Under her leadership, the Dodgers Foundation has invested $23 million in building and maintaining fields, developing underserved communities, homelessness and hunger relief, and social justice initiatives. (The foundation organizes and executes its own projects and also gives grants to other organizations.)
The money gets spent on building and maintaining ball fields as well as serving the families of the local youth who play on the fields with job training, college application counseling, fitness clinics and dental health screenings.
“We are not responsible for putting butts in the seats at Dodger Stadium,” Whiteman said, “but inherently and indirectly that occurs. It’s our job to let those who live in the shadows of Los Angeles know that they belong and are connected to the Dodgers.”
Achieving diverse representation in all aspects of the organization remains an aspiration. Amid a long-running drop in the number of Black pro baseball players, the undisputed star of the team, Betts, is Black, as is the manager, Roberts, one of two Black managers in the league. (He is also of Japanese descent.) The team also has a number of Latino players. The front office, where ownership and the decision makers sit, is much whiter, however.
But then there is Johnson, a key figure on the ownership team.
“What is really outstanding, and you hear it all the time, is that I’m sitting there,” Johnson said.
Asked how the team can attract the younger, diverse fans, executives like Kasten and Rosen pointed to the team’s community relations initiatives, but had less to say about how it plans to attract the middle-class and wealthy people of color who aren’t yet tuning into Dodger games or showing up at the stadium.