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Jackie Robinson Museum to host ‘Leveling The Playing Field: Women in Soccer’

Dynamic panelists from the collegiate and professional sectors will spotlight their journeys as players and executives and discuss hurdles to access and inclusion
Women in Soccer (Photo credit: Courtesy of Jackie Robinson Museum)

NEW YORK – The Jackie Robinson Museum will host “Leveling the Playing Field: Women in Soccer” on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in the museum’s portrait gallery. A tribute to Jackie Robinson’s barrier-breaking legacy, the panel, featuring players, coaches, journalists, and executives will explore the growing presence of women of color on the US Women’s National Team and in the National Women’s Soccer League. Through open and transparent dialogue, experts will discuss pay equity, representation in front offices, team ownership roles, and career pathways for girls and young women as players and beyond.

“With Major League Soccer achieving attendance records close to 11 million last year, inclusion promises exceptional opportunities for women of color,” said Della Britton, President & CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Museum. “While leagues and programs have made progress, this conversation will boldly address access issues that prevent diverse communities from engaging as players, executives, and other constituents.”

As conversations swirl about the need for diversity in women’s soccer, Leveling the Playing Field will acknowledge challenges and discuss solutions that lead to increased representation by groups that have been historically excluded.

For example, financial and other resources required to join club and traveling teams are key impediments to many players’ and potential players’ ability to participate. Ten years ago, just 24% of Division I women’s soccer players were nonwhite. While the player number grew to 34% last season, there is still a substantial need to create opportunities for players from all communities and, as importantly, to pave ways to coaching and front office opportunities as well.

Leveling the Playing Field panelists will discuss pathways to access for those who have not had opportunities to participate by sharing their own unique journeys and strategies for creating a more equitable sport on the field and beyond.

Moderated by Renee Washington, PHLY Sports host, ESPN and NWSL Analyst, “Leveling The Playing Field” includes insight from:

Darian Jenkins:

  • Broadcast analyst, former NWSL player, and member of the Black Women’s Players Collective

Danita Johnson:

  • President, Business Operations, DC United

Kia McNeill:

  • Head coach, Women’s Soccer, Brown University

Bekah Salwasser:

  • Executive director, Red Sox Foundation and executive vice president of Social Impact, Boston Red Sox; former professional soccer player, Boston Breakers

For more information and to reserve your tickets, please visit

Leveling The Playing Field

  • Thursday, June 6, 2024 | Public Program: 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Jackie Robinson Museum (Portrait Gallery)
  • 75 Varick Street (corner of Canal Street)
  • New York, NY 10013


Since 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) has perpetuated the memory of its namesake by providing generous four-year scholarships and comprehensive support to highly motivated college students with financial need to ensure their success and develop their leadership potential. A new online platform, JRF IMPACT, shares JRF’s celebrated “42 Strategies for Success” curriculum with a broader college student population. With the opening in the summer of 2022 of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City, the Foundation expanded its mission of preserving the Robinson legacy by educating and inspiring the general public around his historic journey and the values that define the life of a hero. Learn more by visiting and

Jackie Robinson Museum to host 'Leveling The Playing Field: Women in Soccer'
Women in Soccer (Photo credit: Courtesy of Jackie Robinson Museum)
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