Rays announce Racial Equity Grant recipients and Jackie Robinson Day celebrations

April 15th, 2024

The Tampa Bay Rays will honor the 77th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with community events and an annual investment of $100,000 to support organizations committed to ending systemic racism.

The Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund have announced the recipients for the 2024 Racial Equity Grant. Each of the four groups will receive $25,000 in funding to support their community efforts in the areas of food insecurity, education, youth development and minority business development. In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund are pleased to announce the following organizations as the 2024 Racial Equity Grant Recipients:

  • The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women
  • James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center
  • Sing Out and Read
  • Where Love Grows Inc.

For more information about the goals and achievements of the 2024 Racial Equity Grant Recipients, visit RaysBaseball.com/RacialEquityGrant.

On Monday, April 15, prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at 6:50 p.m. at Tropicana Field, students from the Poynter Institute’s Write Field Program will have the opportunity to interview local community leaders including Nikki Gaskin-Capehart from the Pinellas County Urban League, Bemetra Simmons from the Tampa Bay Partnership, Esther Matthews from the NAACP of St. Petersburg, Coach Larry Murphy, the Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach from Gibbs High School and Wildwood Dodgers Community Leader Roosevelt ‘Bubba’ Swinton. For the ceremonial first pitch, the Rays invited NFL wide receiver, Lakewood High School graduate and University of South Florida alumni Marquez Valdes-Scantling. For ticket information, visit RaysBaseball.com/42.

Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson’s legacy in an extensive and unified league-wide show of support over the years, including retiring his number throughout the majors in 1997, dedicating April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004, and requesting that every player and all on-field personnel wear his No. 42 during games scheduled on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009.