Bennington College president Walker honored by Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

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Tue, 11/17/2020 - 1:28pm -- Denise Sortor

On November 16, President Laura Walker was honored at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation's Restore Brooklyn Virtual Gala. Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is committed to disrupting and closing the racial wealth gap, and this gala pays tribute to outstanding professionals and civic leaders, while celebrating the deep-rooted connection between Restoration and Central Brooklyn. 

"Restoration has a tangible impact on thousands of lives," said President Laura Walker. "I am proud to support Restoration in these endeavors. Sometimes these days, hope can feel elusive, but we must not be deterred. Now is the time to summon the tireless courage of the Restoration's founders."

"Restoration is privileged to honor Laura R. Walker, the President of Bennington College and former President & CEO of New York Public Radio," said Colvin Grannum, President of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration. "Under her leadership, NYPR increased its annual budget from $8 million to $95 million and its monthly audience from 1 million to 26 million. As a pioneer in podcasting, she’s responsible for one of the top 3 podcast studios in the world—WNYC. Laura is also a longtime friend and supporter of the board of directors and arts and culture programs at Restoration, including the Billie Holiday Theatre. It is for this reason and so many more that we will present Laura R. Walker with the Jacob Javits Award for Enlightened Corporate Leadership."

In addition to Walker, this year’s virtual gala will honor David Adjaye, architect; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President & CEO of TIAA; and George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU. 

Restoration serves 50,000 people per year through facilities and programs that range from financial coaching to workforce development, energy conservation, technical support for small businesses, affordable housing, and theatre and arts education. Restoration Plaza, the hub of Central Brooklyn, receives more than 1.5 million visits per year. Restoration has developed and preserved more than 2,500 units of affordable housing, assisted more than 25,000 people find jobs, and annually helped scores of businesses create and retain jobs.

Over the course of Restoration’s history, the organization has been the catalyst for more than $650 million of investment in Central Brooklyn. Since 2017, Restoration’s strategic direction has been to disrupt and close the racial wealth gap, which it does by relentlessly pursuing strategies to close gaps in family and community wealth to ensure that all families and businesses in Central Brooklyn are healthy and prosperous. Restoration understands the racial wealth gap is a root cause of the racial disparities related to net worth, income, educational attainment, health, and mental wellness—disparities that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration)is recognized as the nation’s first community development corporation. Founded in 1967 by community residents and then United States Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob Javits, Restoration partners with residents and businesses to improve the quality of life in Central Brooklyn.

Restoration relentlessly pursues strategies to close gaps in family and community wealth to ensure all families in Central Brooklyn are prosperous and healthy. Restoration holds the vision of a flourishing Brooklyn community that consists of strong businesses and institutions anchored in a culture of equity and inclusion.

About Bennington College

Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education. It is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests.

Rooted in an abiding faith in the talent, imagination, and responsibility of the individual, Bennington invites students to pursue and shape their own intellectual inquiries, and in doing so to discover the profound interconnection of things. Learn more at