Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of FPWA, to receive Wyatt Tee Walker Award at Keepers of the Dream Gala in honor


April 4, 2023



Rachel Noerdlinger,

Emma Brodsky,


 Award Recognizes Legacy Civil Rights Leader’s Dedication to Continuing MLK’s Vision of Justice, Will be Joined by Fellow Honorees Tyler Perry, Hill Harper, & More

NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2023) — FPWA CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin will be honored with the Wyatt Tee Walker Award at this year’s Keepers of the Dream gala at the 2023 National Action Network Annual Convention hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton. Named for the civil rights legend and pastor who served as chief of staff to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Wyatt Tee Walker award is one of the highest recognitions given out at Keepers of the Dream – the convention’s premiere event which recognizes those who carry on Dr. King’s vision of justice and freedom for the nation.


Today, the nation remembers the 55th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. Next week, Jones Austin will be commemorated for her lifelong commitment to advancing racial justice and equity as efforts to stymy progress persist across the country in states like Florida, threatening the future of MLK’s dream.


**Media interested in registering to cover this event should complete the online media credentialing form.** 


Jones Austin is a fourth-generation civil rights and social justice leader who currently serves as the CEO and Executive Director of FPWA. She grew up in the movement as the daughter of Civil Rights leader William Augustus Jones Jr., a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. and mentor to Rev. Sharpton. As the leader of one of the nation’s foremost anti-poverty, policy, and advocacy organizations, Jones Austin continues to deliver real change for communities of color and New York’s most vulnerable individuals and families.


Most recently, the lifelong Brooklynite chaired the first-of-its-kind NYC Racial Justice Commission to dismantle systemic racism in the nation’s largest city. Through this work, she led the passage of three charter revisions to make New York City live up to its promise of fairness and equity. Jones Austin currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of National Action Network; member of the Feerick Center for Social Justice Advisory Board; and member of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Advisory Board at Harvard University. She is the Visiting Scholar for the New York University Silver School of Social Work. She also was appointed by NYS Governor Kathy Hochul a Commissioner and Executive Committee Member of the New York State African American History Commission


At Keepers of the Dream, Jones Austin will be joined by fellow honorees Tyler Perry, Hill Harper, Jane Rosenthal, and Dr. Alfred Seawright in recognition for their contributions to civil rights and humanitarian work for their communities.



1.       Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA, Vice-Chair of National Action Network’s National Board of Directors

2.       Rev. Al Sharpton, President & Founder, National Action Network

3.       Tyler Perry, Filmmaker, Director, Producer, and Entrepreneur

4.       Hill Harper, Actor, Author

5.       Jane Rosenthal, Emmy Nominated Producer, CEO and Co-Founder, Tribeca Enterprises

6.       Dr. Alfred Seawright, CEO, Medical Place



Wednesday, April 12th

7 p.m.



Sheraton Times Square

811 7th Avenue and 53rd Street

New York, NY 10019



**Media interested in registering to cover this event at the NAN Annual Convention should complete the online media credentialing form.**


About FPWA

FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to advancing economic opportunity, justice, and upward mobility for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.


Find out more at fpwa.orgFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.




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FPWA has recently been receiving claims from members of the public emailing and calling our offices that individuals posing as FPWA agents have contacted them claiming that in order for the recipient to claim grant monies from FPWA they must first send the agent personal information, a cell phone number, gift card codes or money.

FPWA does not use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), text messages or direct phone contact to solicit, review, or make awards. FPWA staff will not call or message you requesting money in order to be eligible for an award.

Further, FPWA does not make grants directly to individuals. FPWA works with its member agency partners and other reputable community-based organizations to direct support to families and individuals in our community.

If you or someone you know has been contacted by someone posing to be an “FPWA Agent” or staff person requesting money to release a grant, please do the following:

If you have questions prior to reporting your incident, view the IC3 FAQs for more information.

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