Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Yankees Create Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Yankee Stadium's famous facade. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees recently announced that they have created the New York Yankees Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Yankees-CUNY (City University of New York) Partnership Program.

New York Yankees Diversity and Inclusion Committee - This will identify, engage, and address issues related to equality, racial justice and inclusivity. The formalization of this Committee, which took place in September, was the result of an extended period of planning and collaboration with community leaders and within the Yankees organization to determine the appropriate framework for imparting meaningful and long-lasting change.

The Committee's mission focuses on identifying and combating disparities and systemic inequities that obstruct socioeconomic fairness and progress for marginalized groups. It is comprised of a dedicated and diverse network of Yankees staff members, on-field personnel, alumni, and outside community leaders and business partners. The group began virtual meetings in September, and the advancement of proposals and projects has continued with regularly scheduled meetings and informal disalogue.

It will have five major pillars of focus: Diversity and inclusion within the Yankees organization; Education; Socioeconomic Development; Social Responsibility; Health and Wellness.

New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement, "We are thankful - and honored - to bring such a distinguished and passionate group of people together in support of this critically urgent issue. Racial injustices and disparities in all forms are stark obstacles that impact the cohesion and quality of our society. The New York Yankees Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed to provide a forum for open discourse that leads to higher ground as an organization and produce actionable steps that guide our continued commitment to positive change."

Yankees-CUNY (City University of New York) Partnership Program - This is one of the activation initiatives from the New York Yankees Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and its creation is predicated on identifying and exposing CUNY students and alumni to career paths, employment, and business opportunities throughout the New York Yankees organization. This relationship between the Yankees and CUNY, the largest urban university system in the United States, which includes Brooklyn College, will also include direct immersion into the New York Yankees Sport Management Mentoring Program. Of particular note, CUNY's demographics include a wide swath of minorities and other individuals  who are underrepresented in corporate settings.

CUNY Chanceller Felix V. Matos Rodriguez said in a statement, "At The City University of New York we understand the value of collaboration and teambuilding to achieve important goals, which is why we are thrilled to partner with the New York Yankees - the first time the University has created this kind of partnership with a pro sports team. This new program will provide CUNY students the opportunity to explore a variety of careers that exists within a professional sports organization, while growing their professional network, as well as gain access to internship and job opportunities in this exciting field."

Community members on the committee include: Jose Calderon, Former President, Hispanic Federation; Ana Garcia, Director, Government & Community Affairs, New York-Presbyterian; Spike Lee, Forty Acres & A Mule Filmworks; Daniel Quintero, Executive Director, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club; Arva Rice, President & CEO, New York Urban League,Inc.; Janis Robinson, Vice President, Institutions & Partnerships, Food Bank for New York City; Meisha Ross-Porter, Executive Superintendent for the Bronx, New York City Department of Education; Elizabeth Toledo, Vice President of Field Operations, YMCA of Greater New York.

Yankees organization officials on the committee: Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner/Chairperson; Randy Levine, Esq., President; Brian Cashman, Senior VP, General Manager; Brian Smith, Senior VP, Corporate/Community Relations; Aryn Sobo, Esq., VP, Human Resources, Employment & Labor Law; Jason Zillo, VP, Communications & Media Relations; Robert Brown, VP & CFO, Accounting; CC Sabathia, Yankees Special Advisor; Reggie Jackson, Former Yankee and Baseball Hall of Famer; Marcus Thames, Yankees Hitting Coach; Mike Harkey, Yankees Bullpen Coach; Rose Barre, Yankees Executive Director, Sales, Service, and Business Strategy; Kevin Reese, Yankees Senior Director, Player Development.

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