Prior to their Black Heritage Night game on June 14, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) hosted the Brotherhood Crusade for a Juneteenth circle discussion. The youth of the Brotherhood Crusade were able to network with the Dodgers Black Action Network and converse about their personal experiences.
During the event, the youth were exposed to the Juneteenth curriculum. This is the third year the Dodgers has hosted the Juneteenth Circle.
“Brotherhood Crusade has shown up for the Black community in Los Angeles consistently and the reality is they are a true example to us of the way in which we can partner with the community,” said LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman. “The information that we’re able to impart on the youth participants, the connections that they’re going to make with Black Dodger employees and foundation employees … it’s pretty amazing.”
The Black Action Network is a resource group for Black Dodgers employees.
“For me and my colleagues to be able to represent the different types of jobs you can have in sports to connect your passion with sports with a discipline, it’s super nice,” said Dodgers premium sales account executive Jordan Wiley. “They’re super engaging, they want to learn, they’re grateful for the opportunity.”
Dodgers star outfielder Mookie Betts visited the youth to provide words of encouragement. The two-time World Series champion is working to get more African Americans involved in and around baseball.
“It’s not just me, I have a whole team of people that are trying to accomplish this goal,” Betts said. “What’s not in baseball s culture and so I’m trying to do my part and bring that to baseball.”
During Black Heritage Night, Betts presented the Brotherhood Crusade with $100,000. The donation was raised from the “50 Feeds LA” campaign, an auction fundraiser done in partnership with the 5050 Foundation and LADF.
“Having an opportunity for our students to know that they can be in any space,” said Brotherhood Crusade president and CEO Charisse Bremond-Weaver. “They know what success looks like when you look at [Whiteman] when you look at Mookie Betts when you look at the other executives in the space.”
Brotherhood Crusade student Troy Walker had the honor of sending out the honorary first pitch for Black Heritage Night with Betts as catcher. Recent Dorsey graduate Chad Sabal sent out the first pitch last year.
“It’s a blessing just being around different people, different successful people,” Sabal said. “Black people especially, so it was really inspiring.”