Atlanta Hawks honor the legacy of Black colleges and universities at 4th annual HBCU Night


Brigitte Killings, Community Banking and Business Development Managing Director for JPMorgan Chase

Atlanta Hawks honor the legacy of Black colleges and universities at the 4th annual HBCU Night

 

On a night when the Atlanta Hawks faced off against the Toronto Raptors, the franchise paid homage to the legacy of Black colleges and universities at the fourth annual HBCU Night.

Held at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Feb. 26, a majority of Hawks fans entered the game while wearing paraphernalia from schools such as Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark-Atlanta University, Howard University, and FAMU to name a few. Other fans sported the colors of The Divine Nine.

Before the game, the Hawks hosted a panel discussion, “Advancing the Legacy: Empowering the Next Generation.” Presented by JPMorgan Chase, the panel featured Cassandra Joseph (Spelman College director of corporate relations and partnerships); Brandi Shelton (Just Add Honey founder/CEO, Xavier University of Louisiana grad); Brigitte Killings (community banking & business development, managing director for JPMorgan Chase, Tuskegee University grad); and was moderated by Dani Canada (Bossip, Hampton University).

Following the panel discussion, Joseph and Killings spoke exclusively to Atlanta Daily World to share their thoughts on the importance of HBCUs.

“Spelman is a model institution so I thought it was important for us to show up to tell our story and to give some real talk to aspiring Spelmanites, or aspiring HBCU attendees,” Joseph said. “It’s not a one-off thing for the Atlanta Hawks. They have established a scholarship at Spelman College in the name of Grant Hill. And JPMorgan Chase is a long-time, long-standing partner of Spelman College for many, many years.”

Killings also shared why JPMorgan Chase and the Hawks have collaborated to advance community initiatives.

“JP Morgan Chase has had a phenomenal relationship with the Hawks over the last few years.” Killings said. “This was just a dynamic opportunity. I have such a passion for my school Tuskegee University and other HBCUs. To be able to discuss my years at Tuskegee while also representing JPMorgan Chase is something I’m passionate about.”

The Hawks’ chief people, diversity and inclusion officer, Camy Mackey, discussed how embracing DEI efforts are an essential aspect of the organization.

“For us, it really makes us feel good because this is a mission that we’ve been on for many years,” Mackey said. “We have a commitment to our workforce to make sure that it represents the demographic in Atlanta. So that’s something we’ve been doing for quite some time. We make sure that there’s a culture of belonging where everyone can show up in their true authentic self. The Hawks will do more things to promote economic empowerment for minority-owned businesses as well as partnering with JPMorgan Chase to educate people about the importance of inclusivity.”

Following the panel discussion, the Morehouse Choir performed the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during halftime and the Hawks also honored the co-founder of Atlanta Influences Everything, Jackson State University alum, Bem Joiner. On behalf of Joiner, Sharecare announced a donation of $1,000 to Hey! (Helping Empower Youth), an organization focused on assisting the Water Boys in gaining skills needed to be successful in the gig economy.

On the court, the Hawks walked away with an impressive victory by outlasting the Raptors by a score of 127-100.



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