General Colin L. Powell and Alma J. Powell to Present CPB President & CEO Pat Harrison with the Promise of America Award

Mar 30, 2016

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2016) – America’s Promise Alliance, a national public media partner in the American Graduate initiative, will honor the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s president and CEO Patricia Harrison with the Promise of America Award at the second annual Promise Night Awards on April 20, 2016, at Washington, D.C.’s Howard Theatre.

General Colin L. Powell, founding chair of America’s Promise, and Mrs. Alma J. Powell, current board chair, will honor Harrison for leading the public media initiative American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen, which aims to increase the nation’s high school graduation rate in conjunction with APA’s Grad Nation effort.  Harrison will be recognized alongside fellow honorees Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation, Dr. Angela Diaz, director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.

“This award is a wonderful recognition of CPB’s work and that of local public radio and television stations across the country in partnership with more than 1,500 community organizations as part of American Graduate,” said Harrison. “Their efforts are inspiring others to get involved to become champion on behalf of the nation’s young people, ensuring this successor generation succeeds.”

In 2011, CPB launched American Graduate with 25 public media stations in high-need communities to spotlight the high school dropout crisis. Today, more than 130 public radio and television stations in over 48 states have partnered with government, business, faith-based and youth-serving organizations to put faces to the dropout statistics. Through powerful stories about those affected in their communities, public media content is helping citizens understand the challenges to staying in school and community organizations work together more effectively on solutions for every child.

Due in part to these efforts, America’s Promise research shows that the high school graduation rate has risen above 82% for the first time in American history.

“The power of media and storytelling is critical to the work we do,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “Pat and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have been important partners to the GradNation campaign, sharing stories of young people and champions that inspire and activate others. We look forward to honoring Pat for her outstanding leadership and long-term commitment to community-based solutions that help more young people get on the path to adult success.”

The Promise Award from America’s Promise, the largest national partnership dedicated to improving the lives of young people, honors champions who have answered the call of every American president for the past 40 years to fulfill the Five Promises for children and youth: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to serve. Hundreds of business, civic and community leaders will attend the event.

“Our honorees are extraordinary leaders in their fields, pulling out all the stops to make the promise of America real for every child,” Mrs. Powell said. “We look forward to celebrating their successes, following their careers and their example as they continue to do all they can to help children reach their full potential.”

Last year’s recipients of the Promise of America Award included Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator (TN); Wes Moore, founder, Bridge EdU; Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO, AT&T, Inc.; and Beatrice and Anthony Welters, co-founders, AnBryce Foundation. 

About America’s Promise Alliance

America’s Promise Alliance leads the nation’s largest network of national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. GradNation, the organization’s signature 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 workforce. @AmericasPromise

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CPBmediaFacebook, and LinkedIn.

# # #


America’s Promise Alliance

Daria L. Hall

(202) 657-0621


Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Tish King

(202) 879-9658