Offering his perspective

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 27, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner will be part of a panel discussion on diversity in baseball on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

ET at The Bobby Bonds Memorial Symposium at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.

The seventh annual symposium will focus on baseball programs at historically black colleges and universities and has become a think tank for the African American community on how to revitalize communities through education and sport.

It is part of the 20th Annual Metropolitan Junior Baseball League Inner City Classic, which features the MJBL World Series, otherwise known as “The Black World Series.”

Last year, O’Conner announced his Diversity Initiative aimed at diversifying the ownership, executive and staff personnel, fan base and business-to-business relationships within Minor League Baseball.

Additionally, he set out on a series of steps to introduce Minor League Baseball as an investment, career, entertainment and business option to the diverse community. O’Conner also developed a speakers’ series at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a means of educating and informing young people on the opportunities within the industry. Some of the HBCUs at which he has spoken include Florida A&M, Grambling State University, Morehouse College and Virginia State University.

In June, O’Conner was presented with the third annual Allan H.

(Bud) Selig Mentoring Award, which is presented to a person in athletics administration who has been at the forefront in creating equal opportunities for minorities in the field of athletics.

The award is presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which founded the John McLendon Scholarship Awards program and the John McLendon Foundation.

Each year, the McLendon Foundation Steering Committee, comprised of the 15 minority Division I-A athletics directors, selects the winner.