The 2016-17 season is just a few weeks away and the Atlanta Hawks are looking to do something very unique this Monday when they host Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs in NBA preseason play this Monday.
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced plans to host a unique game experience, celebrating multicultural groups, diverse populations and organizations committed to improving relations amongst different groups, in its first-ever Unity Game on Monday, Oct. 10th as the team takes on the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Members of the Hawks organization will participate in two major events prior to the Unity Game: an all-staff service day (six service projects within the city of Atlanta) and the 46th Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest event of its kind in the Southeast.
The concept for Unity Day came from an all-employee internal forum on July 19th, which followed a series of unsettling and alarming events around the nation during the summer. The staff was challenged to think of ways the Hawks organization could unite the city and continue the positive and peaceful conversation taking place in Atlanta. Within the forum, the consistent themes of community service, inclusion and using basketball as a change agent/unifier led to the creation of the event.
“Our organization has seen firsthand how a sports team, its staff and every member, can positively affect the morale of a city. We have a brand promise to entertain and unite the city of Atlanta and we think our Unity Game is another great step toward keeping that promise,” Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “We are thankful that the Cavaliers share similar values of inclusion and diversity and understand the importance sports can play beyond the court.”
Both Hawks and Cavaliers players will take part in specially-produced videos that will air throughout the game explaining what Unity means to them and how the next generation of Atlantans and Clevelanders can positively impact their respective cities.
In a special halftime ceremony, National Center for Civil and Human Rights CEO Derreck Kayongo will address the crowd and speak on the topics of unity, inclusion and social harmony. The Hawks will also honor and announce financial donations from the Atlanta Hawks Foundation to the Center and other deserving organizations that are embodying and delivering messages of respect, tolerance and peace through their work.
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