The Atlanta Hawks, one of the National Basketball Association’s most progressive abd inclusive franchises, announced plans to host its fifth annual ‘HBCU Night presented by Chase’ Friday, Feb. 24.
In a release the Hawks announce that the franchise will dedicate this night to celebrating the educational excellence and unique culture of the more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country. Four of which are within blocks of State Farm Arena where the game and festivities will take place.
Originally founded as institutions of higher learning for Black people, HBCUs are time-honored safe spaces for Black learning and growth. Fans in attendance will be able to secure a black Atlanta Hawks rally towel courtesy of New York-based banking giant Chase.
The Hawks (29-29 overall) will host the Cleveland Cavaliers (38-22, fourth in the Eastern Conference) at 7:30 p.m. Fans may take part in the celebration by purchasing a special ticket package at Hawks.com/promotions. The ticket package includes: one (1) ticket to the game, one Hawks x HBCU co-branded T-shirt and a $10 food-and-beverage credit. Additionally, a $5 donation will be made to the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance for each ticket package sold.
“The Atlanta Hawks are excited to honor the over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities during our annual HBCU Night presented by Chase,” said Camye Mackey, EVP and Chief People, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. “During this unforgettable evening, we will honor the academic excellence of HBCUs and celebrate the role these colleges and universities play in empowering the next generation of leaders and enabling growth through educational opportunities, networking and community.”
There will also be a blood drive in the concourse from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment prior to arriving and walk-ins are also welcome. To schedule an appointment visit rcblood.org/ChaseATL. Donors will also receive parking validations. According to the American Red Cross, the presence of some unique red blood cells antigens shared by donors of African descent are more likely to provide better health outcomes for those fighting sickle cell disease.
Prior to the game, the Hawks are hosting a panel at 5:45 p.m. presented by Chase titled “Evolving the Community: Building a Legacy”. The panel will feature several HBCU alumni panelists including Dan Ford (Chair of the National HBCU Alumni Alliance and CEO of the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance, North Carolina A&T State University Alumnus), La Keisha Johnson (Co-founder of the HBCU Culture Legacy Foundation, Johnson C. Smith University Alumna), Torian Robinson (Director of Business Development at Alkeme Health, Morehouse College Alumnus) and Rashida Winfrey (VP, Senior Business Consultant at Chase, Clark Atlanta University Alumna). Moderated by Eric Perry, Weekend Anchor at FOX 5 Atlanta and Hampton University Alumnus, the panel will highlight the importance of building a sustainable legacy and how to usher change in the community.
The panel will take place in the suite level event space and will be open to fans who have a ticket for the game and have RSVP’d to attend the panel. Fans who purchase tickets will receive an invite link to RSVP. The panel will also be live streamed at Hawks.com/stream.
The Hawks are winners of two of their last three games, including a 144-138 loss at Charlotte (16-43 overall) Monday, Feb. 13. Atlanta hosts the New York Knicks (32-27, seventh in Eastern Conference) tonight.