"Ghost Town to Havana is a heartbreaking, funny, and inspirational story about mentorship, life, love, murder, kids and baseball in Oakland and Havana today."
Social Justice & Youth Baseball
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness: the unalienable rights of the people of the United States of America.
Yet here, in the midst of plenty, few inner city kids get a chance to play baseball or participate in organized sports under the guidance and support of a coach & mentor. Hardly earth-shattering, but looked at more deeply, maybe it is. Opportunity is diminishing in our society and it starts young, on ball fields, in classrooms, and on the streets.
Mill Valley, CA, a prosperous white suburb of 14,000 people across the Bay from Richmond and Oakland, fielded 31 youth baseball teams, ages 8 to 11, in the summer of 2014. 371 kids play baseball. Richmond, a low-income majority Black and Latino city of over 100,000 residents less than 10 miles from Mill Valley, fielded two 11–12 year old baseball teams that same year. 25 kids played baseball. Without money to travel to play other teams, what did the two Richmond teams do? They played each other 18 times.
Join us in using our film to spark positive social change. We welcome philanthropists, sports organizations, relevant press, and all entities with an interest in the film's issues to join us in finding ways to use Ghost Town to Havana to change the cycle of deprivation in American inner cities.
Below you will find information on the problems that Ghost Town to Havana addresses.
My Brother’s Keeper
President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.
Through this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations who are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way into the middle class.
Dr. Harry Edwards, African American Sports Hall of Fame
Dr. Harry Edwards, a sociologist who took his PhD at Cornell University and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UC Berkeley, has focused his career on the experiences of African-American athletes.
In this humble and powerful speech he made in 2008, when being welcomed into the African American Sports Hall of Fame, Edwards does not leave the problems of racial inequality at the door. Here he conveys how utterly crucial it is for young black Americans to be offered more opportunities.
"The inability of urban baseball to flourish should be seen as, in the words of sports sociologist Harry Edwards, a canary in a coal mine, a warning about how inhospitable our cities have become for poor and working-class residents."
—Dave Zirin, San Francisco Chronicle