The Walter Kaitz Foundation
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History

Who was Walter Kaitz?

Walter Kaitz was a Russian immigrant who deeply believed in the American dream – all things are possible if we work hard and have an equal chance.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and serving in the U.S. Army, Walter received his law degree from the University of California.

He first made his mark in the California State Legislature and then went on to lead the California Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA). Walter understood that in order to thrive, the cable industry needed to cultivate management teams reflecting an increasingly diverse U.S. population.

He died in 1979 before his dream of full inclusion was fully realized, but his vision for an industry that embraced diversity continues to influence later generations of cable industry leaders, and remains central to the mission of the Foundation that bears his name.

Historical Highlights

In 1981, thanks to the generous financial contributions made possible by the late Walter Kaitz, the Walter Kaitz Foundation became the first of its kind in the media industry – a non-profit organization devoted to providing recruitment opportunities for people of color in the cable industry. Since 1981, the Foundation has supported the people and programs that make diversity in the cable industry a priority. We grow and evolve with the cable industry, changing our programs to meet the needs of cable’s changing landscape.

1990s

  • The Foundation expanded from its fellowship program to a focus on permanent career placement that included professional development and networking opportunities.

2000s

  • The Foundation’s focus changes to encompass supplier diversity, a broad grants-giving program and a community outreach program.
  • The Foundation relocates from California to Washington, D.C., where it focuses its grant distribution to The Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT). These three organizations focus primarily on internships, leadership development and mentoring for multi-ethnic professionals and women in the cable industry.
  • The Foundation launches an industry-wide supplier diversity initiative and increases its outreach to community organizations.