(NEW YORK) The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) chairman, Gregg Gonsalves, and president and CEO, Della Britton, announced today that Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Mark Roesler have been elected to the Foundation’s board of directors. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Roesler join a 33-member board overseeing the Foundation that perpetuates the legacy of Jackie Robinson through administering one of the nation’s premier college scholarship programs for minority students and, more recently, with the creation of the Jackie Robinson Museum.
“Even bigger than the barriers that Jackie Robinson broke on the field of play is his legacy of working for equal opportunity for all people,” said Mr. Johnson. “I am proud to pay homage to Jackie Robinson by being part of JRF’s important mission of educating and inspiring young people.”
In addition to his role as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Mr. Johnson’s co-ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of Major League Baseball’s most renowned franchises, speaks to Jackie Robinson’s wish, verbalized in his last public appearance in 1972, that there would be diversity not only on the field but throughout the ranks of professional baseball organizations. Mr. Johnson was honored by the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 2002, receiving its prestigious “ROBIE Humanitarian Award.”
“We are thrilled about attracting two very dynamic people to the Foundation board,” said Mr. Gonsalves. “They bring a wealth of talent and real commitment and add to our presence and resources on the west coast.” Ms. Britton added that “Magic, himself, broke barriers and stereotypes within professional sports. And he and Cookie Johnson have supported the Foundation for years as part of our extended family. We are thrilled that he has joined us in a more formal capacity.”
Mark Roesler, Chairman and CEO of CMG Worldwide, a marketing and management firm for over 300 of the world’s most recognizable celebrities, brings tremendous legal, strategic planning and branding expertise to the JRF Board. A longtime JRF supporter, Mr. Roesler, who is lauded for his role in creating laws that protect the image and likeness of celebrities, represents the Estate of Jackie Robinson.
“It is an honor to be part of preserving and protecting Jackie Robinson’s legacy,” said Mr. Roesler. “As a member of the Board, I look forward to expanding my involvement in ensuring that his name and heroic achievements continue to inspire all of us and many generations to come.”
“Mr. Roesler has vast knowledge and experience in areas that will be vitally important as we move towards opening the Jackie Robinson Museum. He brings indispensable expertise to our efforts,” said Ms. Britton.
About the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Established in 1973 by Rachel Robinson to perpetuate the memory of her husband, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), a public, national, non-profit organization, administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college students. In addition to generous financial assistance, JRF offers a comprehensive set of support services that include year-round mentoring, job placement, career guidance, leadership training and practical life skills. JRF’s celebrated four-year program results in a consistent, nearly 100% college graduation rate. . The 1,450 JRF alumni are proven leaders in their communities and across a broad range of professional fields and embrace community service throughout their lives — true ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy. Historically, JRF has provided over $65 million in grants and direct program support to students who have attended over 225 different colleges and universities across the country. The Foundation is engaged currently in building the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City to inspire visitors and to educate all generations about Jackie Robinson’s courageous achievements both on and off the field.