Six Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars were among those attending a special White House screening and panel discussion of the movie “42” on April 2. Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and accompanied by Jackie Robinson Foundation President and CEO Della Britton Baeza, JRF Scholars Rashawn Davis (Georgetown ’14), Adrienne Edwards(Penn ’13), Kyle Hutzler (Yale ’14), Jamille Jamison (Howard ’15), Kyle Nichols (Howard ’16) and Danielle Pingue (Princeton ’13) joined 80 students to watch the movie and listen as “42” writer-director Brian Helgeland, cast members Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman and JRF Founder Rachel Robinson shared their insights about the film’s genesis and the enormous impact the iconic Jackie Robinson had on this nation’s history.
The First Lady told the group that she and President Obama screened the film earlier and said that they were deeply, even “physically” moved by the story of the man who broke major league baseball’s color line. In praising Rachel Robinson, Mrs. Obama, a Princeton graduate, also commended the work of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and acknowledged the impressive JRF Scholars in attendance. She was delighted as well to reference a member of her personal White House staff who is a Jackie Robinson Foundation alumnus, Kristin Jones, JRF Class of 2007 . "Rachel Robinson paved the way for me," Mrs. Obama said.
Foundation Scholars have had an active role in "42" since the start of the filming. Last summer, seven JRF Scholars learned firsthand what it takes to produce a major motion picture. Serving as production assistants, the Scholars described their weeks on the set of "42" as an experience they would never forget.
In addition, during the March Mentoring and Leadership Conference, JRF Scholars attended a special screening of the movie and are now serving as ambassadors on their campuses, encouraging their classmates and communities to support the film when it opens.
Of Tuesday’s White House screening, Scholar Rashawn Davis said, “This was an extraordinary experience for us all to be in the company of Mrs. Obama and to hear the inside story of the making of “42”. Listening to Mrs. Robinson tell her story of meeting Jackie Robinson was simply icing on the cake.”
“At JRF, we are proud to add to our Scholars’ resumes a collection of experiences that will provide them with the underpinning and exposure needed to be leaders,” said President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. “What a wonderful opportunity for them to meet our nation’s First Lady and interact directly with Brian Helgeland and actors Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman.”
“42” chronicles the first year of Jackie Robinson’s rise to the Major Leagues and is due in theaters on April 12.
pictured top l-r: Adrienne Edwards, Kyle Nichols and Danielle Pingue; bottom l-r: Rashawn Davis, Jamille Jamison and Kyle Hutzler)
Watch the White House Event Here!