Precipitated by the profound impact of recent senseless tragedies in communities throughout the United States, the Yankees announced on Tuesday the creation of the New York Yankees Diversity and Inclusion Committee to identify, engage and address issues related to equality, racial justice and inclusivity.
The committee has been meeting virtually since September, and it resulted from an extended period of planning and collaboration with community leaders and within the Yankees organization. As part of its outreach efforts, the ballclub has also created an historic partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY).
“We are thankful — and honored — to bring such a distinguished and passionate group of people together in support of this critically urgent issue,” said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. “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 participants include Steinbrenner, team president Randy Levine, senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, special advisor CC Sabathia, hitting coach Marcus Thames, bullpen coach Mike Harkey and numerous others. Actor and director Spike Lee is among the community members serving on the committee.
The Yankees said that five major pillars of focus will shape the committee: diversity and inclusion within the Yankees organization, education, socioeconomic development, social responsibility and health and wellness.
Its shared goal has been to utilize the panel’s various prominent public platforms to address and eradicate barriers that impede access, diversity, inclusion and opportunity for the team’s neighbors around Yankee Stadium and the larger metropolitan community.
By forming a relationship with CUNY, the team aims to identify and expose CUNY students and alumni to career paths, employment and business opportunities throughout the Yankees organization.
CUNY’s demographics include a wide swath of minorities and other individuals who are underrepresented in corporate settings. The team said that the partnership will offer direct immersion into the New York Yankees Sport Management Mentoring Program.
“At The City University of New York, we understand the value of collaboration and team building 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,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
“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:
• Jose Calderon: Former president, Hispanic Federation
• Ana Garcia: Director, government & community affairs, NewYork-Presbyterian
• Spike Lee: Forty Acres & A Mule Filmworks
• Daniel Quintero: Executive rirector, 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
Members of the committee from the Yankees:
• 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 & 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