PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall will be presented with the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award by the Greater Phoenix Urban League tonight during the 75th anniversary event, to be held virtually at gphxul.org. The event celebrates 75 years of community leadership and advocacy and Hall will be honored alongside Chicanos Por La Causa and Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center, among others. The awards go to an individual, corporation and community organizations that have exhibited Young’s philosophy of equality for all.
“This honor is incredibly meaningful to me both because of the way I was raised and because of what it says about the D-backs and all of our Team Players who are focusing their time and talents on social justice,” said Hall. “This year, as those efforts have been front and center for so many organizations, we are proud to have launched our D-backs for Change council and numerous Team Player Resources Groups engaged in the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion.”
During his 15 years at the helm of the club, Hall has turned the organization into a model franchise within the sports industry and throughout the business world. In the community, he has positioned the D-backs as one of the largest philanthropic entities in the Valley. In 2020, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the D-backs’ organization will surpassed the $70 million mark in charitable giving since their inception in 1998, including more than $63 million in the past 15 years.
Hall currently serves on or is associated with 25 boards and has been honored numerous times over the past decade for his community leadership. He faced his greatest personal challenge when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2011 and immediately went public with the diagnosis in order to encourage other men to get tested after age 40. Following successful surgery to remove his prostate, Hall is now cancer free and has become a tireless advocate of cancer-fighting charities while continuing to speak publicly about the health challenge he faces. In 2014, he launched his own 501(c)(3) organization, the Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation, which is dedicated to serving as a comprehensive tool for those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and their families to help them understand the challenges and choices they face and how they can maintain a “pro” state of mind.
Hall is a founding council member of D-backs for Change (dbacks.com/change), an Arizona Diamondbacks’ business and community initiative that seeks to level the playing field for our Team Players and community members by: (i) making an unequivocal commitment to improving organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion, and putting a robust plan in place and taking the necessary steps to do so; and (ii) seeking to improve the lives of those who have been and continue to be disadvantaged as a result of systemic social injustice, such as racism, sexism, homophobia and discrimination of all kinds.
Young Jr. was an American civil rights leader and, as Executive Director from 1961 until his death in 1971, helped shift the National Urban League into an organization that aggressively worked for equitable access to socioeconomic opportunities for the historically disenfranchised. Within four years, he expanded the National Urban League from 38 employees to 1,600 employees and from an annual budget of $325,000 to one of $6.1 million.