On April 17th, the Québec Government Office in Washington hosted a reception to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day and to celebrate Robinson's formative time on the Montréal Royals, before famously breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers by becoming the first African-American baseball player to play in the U.S. Major Leagues.
Daril Brown, Jackie Robinson Scholar; Alyse Stone, Jackie Robinson Scholar; Dr. Isabelle Beaulieu, Director of the Québec Government Office in Washington; Arthur Neal, Jackie Robinson Foundation Mid-Atlantic Scholar Advisory Committee Member; Lauren Underwood, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, JRF Alumni Association; Kendra Gaither, JRF Mid-Atlantic Scholar Advisory Committee & JRF Alum
The Director of the Québec Government Office in Washington, Dr. Isabelle Beaulieu, spoke in front of an audience of Congressional Black Caucus staff, business leaders, federal agency representatives and professional athletes, among other distinguished guests. Dr. Beaulieu recalled the role of Montréal in Robinson's career and read an excerpt from a letter from Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife, in which she remembers the warm welcome, and the strong support of Quebecers, who helped her husband in the beginnings of his historic career.
A representative of the Jackie Robinson Foundation also delivered a speech and spoke about the work of the Foundation. With the goal of supporting young African-American leaders, the Foundation provides college scholarships and mentoring to young Americans living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
The National Archives of the United States loaned the Québec Office excerpts of historical footage of Jackie Robinson, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame offered images of Robinson in his Montréal uniform and Warner Bros. pictures provided promotional material produced for the biopic movie "42."