The New York Yankees announced details regarding a celebration of New York’s Legacy of Pride, which will take place Thursday, June 23, at Yankee Stadium, prior to the 7:05 p.m. Yankees-Astros game. The Yankees will also shine a spotlight on the 2022 recipients of the Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship Initiative, which on a yearly basis awards $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.
First awarded in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Uprising, the annual scholarships celebrate student leaders who have demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ+ community. The awards are intended to provide resources to launch their educational and career goals.
As part of the festivities, the recipients of the 2022 Yankees-Stonewall scholarships will be guests of the Yankees for batting practice. They will also be recognized in a pregame ceremony along with representatives from the Yankees, The Stonewall Inn, New York City Department of Education, Pride Live and the Stonewall National Monument Visitors Center. The list of attendees and media credential application process is noted at the end of this release.
The implementation of the Yankees-Stonewall Initiative aligns directly within the construct of the Yankees’ Diversity & 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 graduating 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.
In 2019, a permanent plaque was dedicated 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 (a plaque image may be found by clicking here).
The 2022 Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship recipients are:
- Xavier Veloz of the Bronx, he/him, Bronx Theatre High School, will attend Washington University (St. Louis).
- Matthew Norris 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)
The students learned about the honor via Zoom on June 3, with congratulations provided by Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman; Yankees Senior Vice President of Corporate/Community Relations Brian Smith; Yankees Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman; Stonewall Inn Owner & Co-founder of The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative Kurt Kelly; Stonewall Inn Co-Owner & Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative CEO Stacy Lentz; NYC DOE Manager of LGBTQ+ Programs Kalima McKenzie-Simms; NYC DOE Senior Administrator for Social Emotional Learning and Design Dr. Susan Green; Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Major League Baseball Catalina Villegas; and NYC DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development Executive Director Kenyatte Reid. Please find highlights of their conversation by clicking here.
“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 our world a more tolerant, compassionate and inclusive place,” said Cashman. “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.”
"Pride month is a time to celebrate, come together, and to honor that which makes us unique," said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “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 and recognizing our LGBTQ+ youth. I look forward to the bright future that our scholarship winners and their peers will fight for and build for us all."
“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,” said Stonewall Inn Co-Owner & Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative CEO Stacy Lentz.
“We can’t thank the Yankees enough for being truly committed to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Stonewall Inn Owner & Co-founder of The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative Kurt Kelly. “These scholarships are so important in providing access to education for the future leaders of the community.”
Those participating in Thursday’s on-field ceremonies will be:
- From the Yankees: Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman; Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman; and Senior Vice President of Corporate/Community Relations Brian Smith
- From the New York City Department of Education: First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg; Executive Director of Office of Safety and Youth Development Kenyatte Reid; Manager of LGBTQ Programs Kalima McKenzie-Simms; and Senior Administrator for Social Emotional Learning Dr. Susan Green
- From Pride Live (and representing the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center): Pride Live Founder and President Diana Rodriguez; Spokesperson Andrea Himmel; and “Stonewall Rebels” Kelly Bush Novak, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, Heather Hiles, Judith Kasen Windsor, Helena Durst, Brad Baumoel, R.K. Russell and Ryan O’Callaghan.
- From The Stonewall Inn: Stonewall Inn Owner & Co-founder of The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative Kurt Kelly; and Stonewall Inn Co-Owner & Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative CEO Stacy Lentz
- 2022 Yankees-Stonewall Scholars: Xavier Veles of the Bronx; Matthew Norris of Brooklyn; Tamanna Chowdhury of Manhattan, and Jacqueline (Alex) Pay due of Queens. Alexys Trujillo-Hall of Staten Island is unable to attend because her high school graduation is Thursday night.