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Wenda Weekes Moore

Civic leader Wenda Weekes Moore was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 1941 to Sylvia Means Weekes and obstetrician-gynecologist Leroy Randolph Weekes. Moore grew up in Los Angeles, California and graduated from Los Angeles High School. She attended Howard University, the alma mater of both her parents, and earned her B.A. degree in political science in 1963.

In 1973, Moore was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and became the first African American chairperson of the board, a position she held from 1975 to 1982. She joined the staff of Governor Wendell Anderson as an assistant in 1976. In 1979, Moore led the University of Minnesota's first educational exchange delegation to the People's Republic of China. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Board of Advisors at the United States Department of Education in 1980. Moore then joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1989, where she became chair of the Board of Trustees in 2001. The Patino Moore Legacy Award was established to honor Moore's leadership in the fields of higher education and public service in 2011. She has served as a visiting scholar at the Clinton School's Center on Community Philanthropy.

Moore is on the board of directors of several organizations including the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Council on Foundations, Greywolf Press, Minneapolis Council on Churches, Ms. Foundation for Women and Women's Funding Network. She has served on the Federal District Judge Selection Commission, the National Committee on Presidential Selection and the Board of Advisors to the General Medical College. She has received the Legacy Award from the Pan African Community Endowment. Moore is married to Cornell Leverette Moore and they have three children, Lynne, Jonathon, and Meredith.

Wenda Weekes Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 01/15/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.003

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2012

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Weekes

Occupation
Schools

24th Street Elementary School

Mt. Vernon Junior High School

Los Angeles High School

Howard University

First Name

Wenda

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Devens

HM ID

MOO15

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Savannah, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Never Give Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

12/24/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Edina

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Civic leader Wenda Weekes Moore (1941 - ) served as the first African American chairperson of the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents and was chair of the Board of Trustees for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Employment

District of Columbia Public Library

Westminster Town Hall Forum

Favorite Color

Green-Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wenda Weekes Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her father's experiences at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her family's move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's experiences during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her father's medical accomplishments

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her political influences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her father's friendships with black politicians in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her experiences at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her transition to Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Mordecai Johnson and William Montague Cobb

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls studying with Toni Morrison

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about Sterling A. Brown and Rayford Logan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes John Hope Franklin's influence on her academic career

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the student activism at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers graduating from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Mordecai Johnson's retirement from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the start of her relationship with her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the influence of television on the activism of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls marrying her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls working as a library researcher

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the community in Minnesota's Twin Cities

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the discrimination against African Americans in Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her campaign for Minneapolis Board of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her role in Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about Hubert Humphrey

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the naming of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers Eugene McCarthy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers her appointment to the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her start on the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the search for a new president of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her chairmanship of the Minnesota Board of Regents

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls developing an exchange program between China and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the open enrollment policy at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her appointment to the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her transition to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers meeting with Russell Mawby

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her experiences at Mount Vernon in Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls her first trip to South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers meeting South African President Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her chairmanship of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's focus on health disparities, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's focus on health disparities, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the impact of the Fourth World Conference on Women

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wenda Weekes Moore shares her advice to aspiring foundation executives

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about the Girl Scouts of the USA

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wenda Weekes Moore reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Wenda Weekes Moore reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Wenda Weekes Moore talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Wenda Weekes Moore remembers the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wenda Weekes Moore describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wenda Weekes Moore narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wenda Weekes Moore narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Wenda Weekes Moore describes her transition to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Wenda Weekes Moore recalls the impact of the Fourth World Conference on Women
Transcript
When did you join the Association of Black Foundation Executives? Now that's some- I mean we probably should start with what--how did you first get involved on the board of the foundation (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, Kellogg [W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan].$$Yeah, Kellogg.$$Let's see. When did I go to Kellogg? I think it overlapped a couple of years with the Board of Regents. And I wanna say '89 [1989] I went on the board--no, I think it was probably '88 [1988], I went on the Board of Regents--on the board at Kellogg. And the CEO at that time was Russ Mawby [Russell Mawby]. And I had friends from about, oh, maybe 1986 or 1985 was the first time, maybe '85 [1985]. A friend of mine called me and said, "You know, I was in Washington [D.C.] at a meeting. And Russ Mawby, the CEO at Kellogg Foundation came over and asked me if I knew Wenda Moore [HistoryMaker Wenda Weekes Moore]." And I said, "So what did you say?" He said, "'Yes, I know Wenda Moore,' and we talked and chitchatted a little bit, and he wanted to know what you were interested in. And I told him, it's easier to talk about what she isn't interested in." And I said, "Oh, isn't that nice." So I, you know, hung up, and then I told Cornell [Weekes Moore's husband, HistoryMaker Cornell Leverette Moore]. And Cornell said, "They're probably after you, they're looking at you for the board." And I said, "No, it can't be." And I thought, oh! So then I went to look up the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and I thought oh, this is nice. I'd heard a little bit about it; never heard another word. Four, five, six months, eight months go by. Another friend calls. "I was at a meeting, and I met Russ Mawby," and I said, "And I bet Russ Mawby said, 'Do you know Wenda Moore 'cause you're from Minnesota?'" (Laughter) She said, "How did you know?" So by then I was just--anyway, this goes on, three or four different people. And the next thing I know, Peter Magrath [C. Peter Magrath], the president of the University of Minnesota [University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota] said, "Wenda, I have to tell you. I was at this meeting and Russ Mawby--." I said, "Peter, please spare me." I said, "I've been hearing for two years about Russ Mawby asking people about me" (laughter). I said, "I'm gonna--," and he said, "Oh, you've heard it before?" I said, "Yeah." And he said, "Well, maybe they're looking at you for the Kellogg Foundation." I said, "Well, I might have thought that a couple of years ago." I said, "Now I don't know what to think, and I'm not concerned about it." Anyway, I'm getting my children [Lynne Moore Nelson, Jonathan Moore and Meredith Moore Crosby] ready for school one morning, and the telephone rings. And this man says, "I'm calling from the National School Boards Association. We have just received a grant from the Kellogg Foundation." I'm thinking, oh, gee (laughter). And he said, "They've suggested that as one of the advisors to the project that we've been funded for, that we contact you and ask you to serve along with three other people to be the, like the overseers or the advisors of this project because we're very interested in increasing the competence of people who serve on school boards. We think they need to be exposed to governance issues. We think they need a larger tool box of strategies to deal with the issues so that we can increase the effectiveness of school boards." And I said, "Oh, thank you." I said, "That's--what a compliment." I said, you know, I gave him my address. I said, "Please send me some information, and I'll let you know." And I said, "By the way, who was it at the Kellogg Foundation that suggested that you call?" So he gave me the name, and I said, "Okay, you send the information, and I'll look at it." I hung up the phone.$When you look back on your career, how do you think the role of women has changed in the foundation community?$$Well, I can tell you at the Kellogg Foundation [W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Michigan], it's changed a lot. It's changed in the way we view women in the field, and the way we view our responsibility towards women. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I had an opportunity here, Hillary Clinton [Hillary Rodham Clinton] at the White House when President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] was president, and this was just before the women's conference [Fourth World Conference on Women] in Beijing [China], UN [United Nations] world, women's--UN world, yeah, the world's women's conference in Beijing. It was the world conference in Beijing. I think it was ninety--'95 [1995]. At any rate, Hillary said that--no, it couldn't have been '95 [1995], '85 [1985] probably [sic. 1995], all right. I'm not gonna worry about the date. At any rate, she invited a number of people from foundations to say that the government was not going to be able to send the number of women that they normally sent to these world conferences. The last one had been at Nai- the previous one had been at Nairobi [Kenya], and they had sent a delegation headed by Maureen Reagan, but this time, they weren't--[U.S.] Congress was not going to fund that. And she wanted foundations to do it. So I went, I heard it and I went back. And Russ Mawby [Russell Mawby] who was the president of the Kellogg Foundation at the time, said that if I could go and head the delegation, that he would consider having us bring together a group of women. And it was the first time at Kellogg that they were really willing to say, maybe women might be different and might be worth some funding and some focus that would be different than in the past 'cause we didn't, we just didn't talk about it at Kellogg. And so we had staff identify women in our, who'd been grantees, who could take advantage of this, who could come back, go to the conference in Beijing, come back and share it with their groups. And that's what we did, but we did more than that because when we came back to the foundation, we decided that we were going to begin to focus more on women, the needs of women and girls; that there were real inequities, in the grant dollars focused on women and girls. And really, if you wanna move a community forward, it's the women who need to be the focus in a lot of ways. So I think it's really been different since then. And we don't shy away from talking about, at the Kellogg Foundation, racial inequities and racial inequality or equality around your sex, the fact that women are, are treated differently. So that's a good thing.