The medical school recently received two significant grants to assist in establishing the center: a grant of $500,000 from The Duke Endowment and a grant of $80,000 from The Winston-Salem Foundation. Wake Forest seeks to raise a $20 million endowment to operate the center. Angelou, a poet, author, civil-rights activist and Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, serves on the center's steering committee. Also on the steering committee are Robert J. Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of B&C Associates Inc., an international public relations firm based in High Point, and Eldridge C. Hanes, vice chairman of the Encore Group, a giftware company with administrative offices in Winston-Salem. Brown and Hanes co-chair the center's national advisory board.
The center's national advisory board is made up of internationally known leaders including: Coretta Scott King, Atlanta, Ga. - Civil rights and peace crusader and widow of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1968, she established the King Center, part of a 23-acre national historic park that hosts over one million visitors annually.
The Honorable Andrew Young, Atlanta, Ga. - Chairman, GoodWorks International. Young is the former ambassador to the United Nations, has served three terms in the United States House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia, and served two terms as mayor of Atlanta. He was co-chairman of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.
Henry Cisneros, San Antonio, Texas - Chairman and chief executive officer, American CityVista. Former secretary of Housing and Urban Development.