|Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees will pay tribute to New York's Legacy of Pride on Thursday night in pregame ceremonies ahead of their game with the Houston Astros, with representatives involved with the creation of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, and the fourth-annual Yankees-Stonewall Scholars honored.
On Wednesday, the Yankees announced an expansion of their pre-existing community partnership with Pride Live (pridelive.org), with the New York Yankees becoming a founding supporter of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center (SNMVC), which breaks ground on Friday morning. For more information, visit www.stonewallvisitorcenter.org.
Pride Live is a social advocacy and community engagement organization for the LGBTQ+ community, and it will open the SNMVC in the summer of 2024 at 51 Christopher Street, between Waverly Place and Seventh Avenue South in Manhattan, adjacent to the Stonewall Inn. It will be the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Parks Service and will offer an immersive experience welcoming all people to explore and experience LGBTQ+ history and culture through in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions, and virtual tours, lecture series, exhibitions, and visual arts displays, all on the site of the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, which gave rise to the modern LGBTQ+ movement.
|The Stonewall Inn plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. Provided by the New York Yankees.|
The Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship Initiative was first awarded in 2019 to commemorate the inclusive spirit of Yankee Stadium and the 50th Anniversary of the events at the Stonewall Inn that sparked the modern LGBTQ+ movement, with a plaque placed in Monument Park (image above).
The Stonewall Scholarships are given out on an annual basis with $50,000 worth of scholarships through five $10,000 college scholarships to one graduating high school senior from each of the five boroughs of New York City. The annual scholarships celebrate student leaders who have demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The implementation of the Yankees-Stonewall Initiative aligns directly within the construct of the Yankees' Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which identifies, engages, and addresses issues related to equality, racial justice, and inclusivity. The nomination process is initiated by the New York City Department of Education with each public high school able to submit one graduation senior for consideration. The selection process is conducted by the Department of Education in partnership with input from representatives from the Yankees, Stonewall Inn, Major League Baseball, and Pride Live. The students learned about the honor via Zoom on June 3.
The 2022 Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship recipients are:
Xavier Veloz of The Bronx, he/him - Bronx Theatre High School, will attend Washington University in St. Louis.
Mattheew Norries of Brooklyn, he/him - James Madison High School, will attend Brandeis University.
Tamanna Chowdhury of Manhattan, they/them - The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem, will attend Columbia University.
Jacqueline (Alex) Payadue of Queens, she/they - The Scholars' Academy, will attend University of Hartford.
Alexya Trujillo-Hall of Staten Island - Michael J. Petrides School, will attend City College of New York (CCNY).
Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman said in a statement, "I was deeply inspired by each of the individuals receiving this year's scholarships, and it is clear they are on the path to making out world a more tolerant, compassionate, and inclusive place. Our efforts to nurture the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders through the Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship Program reflects the respect our organization has for the LGBTQ+ community and the contributions and richness it brings to our entire society. Simply put, the Yankees are a friend to the LGBTQ+ community, and Yankee Stadium will always be a place where people can feel safe and encouraged to celebrate who they are. These students represent the best of where our society is headed, and we can't wait to recognize their accomplishments now and into the future.
Schools Chancellor David C. Banks said in a statement, "This year's Yankees-Stonewall scholarship winners are outstanding examples of young folks using their voices to benefit others and to create safe, inclusive spaces in their school communities and beyond. I am deeply thankful to the New York Yankees and the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative for their ongoing commitment to empowering ad recognizing out LGBTQ+ youth. I look forward to the bright future that our scholarship winners and their peers will fight and build for us all."
Stonewall Inn Co-Owner & Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative CEO Stacy Lentz said in a statement, "Every year these students never cease to amaze us - not only with what they have already done but with their future goals to help the LGBTQ+ community and society as a whole."