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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Open letter to President and Board of Tournament of Roses Association: From Pasadena Community Coalition

Open letter to President and Board of Tournament of Roses Association: From Pasadena Community Coalition

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Our community of Pasadena has major concerns about the lack of diversity in the Tournament of Roses Association in regards to its staff. We have other concerns as well about the Tournament, but at this time we’d like to focus on the people who are a part of the office of your organization.

For many years we have looked at the variety of employees of the Tournament of Roses and never seen an African-American male. Not one, two or three amongst them—absolutely none. However, over the past decade or so we have seen two black women, people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, but that has been about the extent of your organization reflecting the broad range of the diverse residents throughout the community.

Our concern is heightened by the fact that 75 percent of the football players in the NCAA are of African-American descent, so the contrast between that and the Tournament of Roses front office is noticeable. This is also apparent when the Tournament sends its representatives to the playing field of a football game, including the annual Rose Bowl, and in that group there is an absence of African American men or women from your organization. Moreover, when the Tournament has its representative’s travel to universities or colleges throughout the US, the lack of diversity among such people is again most noticeable. This gives the public the impression that the Tournament of Roses is a racially exclusive operation and uninterested in the social diversity of our modern society.

We feel strongly that if the Pasadena community is going to practice diversity, there is no better place for that to be evident than at the Tournament of Roses.

Martin Gordon

Pasadena Community Coalition

November 21, 2014

 

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