In support of the club’s commitment to women’s empowerment, the Orioles announced plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which prohibited the federal government from denying American citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. The Orioles recognize the historical significance of this anniversary in the long struggle for voting rights, a struggle that continued for many years thereafter for women of color. Beginning today, the Orioles will host an ongoing Empowerment Series with a focus on bringing together influential women throughout the community. Today, the club will also launch its Voter Up campaign to educate and encourage fans to vote in the upcoming election.
EMPOWERMENT SERIES: SPEAKERS FORUM
In celebration of the Centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Orioles have developed a Speakers Forum to generate conversations around important societal topics, such as women’s empowerment, the importance of voting, diversity and inclusion, and youth engagement. The series launches today with a virtual broadcast moderated by MELANIE NEWMAN, who recently made Orioles’ history as the club’s first female play-by-play game announcer. The broadcast will feature a panel discussion with influential Orioles women creating change in Baltimore and the baseball industry, including JENNIFER GRONDAHL, Senior Vice President, Community Development & Communications, and EVE ROSENBAUM, Director of Baseball Development.
“In this unprecedented time in our history, it is time to open up the dialogue and create real change for our community,” said Grondahl. “We need to listen and learn from each other. Unity brings about strength for our community, our nation, and our Birdland family. A strong, active community working together can achieve great things and that is our mission.”
Additional vignettes will be available throughout the year as the Orioles continue to promote inclusion, showcase women trailblazers, and inspire action. The conversations will feature MAUREEN GROVE, Executive Director of Girls, Inc of Washington County and SHELONDA STOKES, newly appointed President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and CEO of the Downtown Management Authority. Additionally, Melanie Newman will host a roundtable discussion with MARINA BUI, Executive Director, Orioles Entertainment; PAM SHRIVER, Orioles Minority Owner, ESPN broadcaster, and Tennis Legend; and LISA TOLSON, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, along with Jennifer Grondahl.
EMPOWERMENT SERIES: GAMEDAY ACTIVATION
In celebration of the Centennial anniversary, and as part of the club’s ongoing commitment to provide a platform for female artists, Canadian-born country music star LINDSAY ELL will perform both teams’ national anthems prior to Tuesday’s 7:35 p.m. ET game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Ell, who recently scored her first US No. 1 hit with her 2019 duet with Bradley Gilbert “What Happens in a Small Town,” has made multiple appearances on the CMA Awards stage, and was a two-time 2020 ACM nominee for New Female Artist of the Year and Music Event of the Year. Ell’s new album Heart Theory, including the single “Want Me Back,” is now available.
Additionally, LOIS HYBL, Co-President of League of Women Voters of Maryland, will join MASN’s O’s Xtra pregame show to discuss the significance of the 19th Amendment and what her organization is doing to prepare for the election. The League of Women Voters of Maryland will also be featured as part of the virtual community booth for that game. Part of The League of Women Voters of the United States, League of Women Voters of Maryland encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Prior to the game during O’s Xtra, a ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by NIKITA JOHNSON. Johnson is a Program Staff Member at Girls, Inc. Washington County, and is a senior at Hood College. In 2019, Johnson received the Girls Inc. National Outstanding Alumnae Award for exemplifying the organization’s goal of empowering young girls.
The Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority will also light up the iconic Warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in white, purple, and gold in honor of the suffragettes who spent decades fighting for equality and the opportunity to have their voices heard. The colors represent the spirit and courage of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States: white for purity, purple for loyalty, and gold for hope.
VOTER UP CAMPAIGN
The Orioles will launch a new Voter Up campaign in conjunction with the Empowerment Series to encourage and educate fans to register to vote and participate in the next election on November 3. As the Orioles celebrate the 19th Amendment and recognize the history of voting in our country, the club will share voter registration information, key deadlines, and additional resources to fans leading up to Election Day. For more information on the Voter Up, visit Orioles.com/VoterUp.
This year’s celebrations are part of the Orioles’ enduring commitment to women’s empowerment. The Orioles hosted the National Woman’s Party (NWP) exhibit, Standing Together: Women’s Ongoing Fight for Equality, serving as the official Maryland stop of the installation’s national tour, which resided on the lower concourse directly behind home plate. The Orioles have also hosted a Friday Fireworks & Women of Country Music series, which provides a platform for up-and-coming female artists. Last season, the series was developed in partnership with Change the Conversation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for women’s equality in the music industry.
To access all of the exclusive content and virtual experiences that honor this Centennial anniversary, fans can visit Orioles.com/Empowerment. Fans are also encouraged to visit the Community Resources page on Orioles.com/CommunityResources for additional resources that have been added to support women’s empowerment.
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