Rays announce application details for 2023 Racial Equity Grant Program and After Jackie film screening information

January 26th, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund have announced application details for the annual Racial Equity Grant Program. The Racial Equity Grant Program, established in 2020, will accept applications starting on Wednesday, February 1 through Tuesday, February 28. To kickoff Black History Month, the Rays are also screening the UNINTERRUPTED film After Jackie on Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre.

In response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others who have perished unnecessarily, the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund created the Racial Equity Grant Program to build power within communities that have been historically overlooked and purposefully disadvantaged because of systemic racism.

“To coincide with the start of Black History Month on Wednesday, we are excited to open the Racial Equity Grant application for the 2023 season,” said Rays and Rowdies Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Stephen Thomas. “The Rays and Rowdies are committed to supporting the work of important community members as we try to tackle past and present injustices, and witness the advancement of a more equitable and inclusive society.”

The goals of this program are to invest in communities most impacted by structural racism and oppression; to support organizations making an impact in the areas of housing, workforce development, health equity, criminal justice reform, education and youth development; and to support anti-racist organizations and leadership.

The Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund is committed to upholding equity and inclusion and will be committing $100,000 annually in the fight against systemic racism. For more information about the Racial Equity Grant Program or to apply, please visit RaysBaseball.com/RacialEquityGrant.

Former Racial Equity Grant Recipients:

  • Abe Brown Ministries
  • Arts Conservatory for Teens
  • Bethune-Cookman University Center for Law & Social Justice
  • Brain Expansions Scholastic Training
  • Carter G. Woodson Museum
  • CDC of Tampa
  • Equal Justice Initiative Remembrance Project
  • Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services
  • League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area
  • NAACP Hillsborough County Branch
  • Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough County
  • People Empowering & Restoring Communities
  • Pinellas County Urban League
  • Shirley Proctor Puller Foundation
  • The Skills Center
  • University of South Florida Center for Justice Research & Policy

After Jackie Film Screening:

The Tampa Bay Rays are sponsoring a free community screening of the UNINTERRUPTED film, After Jackie, at Tampa Theatre on Thursday, February 2 at 7 p.m. Released in 2022, during the 75th anniversary year of Jackie Robinson becoming the first Black player allowed to play modern Major League Baseball, After Jackie tells the often-overlooked story of the second wave of talented Black baseball players after Jackie Robinson, including Bill White, Curt Flood and Bob Gibson, who were up next in the fight for equality. After Jackie honors these brave men who put their lives on the line to integrate baseball and demand a fairer, more inclusive America for African Americans, and athletes around the world.

The film features rare interviews with former and current baseball players such as CC Sabathia and Mookie Betts, and Major League Baseball has provided unlimited access to its expansive media archive chronicling more than a century of baseball history to help tell this important story.

Prior to the screening, Jackson New-Smith, an employee of The SpringHill Company, the parent company of the athlete empowerment brand UNINTERRUPTED who produced the documentary, will provide additional context about the film with attendees. Seating is first-come, first-served; no reservations are required.

After Jackie is produced for The HISTORY® Channel by UNINTERRUPTED and Firelight Films in association with Major League Baseball and in collaboration with The Jackie Robinson Foundation.