The Yankees partnered with fair-trade company Same Sky Wednesday evening to honor the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The event -- which was hosted by Same Sky founder Francine LeFrak, Yankees Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman, Mindy Franklin Levine, the wife of team president Randy Levine, and Sadye Zillo, the wife of PR director Jason Zillo – highlighted the HIV positive women artisans who have handcrafted bracelets through the organization’s trade-not-aid initiative to effect change in Rwanda.
Women within the Yankees organization — from the highest (i.e., Afterman) to the lowest – gathered at the H&R Block suite louge before yesterday’s game against the Orioles to buy bracelets and raise awareness.
And who better than the Yankees to get the message out.
“It makes sense because the Yankees brand is a global brand,” said Afterman, who is just the third female in MLB history to be a VP. “Baseball is not a big sports in Rwanda, but we’re using the power of the glbal band to raise awareness of Same Sky and it’s a way for working women to come out and support working women. The women of Same Sky do not want charity. It’s not a fundraiser.”
Also in attendance was the Honorable Agnes Gasana, wife of Rwandan Ambassador to the United Nations Eugene-Richard Gasana.
“This is a dream come true,” said LeFrak, who pointed out that Yankee-tinis were available at the bar and “Yankee Blue” bracelets were also being sold. “We started talking about this last season and to see it actually realized is beyond (words).
“Same Sky represents women empowering women and the men that support us and I think the women of the Yankees embraced it because they’re all about empowering and they bought the story of the same sky women who started life over. T give us courage because they survived the most unspeakable things and here they are, not getting aid, they’re getting trade. They’re getting a job, they’re getting dignity. And I think that the whole Yankee family embraced that story.”