Ambassador Andrew Young Celebrates History Coming Alive in Compton
Compton Unified School District essay finalists (l to r) Donnie King, Centennial High School, Francesca Katarina Zuckerman, Compton High School, Vincent Torres, Dominguez High School, Ambassador Andrew Young, grand prize winner Linard Thomas, Caesar Chavez High School, and Compton Mayor Eric J. Perrodin celebrate ‘History Comes Alive in Compton.’
Â – Shon Smith for D’Angelo’s Photos
Civil Rights Icon Helps Compton Celebrate Partnership with Major League Baseball’ Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Revitalization of Gonzales Park
On Wednesday, September 30, City of Compton officials celebrated baseball’s commitment to civil rights and announced its revitalization project for the Jackie Robinson Stadium at Gonzales Park. As a part of the celebration held at Gonzales Park, select Compton high school students who participated in Compton Unified School District’s essay contest on the role of the Civil Rights Movement in America were awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. The top prize of a $5,000 college scholarship went to Caesar Chavez High School senior Linard Thomas for his essay “No More Excuses.” Honorable mention awards of $1,000 college scholarships each went to Donnie King, a junior at Centennial High School; Vincent Torres, a senior at Dominguez High School; and Francesca Katarina Zuckerman, a senior at Compton High School. In addition, 1,200 students heard from civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young who addressed the high school students on the importance of the Civil Rights Movement.
Special guests at Wednesday’s celebration included, Major League Baseball legends Al Downing, Don Newcombe, and Hubbie Brooks, Dennis Kuhl, President of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Tony Reagins, General Manager, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Nichol Whiteman, Regional Director of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, actor Hosea Sanchez (“The Game”) and Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Los Angeles founder John T. Young.
“This is just another example of the changing face of Compton and our commitment to keeping baseball alive in Compton,” explained Eric J. Perrodin, Mayor of the City of Compton. “Our efforts today will keep our kids out of gangs, keep them focused and headed down the right path in life. Together with our partners in Major League Baseball this revitalization project will directly benefit the residents of the City of Compton.”
“RBI Los Angeles is proud to support the efforts of Compton in bringing back baseball,” commented John T. Young, baseball legend and founder of RBI Los Angeles. “As Major League Baseball’s first African American director of scouting, I can tell you how important it is to give kids the opportunity to develop their talent and skills on the baseball field. The teamwork and self-esteem will carry these youths through their lives and provide a positive experience that will motivate them to go on and do great things in life.”
The revitalization project at Gonzales Park of the Jackie Robinson Stadium comes on the heels of the Compton Little League grand reopening ceremony at the Major League Baseball (MLB) Urban Youth Academy facility in Compton that is working to revive baseball in an area that was previously a hotbed of Major League talent. Estimates are that there have been about 50 players that have come out of Compton and become Major League players.
Home to almost 100,000 residents, Compton is known as the “Hub City” because of its unique position in almost the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County. Compton is strategically located along the Alameda Corridor, a passageway of 25 percent of all U.S. waterborne international trade. Compton is rapidly emerging as a large industrial center in Los Angeles County for transit and distribution, business services, high technology, home and lifestyle products, metals, financial services, and textile manufacturing. www.comptoncity.org
The mission of the Compton Unified School District is to empower leaders to lead, teachers to teach and students to learn by fostering an environment that encourages leaders and teachers to be visionary, innovative and accountable for the achievement of all students. Visit website www.compton.k12.ca.us.
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is entering its 20th season in 2009. Since its inception in 1989, RBI has grown from a local program for kids in South Central Los Angeles to an international campaign encompassing over 185 cities and over 150,000 girls and boys. RBI Los Angeles provides a positive, high quality baseball experience to inner-city youth ages 10-18 years old, help youths develop greater self-esteem while learning the value of teamwork, while working to reduce the number of students dropping out of high school. The goal of RBI Los Angeles is to increase the number of talented athletes ready to play on high school and college baseball teams. Visit website www.rbilosangeles.com.