Former President Bill Clinton will return to Cincinnati June 20 for baseball's annual Civil Rights game.
Major League Baseball announced that Clinton will give the keynote speech at the Beacon Awards Luncheon, to be held at the Duke Energy Center on Saturday, June 20.
During that lunch, Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron and Bill Cosby will be honored. After the lunch, the Reds play the Chicago White Sox.
This will be the first regular season Civil Rights Game after two pre-season Major League exhibitions in Memphis, Tenn.., Major League Baseball said in a releases.
The Gillette Civil Rights Game were developed "to pay tribute to all of those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Americans," MLB said in its release
CNN's Soledad O'Brien will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event.
Proceeds from the Luncheon will benefit the MLB Urban Youth Foundation, the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon and the Gillette Civil Rights Game, please visit www.MLB.com/civilrightsgame
MLB explained their pick of President Clinton this way: "President Clinton has always been uniquely attuned to civil rights, having been focused on building community and creating opportunity in America and throughout the world. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. On April 15, 1997, President Clinton joined Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Rachel Robinson at Shea Stadium in New York, as Major League Baseball honored Jackie Robinson and permanently retired his uniform Number 42.
"Bill Clinton's long record of promoting civil rights makes him the perfect keynote speaker to honor such a distinguished group," said Selig. "Our award recipients this year are remarkably accomplished and it is a great honor for Major League Baseball to recognize their achievements, which have helped change this country for the better."
"I'm proud to join Major League Baseball to honor my friends Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, and Bill Cosby, American legends whose lives have inspired millions throughout the world and who have helped make America the multiracial and multiethnic place it is today," President Clinton said. "Their contributions to our shared mission of forming a 'more perfect union' has been truly historic."
In addition to the Gillette Civil Rights Game on June 20, there will be a series of weekend events commemorating this special occasion. On Friday afternoon, there will be a roundtable discussion at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which will be moderated by Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree. On Saturday afternoon, following the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, there will be a youth summit at Cincinnati's Fountain Square.