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James Mitchell

Research chemist James W. Mitchell was born on November 16, 1943 in Durham, North Carolina as the eldest and only son of tobacco factory workers. Mitchell’s interest in chemistry stemmed from the disciplines logical principles and their reliability. Mitchell received his B.S. degree in chemistry from North Carolina A & T State University in 1965, and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1970. His doctoral thesis focused on analytical chemistry, a branch of chemistry concerned with analyzing the characteristics and composition of matter.

Mitchell first joined AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey after receiving his doctorate. He chaired the Lab’s Affirmative Action Committee and was one of the founders of the Association of Black Laboratory Employees. In 1982, Mitchell was promoted to supervisor of the Inorganic Analytical Chemistry Research Group. Mitchell became head of the Analytical Chemistry Research Department in 1975. Under his leadership the department was transformed into an internationally renowned research organization. In 1985, Mitchell was named an AT & T Bell Laboratories Fellow, and, in 1989 he was extended membership into the National Academy of Engineering. He has written nearly 100 publications with as many citations attached to his work. He earned the 1999 Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award by the National Society of Black Engineers.

In 2002, Mitchell began his tenure at Howard University. He served as the David and Lucille Packard Professor of Materials Science, Director of the CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research and Education Center, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dean of the College of Engineering. Mitchell has also lectured internationally. In addition, he co-authored a book, Contamination Control in Trace Analysis, published more than seventy-five scientific papers, and invented instruments and processes. He also served as a member of the editorial advisory boards of Analytical Chemistry and Mikrochimica Acta. Mitchell and his wife Jean live in Washington, D.C. They have three children.

James W. Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2012

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Middle Name

W

Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Iowa State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Durham

HM ID

MIT13

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaskan Cruises

Favorite Quote

When times get tough, the tough get going.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/16/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Turkey, Greens (Collard), Fish, Barbecue

Short Description

Chemist James Mitchell (1943 - ) was the first African American honored as an AT&T Bell Laboratories Fellow, and is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Howard University.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Lucent Technologies

Howard University College of Engineering

CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research and Education center

Favorite Color

Gold, Purple, Red, White

Timing Pairs
310,0:4470,95:5350,111:6310,131:6630,136:7270,150:9110,189:10310,208:15672,263:22832,332:23781,347:24365,356:25241,370:25679,377:32120,416:34760,468:35880,487:36600,502:36920,507:37240,512:38200,525:38840,534:39480,543:40200,554:42200,587:47750,630:49270,656:50150,672:53670,726:55910,761:58230,784:59270,799:60310,813:61270,827:61590,832:66579,850:67492,863:68239,872:68571,877:69733,894:70231,901:71900,928:72593,940:73097,950:73601,959:74042,967:75428,992:75995,1002:76562,1014:78011,1043:78641,1104:84833,1129:89948,1225:98063,1312:103076,1342:105169,1372:111930,1410:112262,1415:112677,1421:116635,1444:117145,1451:121410,1486:121766,1491:126928,1562:127284,1567:127818,1572:128708,1584:129153,1590:135470,1647:135926,1654:136458,1663:138054,1689:139422,1712:141980,1719:142360,1724:143025,1733:151406,1803:153494,1830:155495,1857:160280,1915:161498,1930:166066,1956:173326,2113:173590,2118:180270,2203:181020,2215:181545,2224:182070,2236:185032,2252:185402,2258:185846,2265:187178,2286:188140,2300:189028,2313:189694,2323:192358,2364:192654,2369:193024,2375:193690,2385:197728,2406:200968,2470:201256,2475:201688,2482:202912,2503:203488,2513:204496,2528:205504,2553:209827,2577:211681,2593:212196,2599:221466,2679:222048,2686:222436,2691:223212,2700:224182,2713:225928,2737:227770,2742$0,0:8907,32:10041,51:18951,164:23498,179:26427,214:29815,246:33222,274:34671,303:34923,308:37210,323:44237,393:45013,403:47147,424:50932,444:54663,484:56895,512:57546,521:59499,540:59964,546:61917,573:67638,614:70992,654:71850,667:78222,723:80242,751:83582,779:87023,803:87451,808:88414,818:89591,835:93110,861:95407,879:96208,890:96742,897:99224,927:99763,935:103151,979:105230,1015:105846,1024:106924,1045:108310,1072:108926,1082:109927,1098:110389,1106:118830,1184:119570,1195:124422,1230:131730,1262:132094,1267:133277,1283:136752,1310:138026,1325:139104,1337:140084,1348:140476,1353:140868,1358:143612,1388:155430,1457:156022,1462:157370,1469
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Mitchell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Mitchell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Mitchell describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Mitchell describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Mitchell talks about his parents' separation and reconciliation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Mitchell describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Mitchell talks about his elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his natural ability of taking things apart and reassembling them

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about what influenced him while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about growing up in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his childhood jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about the importance of education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the book rent policy in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his father's return after a long absence

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his relationship with his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at the summer science program at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his decision to attend North Carolina A&T University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (part one)

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (part two)

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the segregation at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his mentors at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his college experience

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his summer employment during college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his decision to attend Iowa State University for his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his friend, Dr. Reginald Mitchner

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at Iowa State University and his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at Iowa State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Mitchell describes his dissertation on the separation of rare earth elements

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the practical applications of his research on the separation of rare earth elements

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his employment prospects after graduating from Iowa State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about the assassinations of prominent figures during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about the work environment at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his work at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his patents

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his professional activities and awards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about AT&T Bell Laboratories' merger with Lucent Technologies

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his mentorship activities at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his colleagues at Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his career at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his goals for the college of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Mitchell describes the challenges he faces as dean of the college of engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Mitchell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Mitchell reflects on his life choices

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Mitchell talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about his parents' reaction to his success

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Mitchell shares his advice for young people

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
James Mitchell talks about the work environment at Bell Laboratories
James Mitchell talks about his goals for the college of engineering at Howard University
Transcript
Okay, so, and so, after graduating in 1970, so you joined Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories]. Now, this is, as you said, Bell Labs has been touted by the people we've interviewed as one of the greatest places to work. Of course, the culture is destroyed now, but at that time, it was a scientist's dream.$$It absolutely was one of the best corporate research facilities on Planet Earth. It was run by managers who had first been accomplished scientists themselves. You didn't get to be a manager at the AT&T Bell Laboratories Research Facility unless you were an extraordinary researcher first. And so the people in charge of the place understood what was necessary in an environment in order for it to be essentially perfect from the standpoint of supporting, fostering and allowing scientific and technological excellence to take place. I had the blessings of enjoying Bell Laboratories for thirty years. It was the type of environment where you couldn't believe that you were paid to do something that was so enjoyable and to do it under conditions that were so excellent.$$Yeah, it's hardly anyone that says something like that, but that's, those who talk about Bell Labs do speak that highly of it. So, for instance, what made it such an enjoyable place to work?$$Well, it was such an enjoyable place to work because money was not an obstacle to accomplishing the impossible. If a young person had an idea about something and it had a finite probability of being feasible, the only thing you had to do was convince the manager of your organization that this idea concept was worth pursuing and that if brought to fruition, its scientific impact would be extraordinary, and it was possible for you to do that. That could be done in a conversation and on one page. It didn't require a 300-page research proposal. So you could pursue extraordinary research ideas and so forth without exhaustive inputs and justifications before the fact. You had colleagues on your hallway who were experts in virtually all aspects of science and technology. You could learn in a thirty-minute conversation with one of your colleagues what would require you three months of digging through the literature and research in order to acquire the knowledge. You could almost instantly generate a collaboration with anyone, excellent people will collaborate at a finger snap with other excellent people. And you had access. If you indicated that you worked at Bell Laboratories, that almost immediately gave you access to collaborations with anybody else in the country. And so it was just an amazing place where the money, the infrastructure, the intellect, the vision and all of those things came together that allowed important science to be done.$Okay, so that's 2009. Now, so, just tell us about what you're doing as dean here and what your prospects are as well as for the college?$$As a dean, I believe the most important responsibility I have is to put in place the underpinnings and the structure of the College of Engineering such that in the next century we are able to implement, establish and grow entrepreneurships, intellectual property, technology parks and businesses. Howard University is not going to be a greater university than it has been until we have done what the other universities do, establish technology parks, establish intellectual property and have a gigantic foundation with funding sufficient for us to accomplish anything on our own, if necessary. And so I see my greatest goal is to lay the foundation for pursuing that long-term goal. And so we have, are in the midst of restructuring the college to pursue that. We are in the midst of working with the faculty to recruit entrepreneurial professors, individuals who see the business aspect of science as important as the knowledge aspect of science and who want to operate in both arenas. And my job is to hopefully work with the upper-level management here and transform the environment from one of teaching excellence with science done in addition to it, but one of scientific and engineering excellence that even surpasses by far the teaching legacy of excellence that we have. And so that's the unfinished job that exists.

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

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/24/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Edina

Country

USA

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
0,0:1764,22:28100,365:28640,375:29090,381:35770,438:48130,570:53760,623:54495,631:54915,636:81234,1057:81518,1062:82228,1076:84713,1123:84997,1128:86204,1149:93504,1238:103990,1473:114310,1603:114730,1609:115465,1619:116095,1627:116620,1633:132588,1885:132856,1890:142258,2144:142550,2149:144886,2193:145324,2200:148171,2226:158106,2513:158430,2523:158916,2538:159456,2551:160968,2599:161238,2611:165147,2623:165678,2634:166150,2706:166622,2716:167153,2727:167743,2744:168274,2754:171958,2786:172511,2794:173064,2803:173696,2812:174170,2819:174644,2826:177860,2848:178188,2853:178926,2864:179336,2870:179910,2879:180484,2887:184584,2958:196566,3080:196946,3086:197250,3091:197630,3097:198010,3103:199758,3121:202190,3159:202494,3164:203026,3172:203558,3180:203938,3186:204242,3191:205458,3205:207434,3234:213620,3295:217300,3347:220580,3404:221300,3416:239010,3691:240264,3717:249320,3846$0,0:528,14:966,22:1258,27:2499,56:2937,64:4251,89:10980,112:21836,298:22347,307:34169,372:37661,381:38009,386:39724,400:40538,412:42018,466:42462,472:42832,478:43128,483:43794,493:44534,550:45422,574:45866,579:46680,590:47198,598:48086,647:55856,703:58780,728:59200,736:59920,750:61516,771:67440,844:77512,996:78030,1006:78548,1016:78992,1026:79436,1033:79732,1038:81138,1057:83898,1066:84794,1085:85298,1097:85634,1105:86026,1114:89694,1163:91074,1187:93075,1234:93489,1242:94938,1279:95628,1290:97077,1320:97905,1352:98871,1369:100044,1383:100527,1398:103701,1461:114657,1511:117231,1554:118811,1560:119095,1565:120302,1597:121012,1609:121438,1617:121793,1623:124340,1632:125231,1642:125636,1648:126365,1659:126932,1668:128760,1691:129160,1697:130760,1728:131240,1735:132520,1751:138404,1801:138756,1806:139636,1818:139988,1823:140950,1829:141274,1834:143137,1865:144791,1891:145067,1896:145481,1903:145757,1908:153245,1984:156582,2004:156830,2009:157512,2022:157946,2038:158194,2043:160860,2096:161294,2105:161542,2110:161852,2116:163774,2165:164022,2170:164270,2175:164828,2191:165076,2196:168342,2208:169602,2223:170190,2231:170694,2239:171030,2244:171618,2253:172206,2262:172626,2268:173130,2276:175230,2313:175566,2318:175986,2324:178170,2359:178758,2367:189284,2466:190098,2481:191430,2511:191800,2517:192096,2522:192540,2529:192836,2534:197904,2574:198332,2579:198760,2584:199509,2592:200472,2614:201649,2626:202291,2633:203575,2648:210910,2678:211575,2685:212525,2699:212905,2704:213285,2709:214330,2724:214995,2732:218900,2769
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.