Community Foundation Awards $15K to Robinson-Shuba Statue

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley has awarded $15,000 in grants to the Robinson-Shuba statue project. 

The funding for the awards come from the Kennedy Family Fund and the Arnettt Family Fund. With these grants, the project has raised more than $180,000.

“We appreciate this show of support as we continue moving this statue project forward,” said Ernie Brown, co-chairman of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee, in a statement. “Our community supports the values this statue will memorialize and has been generous in ensuring its success.”

The seven-foot statue, to be placed in Wean Park near the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre will memorialize the 1946 handshake between Jackie Robinson and Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba, a gesture of acceptance during a period of marked racism. Nearly a year later, Robinson would break Major League Baseball’s racial barrier. 

“By connecting the advisors of the Kennedy Family Fund and the Arnett Family Fund with the Robinson-Shuba statue, we were able to pool grantmaking dollars and contribute to a project that promotes conversations about race and equity in our community,” said Shari Harrell, president of the community foundation. “Making those connections for fund holders and supporting local projects like this are primary tenets of the foundation’s work in the Valley.”

Currently, the statue committee plans to hold a dedication ceremony April 18, on the 75th anniversary of the Robinson-Shuba handshake at home plate after Robinson hit a three-run homer.

“As our country continues to deal with division and conflict along racial lines, the Robinson-Shuba statue will celebrate racial equality and the great things that unity and bridge-building can accomplish,” said Greg Gulas, a co-chairman of the statue committee. “We value the Community Foundation’s partnership in our efforts.”

Pictured: A rendering of the statue that will commemorate the 1946 handshake between Jackie Robinson and George Shuba.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.