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Bank of America Supports Local Legend and National Icon, Jackie Robinson
By Special to the Sentinel
Published April 13, 2016

Danny Bakewell, Sr. selected to honor Robinson Legacy

Danny Bakewell Sr. (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Danny Bakewell Sr. (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Few people in Los Angeles know that legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson is a local hero who went on to become a national icon when he broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947. Jackie grew up in Pasadena and went to college at the University of California, before joining the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African American to play in the major leagues.

The legacy of Jackie Robinson was recently chronicled in a two-part documentary that aired April 11-12 on PBS and is available to stream online throughout the month of April. Directed by acclaimed filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, the film not only details Robinson’s life-long battle for social justice, it also highlights his wife, Rachel Robinson, who fought alongside Jackie and became a symbol of women’s empowerment. Bank of America’s support of Jackie Robinson represents the company’s steadfast commitment to the importance of fostering an inclusive culture by not only celebrating the diversity of its own workforce but also in the communities it serves.

As an extension of this commitment, on Friday, April 15, Bank of America will sponsor Jackie Robinson Day at Dodgers Stadium, where the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive an adult Jackie Robinson replica Number ‘42’ jersey. They will join all MLB players who will don the number ’42’ in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, as part of an annual observance that has taken place each April 15th since 2009.

Jackie Robinson Day Baseball (AP Photo)

Jackie Robinson Day Baseball (AP Photo)

Bank of America’s support of Jackie Robinson Day incudes the opportunity to nominate a candidate to throw the first pitch, and its local African American leadership team has selected Danny Bakewell Sr. in recognition of the impact that the Bakewell family and The Bakewell Company has had in fostering a more inclusive culture in the city of Los Angeles. Danny Sr. co-founded the National Black United Fund and served as president of The Brotherhood Crusades, a civil rights advocacy organization, for more than thirty years.

As part of its dedication to fostering an inclusive company, Bank of America supports employee networks to connect a workforce that’s based in more than 35 countries and features diversity in thought, style, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, culture and experience.  By supporting films like Jackie Robinson, as well as moments like Jackie Robinson Day where communities can come together to recognize local civil rights heroes like Danny Bakewell Sr., the bank seeks to foster a more inclusive culture beyond its own walls as well.

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