GW Announces Plans for Jackie Robinson Night

March 25, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC - The Jackie Robinson Society will be sponsoring Jackie Robinson Night at George Washington University, Thursday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m., in the Jack Morton Auditorium of the Media and Public Affairs building, Dr. Richard Zamoff, professor of Sociology and Director of GW's Jackie Robinson Project, has announced.

The event is held to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic breakthrough and his profound impact of America, both on and off the field. The MPA Building is located on the corner of 21st and H Streets (805 21st Street, NW) on the Foggy Bottom campus. The auditorium is on the first floor of the MPA Building.

The Jackie Robinson Society will be presenting Community Recognition Awards to Bobby Mitchell, the first African American to play for the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and JC Hayward, WUSA-TV news anchor and reporter for more than 36 years.

Bobby Mitchell was a full-time flanker who gained the reputation as one of the finest catch-run yardage makers in the game. He won the NFL receiving title in 1962 with 72 catches. During his first six seasons with the Redskins, he never caught fewer than 58 passes. Four times, once as a running back and three times as a wide receiver, he was selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl.

One of Washington's most respected and durable broadcast journalists, and the D.C. market's first female news anchor, JC Hayward recently celebrated her 36th year at WUSA 9 NEWS NOW, a feat achieved by only one other female anchor in the United States. Hayward currently anchors 9 NEWS NOW at noon and co-produces weekly "JC and Friends" pieces that air on the station's 5pm newscast. A special "JC and Friends" program won the 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Community Affairs Special.

Additionally, a special Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award will be presented to Joan Hodges, to acknowledge the role that Joan and Gil Hodges played in Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball. Gil Hodges, an eight-time All-Star, was a valued teammate of Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers, and served as manager of the Washington Senators for five years. His son, Gil Hodges, Jr., will accept the award.



Featured speaker at the program will be Professor Michael Long, author of the recently published and highly acclaimed First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson. The book offers correspondences by Jackie Robinson, ranging from 1946 to 1972, with such luminaries as Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Barry Goldwater.

Michael Long is an assistant professor of religious studies at Elizabethtown College (PA) and is the author of several books on religion and politics in mid-century America, including Against Us, but for Us: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the State, and Billy Graham and the Beloved Community: America's Evangelist and the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Jackie Robinson Society, started in 1999 by GW students, sponsors discussions about Robinson and participates in community service projects that associate his name and life's work with good deeds. GW students were sparked to form the Jackie Robinson Society after taking a course titled "Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream." The class explored the impact of Jackie Robinson's entry into major league baseball - to the game of baseball and to American society.

Richard Zamoff and Sarah-Jo Lawrence, President of The Jackie Robinson Society, invite you to attend. There is no cost for tickets, but reservations are required. To secure a spot, call Dr. Zamoff at 202-244-5296 or e-mail him at An informal reception will follow the program.

- GW -

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