Championing Diversity & Inclusion: The Integration of Professional Baseball

Cooperstown, New York

The story of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers with Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese provides a fascinating and directly relevant metaphor within which to explore the contemporary issues related to diversity and inclusion in the corporate context. The one-day program is interactive, rewarding, and intended to enhance leadership capability in diverse and inclusive environments. Championing Diversity and Inclusion is about leaders creating an atmosphere for people with talent to thrive and succeed. The case studies and discussions highlight the role of leaders in supporting the visibility and involvement of high achievers from under-represented groups. The program design stresses the requirement that leaders invest real political capital in order to create a truly inclusive culture in which all forms of diversity are respected and valued.

The Championing Diversity and Inclusion program uses the integration of baseball to discuss leadership and inclusion in business organizations. One of the powerful benefits of this program is its ability to actively engage audience segments who typically resist or disengage early from traditional diversity messaging. The program encourages leaders to align their own values and vision with those of their organization and to model these values in a genuine way. This program provides tools and language for immediate action; participants will leave the program better able to serve as leaders for corporate diversity goals.

Optional Half-Day Model

An optional half-day module can be added for organizations wanting to operationalize targeted initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion goals. Entitled “1947-1955: Integration on Trial,” this module explores the organizational experiences of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees with regard to the business case for racial integration. The contrasting case studies of the Dodgers, who integrated in 1947, and the Yankees, who integrated in 1955, provide a fascinating and actual template from which to explore the mandate for diversity and inclusion in two specific business organizations, highlighting explicit strategy linkages. This half-day module builds on the one-day program and is not designed as a stand-alone program.

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Selected Case Studies

  • Jackie Robinson
  • Branch Rickey
  • Pee Wee Reese

Key Leadership Lessons

  • Creating an inclusive and high performing team in a changing environment
  • Championing diversity from a position of influence
  • Consequences of elevating personal interests over those of the organization
  • Far-reaching impact of character and excellence in leadership
  • Embracing change


The Brooklyn Dodgers Leadership Experience is a one-day classroom program, delivered in a conference center or corporate training facility at a site of the client’s choosing. The program will begin with an overview the day of the training or the evening prior, and will end with an After Action Review (AAR). The program will be complete no later than 5:00 PM. Customization is possible.


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