email [email protected].

Media Credentials

Members of the media who wish to attend the Promise Night Gala should contact Daria Hall or Tonya Williams.

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America’s Promise Alliance leads more than 450 organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.