Yankees create Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Club announces historic partnership program with CUNY
Art or Photo Credit: AP

The New York Yankees have announced 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 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.

Precipitated by the profound impact of recent, senseless tragedies in communities throughout our nation, this committee’s mission focuses on identifying and combating disparities and systemic inequities that obstruct socioeconomic fairness and progress for marginalized groups.

Five major pillars of focus will shape the committee’s efforts:

  • Diversity and inclusion within the Yankees organization
  • Education
  • Socioeconomic development
  • Social responsibility
  • Health and wellness

The committee is comprised of a dedicated and diverse network of New York 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 dialogue. The shared goal has been to identify ways to combine resources and utilize the panel’s various prominent public platforms to address and eradicate barriers that impede access, diversity, inclusion and opportunity for our neighbors around Yankee Stadium and in the larger metropolitan community.

“We are thankful -- and honored -- to bring such a distinguished and passionate group of people together in support of this critically urgent issue,” said New York 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.”

Activation initiatives have begun, and they include the historic Yankees-CUNY (City University of New York) Partnership Program. 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, 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 students:

  • 61 percent are from households where neither parent graduated college.
  • 94 percent are from New York state.
  • 57 percent are females.
  • 80 percent are students of color.
  • 32 percent are Hispanic.
  • 26 percent are Black.
  • 22 percent are of Asian descent.

“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 include:

Jose Calderon - Former President, Hispanic Federation

Ana Garcia - Director, Government & Community Affairs, NewYork-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

Members of the committee from the Yankees include:

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