Fourth Annual Civil Rights Night Recap

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) was, once again, proud to partner with the Indianapolis Indians to bring the Annual Civil Rights Night to Victory Field on August 14. The Annual Civil Rights Night celebrates history and the progressive movement of all people towards equal rights in the spirit of America’s pastime. This year (2015) marked the fourth consecutive year for this collaboration and featured a double header on a clement Friday evening against the Durham Bulls.

During the first game ICRC Executive Director, Jamal Smith, joined the broadcast crew on the radio to share the importance of equality, particularly in the area of education.

In the weeks leading up to the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Night the ICRC announced the winners of the 2015 Student Essay Contest. Michelle Zheng, sixth grade student at Center Grove Middle School, was this year’s first place winner. Michelle received a personalized Indianapolis Clowns Negro League jersey and had her essay published in the Indianapolis Recorder and La Voz De Indiana newspapers. Ashley Martinez, fifth grader at Enlace Academy, was this year’s runner up and received autographed prizes from the Indianapolis Indians. Both winners received a family pack of tickets to the Civil Rights Night double header on August 14th.Between games the contest winners joined Jamal on the field as he addressed the sold out crowd at Victory Field.

August is designated as Play Ball Indiana month and a number of the programs participants and facilitators took the field as well to be recognized by the ICRC, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the fans as well.  Play Ball Indiana is a local little league program, under the umbrella of Major League Baseball, which helps keep youth occupied while instilling in them the values of teamwork as they learn the game of baseball. Following the representatives' remarks, Student Essay Contest winner Michelle joined Jamal to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off the second game.

During the second game of the double header the Indianapolis Indians dawned retro Negro League Indianapolis Clowns jerseys as they cruised to a 7-1 victory. Each player’s game worn jersey, which featured an ICRC sleeve patch, was auctioned off to fans who attended the games. Proceeds from the jersey auctions went to teams in the Play Ball Indiana program.  

The ICRC would like to thank all of fans who attended the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Night for your support. The ICRC would also like to give a special thanks to our partners and collaborators who made this event possible: the Indianapolis Indians, Indianapolis Recorder, La Voz De Indiana and Play Ball Indiana.

Click HERE for more pictures from the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Night.