Sports have the opportunity to lead by example. Players are heroes whose opinions are seen and valued by their fans, especially young ones. League and team policies matter to the society at large as sports are highly visible, involve large populations and have important symbolism. Fan behavior can also have impact on the larger populace.

For these reasons, it is important for the Rose Bowl Institute to address how sports can lead the body politic in issues of racial equity, and also how sports institutions can improve in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“May the best team win.” Because teams have a common purpose to win, they need to strive for the best players regardless of race, ethnicity, background or sexual preference. It means inclusion of all as players, coaches, fans or owners. It means respecting the game, teammates and opponents. It means playing fairly and treating players equitably.

One of the iconic symbols of leading by example was Jackie Robinson – a former Pasadena resident, a Rose Bowl Stadium record holder, an icon in the game of baseball and a civic leader. A statue of Jackie Robinson greets visitors at the front of America’s Stadium in Pasadena as a symbol of inclusion, courage, integrity and fair play.

The Rose Bowl Institute is presenting a series of dialogues to address issues of race and sports, as the legacy of Jackie Robinson continues to inspire Americans to learn, grow and educate one another on the importance of these issues.

Latinos in Football

September 22, 2021 @ 6PM

The Rose Bowl Institute invites you to join us for a one hour panel discussion as part of the The Rose Bowl Institute's series of Dialogues on Race and Sports, addressing Latinos in Football, and a tribute to the life and impact of Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys kicker Danny Villanueva, Sr. as an athlete, business leader and civic leader in the local community.

This panel in the Race and Sports series is a one hour moderated discussion among Danny Villanueva Sr's son, Danny Villanueva Jr.; Former News Anchor, Univision and Author, Maria Elena Salinas; Mayor of Pasadena, Mayor Victor Gordo; and former NFL Football player, Luis Zendejas.

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Bad Hombres: Latinos in Baseball

Winter 2022

The Rose Bowl Institute will address issues of race and sports raised in the movie, Bad Hombres and how they can have direct resonance with local American communities, especially ones in states bordering on the US-Mexican border. To bring these home to Pasadena, and particularly its significant Latinx community, the Rose Bowl Institute is hosting a panel at the Rose Bowl Stadium in the Club Lounge in the Terry Donahue Pavilion.

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The Legacy of Jackie Robinson
August 13, 2020 @7PM PST

This first panel in the series is a one hour moderated discussion among Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, who is also an author and educator, and described her father’s contribution to civil rights during his lifetime; civil rights historian Taylor Branch; MLS Hall of Famer Cobi Jones; and NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.

Topics included (1) the impact of sports on society with respect to attitudes towards race and racism, and (2) how sports can and should right their own ships with respect to inclusion and equity for people of color in sports. This dialogue informed the agenda for the Race and Sports Dialogue: Past, Present and Future discussion.

Social Equity in Sports: Past, Present, and Future
December 17, 2020 @ 1PM PST

The Rose Bowl Institute addressed issues of race and sports in a one-hour moderated discussion streamed on December 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET on Facebook and Youtube. The panel discussion was moderated by ESPN Sports Broadcaster Jessica Mendoza engaging four panelists: Manager of the LA Dodgers, Dave Roberts, NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, LA Galaxy phenomenon Julian Araujo, and Founder and President of Angel City women’s soccer club Julie Uhrman.

The one-hour panel discussion addressed ways that sports influence broader society regarding racial discrimination past, present and future. How can sports be a leader in the struggle for inclusion and equity? Panelists will address difficulties players of all races and ethnicity have undergone when playing at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. What are the barriers to players of color at these levels and how are they best addressed? Why is equity and equality still an issue? How should teams and leagues extend their diversity of management and ownership?

Collective Athlete Activism

April 15, 2021 @ 1PM PST

Traditionally, when an athlete protested for civil or political change, it was as an individual. Today, athletes have bound together as a team or even as a league to engage in political expression. The panel discussion will be moderated by Fox News journalist and political analyst Juan Williams engaging four panelists: President of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stan Kasten, Former Pro Softball Player, Kiki Stokes, CEO of LaChica Sports and Manger of the Players Coalition, and Penn State Professor, Dr. Amira Davis.
The Rose Bowl Institute explores the topic of collective athlete activism as it relates to race and sports in contemporary society. Panelists  explore the impetus for their activism, the pros and cons of collective activism on teams and leagues, and their impact on the broader society. Are these new realities appropriate expressions of solidarity for an athletic team or league? What impact can be expected? Are there undue pressures on athletes to conform to the new activism? How should league and team management participate or react?
Rose Table Dialogue on Race and Sports
Fall 2021
Twenty to twenty-four leaders and experts will gather around the Rose Table at America’s Stadium to address issues of racial equity and arrive at solutions applicable to professional, college and amateur sports. Participants will include owners, coaches, players, critics, media, and other representative stakeholders in sports, all people who can bring about change in their fields
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