The Atlanta Hawks recently announced their plans to host their fourth annual ‘HBCU Night presented by Chase’ at the award-winning State Farm Arena on Saturday, Feb. 26. The organization will dedicate this night to celebrating the educational excellence and unique culture of the more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), originally founded as institutions of higher learning for African Americans, and the Black Greek Letter Organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, collectively referred to as the Divine Nine (D9). The Hawks are set to play Toronto at 7:30 p.m. and tickets to take part in the celebration can be purchased at Hawks.com/HBCU. The special ticket package includes: one ticket to the game, one Hawks T-shirt and a $10 food-and-beverage credit.
“The Atlanta Hawks are excited to highlight the legacy and influence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Black Greek Letter Organizations of the Divine Nine in Atlanta and throughout the world,” said Camye Mackey, EVP and Chief People, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “During our annual HBCU Night presented by Chase, we will celebrate the vital role these universities and colleges have played to shape generations past, present and future and we are grateful for their contributions to our staff, business partners, and rich community.”
Prior to the start of the game, the Hawks will host a panel with several HBCU alumni titled ‘Advancing the Legacy: Empowering the Next Generation Presented by Chase’. This discussion will highlight the importance of authentically engaging with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their role in shaping the next generation of leaders. To view the livestream of the panel discussion, tune in to Hawks.com/chase at 5:45 p.m.
This panel, taking place at the suite level event space will be moderated by Dani Canada, Entertainment Host, Hampton University Alum, AKA and managing editor of ‘Bossip’, the premier destination for African American popular culture and entertainment. Featured speakers include Cassandra Joseph (Spelman College Director of Corporate Relations and Partnerships), Brigitte Killings (Community Banking & Business Development, Managing Director (South) for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Tuskegee University Alumna & AKA), Brandi Shelton (Just Add Honey Founder and CEO, Xavier University of Louisiana Alumna) and Rashida Winfrey (VP, Senior Business Consultant, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Clark Atlanta University Alumna).
A pregame parade and step show will take place at the suite level event space on the concourse of State Farm Arena and feature performances from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. (Spelman College), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. (Morehouse College), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (Spelman), and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. (Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University). Additionally, saxophonist, Larry “Laj” J. Smith II (Florida A&M University alum) will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems prior to tipoff.
As part of in-game festivities, Morehouse Choir will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at halftime. Hawks’ in-arena host Shamea Morton (Morris Brown alumna) will lead the crowd in dance during a quarter break. Morton also serves as co-host of V-103’s ‘The Big Tigger Morning Show.’
During the game and through social recognition, the Hawks and Chase will honor Black-owned family business, MOKIPOPS. MOKIPOPS is an all-natural popsicle company started by three kid siblings in 2016. Through six years, they have sold thousands of frozen fruit bars in local retailers, special events and corporate orders. At halftime, fans will enjoy a special music and dance performance by Hawks Entertainment’s ATL BOOM (drumline) and Mahogany-N-Motion, the official dance team of Spelman College and Morehouse College House of Funk Band.
“Our nation’s and our city’s HBCUs form the foundation for the next generation of Black leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, artists and so much more,” said Rashida Winfrey, Minority Entrepreneurs Consultant at Chase (Clark Atlanta University alumna). “Supporting our city’s HBCUs opens more doors for students’ future careers, strengthens our relationships within the local community and creates pathways for the next generation to attend HBCUs. We’re honored to celebrate their legacy with the Hawks.”
In 2020, The Atlanta Hawks and Chase, the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, announced an integrated multi-year partnership with several pillar programs focused on increasing financial health in Atlanta’s communities, and creating economic opportunity for local residents. The Hawks’ and Chase’s multi-year partnership is focused on increasing financial health in Atlanta’s communities and creating economic opportunity for local residents. In January of 2022, the Hawks and Chase hosted a special MLK Day panel, “Advancing the Legacy: Realizing the Dream” as the Hawks played their annual MLK Day Game presented by Chase and unveiled a new ‘MLK Wall’ as part of the team’s annual tribute of Dr. King’s life and legacy.
Coverage of Saturday’s Hawks-Raptors game will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Bally Sports Southeast with tipoff at 7:30 p.m.; channel listings can be found here. Additionally, in partnership with the NBA, the Hawks, Morehouse College and Spelman College, the network will stream a simulcast of the game on the Bally Sports app featuring Morehouse play-by-play announcer Charles Ward, Spelman student Taylore Gills, and Morehouse student Corey Guy. The link to the stream can be found here.