New Access: Major League Baseball Continues the Legacy of Jackie Robinson with Business Summit

Jackie Robinson At Bat
As Jackie Robinson approached the mound during his first major league baseball game, he arguably could not have imagined the permanent effect he would have on America’s favorite pastime.

Robinson broke the “color lines” of major league baseball on April 15, 1947 when he played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves.

“The way I figured it, I was even with baseball and baseball with me,” said Robinson. “The game had done much for me, and I had done much for it.”

To ensure the continuance of Robinson’s legacy, Major League Baseball has started the Diversity Business Summit under the direction of Baseball Commissioner Allan Selig. This year’s summit will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center located at 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010 on June 18 and 19. This event will be co-hosted by the Houston Astros.

Now in its second year, the Diversity Business Summit will be an opportunity for job seekers and entrepreneurs to network with a variety of Major League Baseball employees from various facets of the industry. The summit will serve as an interactive diversity employment fair for those interested in employment and procurement fair for those business owners and entrepreneurs interested in the business-to-business opportunities. The event will provide access to representatives of all 30 MLB Clubs, MLB Advanced Media, MLB’s Central Office, MLB Network and Minor League Baseball Clubs.

“The Diversity Business Summit is an exceptional opportunity for those people who are interested in getting into our business and the game,” said Wendy Lewis, MLB Senior Vice President of Diversity and Strategic Alliances. “No other sport has anything like what we are offering.”

Commissioner Selig will serve as the keynote speaker of the summit. In addition, there will be multiple franchise owners present to share their experiences and perspectives on leadership. There will also be a roundtable discussion among stadium operations executives, those persons responsible for the success of a stadium’s day-to-day operations and who also do a large majority of the hiring.

Major League Baseball also offers the Urban Youth Academy (UYA) in multiple locations around the country, one being in Houston. The Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy is located at 2801 South Victory Drive, Houston, TX 77088. It offers year-round baseball and softball instruction and academic tutoring to youth ranging from ages 7 to 17. The UYA is open throughout the year and the academy is free to players.

Robinson endured racism and prejudice as he paved the way for the desegregation of professional baseball. And with the increasing diversity in the sport and increasing business opportunities emerging, his legacy is sure to not be forgotten.

For more information on the Diversity Business Summit, visit http://www.mlb.com/diversitysummit.

For more information on the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy, call 281-260-9166 or visit http://www.astros.com/uya.

This article was published in the Vol 30, No. 23 – May 31, 2013 issue of The Houston Sun, Houston’s #1 community newspaper.

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