The Atlanta Hawks announced plans to host their annual ‘MLK Day Game presented by Chase’ at the award-winning State Farm Arena on Monday, Jan. 16. As part of the overall game experience, Alvin Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs, along with members of the ATL Hawks Dancers will perform a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Hawks, who are set to play Miami at 3:30 p.m., have limited tickets remaining for fans who want to attend the game, which can be purchased at Hawks.com/tickets. In addition, a black Atlanta Hawks rally towel will be provided to all fans in attendance, courtesy of Chase.
“The Atlanta Hawks are excited to continue celebrating the legacy, influence and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Melissa Proctor, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “During our annual ‘MLK Day Game presented by Chase’, fans should arrive early to experience our signature, MLK Day game gospel choir player introductions, learn about people doing amazing work in our community and experience interactive elements that honor the legacy of Dr. King.”
Prior to the game, the Hawks are hosting a special panel at 1:45 p.m. presented by Chase titled, “Advancing the Legacy: Investing in the Next Generation” featuring panelists Mathilda Lambert (VP, Community & Business Development, Chase), Kiersten Saunders (Author and Co-owner, rich & REGULAR and Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away) and David Shands (Author and Owner, SleepIs4Suckers and The Social Proof Podcast). Eric D. Tidwell, Esq. (Managing Director and General Counsel for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Estate) will provide the opening remarks. Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, and official bank, credit card, wealth management and investment banking partner of the Hawks and State Farm Arena.
Moderated by Keisha Lancelin (Public Affairs Director, CW69), the panel will focus on conversation that engages college students on the importance of financial health and the value of understanding financial concepts that yield dividends in their future. This discussion 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 livestreamed at Hawks.com/stream.
“Chase is honored to be part of an event that not only pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, but promotes the path to financial freedom for all,” said Mathilda Lambert VP, Community & Business Development at Chase. “In celebrating Dr. King, we are helping Hawks fans learn actionable ways to take control of their credit, achieve financial health and take one step closer to reducing the wealth gap for their families and in their communities.”
To tip off the festivities, CONTAGIOUS!, the worship ministry from The dReam Center Church of Atlanta, will sing the player introductions along with the national anthem, led by 3-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated gospel artist Bishop William Murphy. Singer, songwriter Murphy is known for his chart-topping hits “Praise is What I Do” and “It’s Working”.
At halftime, Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs will lead members of the ATL Hawks Dancers and various Atlanta dance groups (AREA, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Dance Connection, Ballethnic, Dance Canvas, Moving in the Spirit and Tri-Cities) in a celebration of “Revelations”, an American masterpiece of hope and redemption. A universal celebration of the human spirit, “Revelations” is based upon Alvin Ailey’s “blood memories” of growing up in the rural South and has inspired audiences around the world for over six decades. Fans in attendance will be encouraged to join in the dance led by Nasha Thomas, a Master Teacher for Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs.
“Performing “Revelations” around the world was a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering from the opening notes of “I Been ‘Buked” to dancing in their seats during the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham”,” said Nasha Thomas, Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs Master Teacher. “I am thrilled to bring that same joyful spirit to the Hawks halftime show with some of Atlanta’s wonderful dancers celebrating “Revelations”, carrying forward Alvin Ailey’s vision that dance has the power to unite and inspire and honor the powerful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
During the game and through social recognition, the Hawks and Chase will honor Black and woman-owned Atlanta clothing brand, Tracy Nicole Clothing. Tracy Nicole Clothing is a brand for the woman that has a unique sense of style, loves quality clothing, takes pride in her appearance and doesn’t mind expressing herself by the way she dresses. The pieces are classic and beautiful while still unique and maintaining a subtle sexiness.
During the game, Xernona Clayton will be recognized for her civic work and contributions to Atlanta. Clayton is a civil rights leader and pioneering broadcasting executive best known as the founder and CEO of the Trumpet Awards, an annual awards program distributed internationally to over 185 countries. The program features the accomplishments of African Americans in a variety of fields. Clayton also is the driving force behind the complementary project, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. Clayton worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helping him to organize fundraising initiatives for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1968, she became the first Black woman in the South to host a regularly scheduled prime-time talk show, “Variations”, which later became “The Xernona Clayton Show.”
In October 2022, the Atlanta Hawks and JPMorgan Chase announced a new agreement to expand and grow their integrated partnership. As part of the expanded agreement, Chase became the presenting sponsor in two key experiences: the Chase Concert Club: the arena’s ultra-premium space for enjoying the world’s best live entertainment and NBA action and Project Rebound: a community platform that works with Good Sports, a national nonprofit whose mission is to drive equitable access in youth sports and physical activity, by supporting children in high-need communities to achieve their greatest potential, on the field and in life.
In January of 2022, the Hawks and Chase hosted a special MLK Day panel, “Advancing the Legacy: Realizing the Dream”. The Hawks also 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.