The Atlanta Hawks today announced their plans to host their fifth annual ‘HBCU Night presented by Chase’ at the award-winning State Farm Arena on Friday, Feb. 24. 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. In addition, a black Atlanta Hawks rally towel will be provided to all fans in attendance, courtesy of Chase.
The Hawks are set to play Cleveland 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.”
Earlier in the day at Gate 1 at the arena, the Hawks, Chase and the American Red Cross will join together to host an HBCU 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 visitrcblood.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.
“Our nation’s HBCUs play an integral role in providing Black students access to educational and professional opportunities,” said Rashida Winfrey, Minority Entrepreneurs Consultant at Chase and Clark Atlanta University alumna. “Supporting them enables students to build legacies and creates pathways for the next generation, as well. We’re honored to celebrate their legacy with the Hawks.”
To tip off the festivities, a parade will take place on the 100-level concourse of State Farm Arena. Closer to the beginning of the game, the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, along with the national anthem. The Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society is a nationally respected choral ensemble that perpetuates a proud century-old tradition of artistic clarity, stylistic authority and brilliant choral tone. Building on its rich choral tradition of excellence, it is currently under the leadership of director Dr. Curtis Everett Powell.
At halftime, fans will enjoy a vibrant music and dance performance by Mahogany-N-Motion, the official dance team of Spelman College and the Morehouse College House of Funk band. The ATL Hawks Dancers and Mahogany-N-Motion will also unite for a performance during a break after the first quarter.
During the game and through social recognition, the Hawks and Chase will honor Black and family-owned Atlanta business, Play Pits. Play Pits is a 100% all-natural deodorant, free of aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrances and other harsh chemicals. Play Pits is a mother’s solution to providing a kid-friendly, all-natural hygiene option for youth with active lifestyles.
On the court floor and through social recognition, the Hawks and Chase will recognize Hawks and State Farm Arena employees who are HBCU alumni. In addition, there will be a special acknowledgement of local HBCU leadership from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College and Spelman University. To conclude the evening, a post-game party is set to take place for HBCU students and alumni in attendance on the 100-level concourse at the arena. The party will feature popular Atlanta entertainer and Tennessee State University alumna DJ Jazzy T.