Cleveland Cavaliers Continue the Tradition with 2012 Black Heritage Celebration

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CLEVELAND, OH - January 12, 2012 - The Cleveland Cavaliers will tip off the 8th Annual State Farm Black Heritage Celebration presented by PNC – a month-long celebration highlighting the achievements of African Americans across Cleveland. The Black Heritage Celebration (BHC) will begin with the signature Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Night on Friday, January 20th at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 p.m. as the Cavs match up against the Chicago Bulls.

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The MLK Tribute Night honors Dr. King’s legacy as one of the country’s most celebrated equal rights leaders. Students of Cleveland’s “Closing the Achievement Gap” (CTAG) program will be recognized for braving adverse weather conditions and traveling to Washington D.C. in spite of a cancelled dedication ceremony to view the historic monument of the late Dr. King. Their passion and perseverance exemplify Dr. King’s dream for the future generations of leaders and also coincide with the BHC’s dedication to “continuing the dream”.

During the halftime presentation, the CTAG students will recite a special dedication to the City of Cleveland in the spirit of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Each young man will announce what his dream is for the future of Cleveland. The Cavaliers will also pay tribute to Dr. King with a commemorative video, and two-time Sprite Step Off National Champions, the Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will deliver a step show performance in honor of King, who was a member of the fraternity.

“The Black Heritage Celebration continues to be one of the Cavaliers’ most impactful and enlightening programs,” said Cavs Legend and BHC co-chairman Campy Russell. “We’re thankful to have presenting partners State Farm and PNC Bank on board. Their commitment to celebrating black achievement contributes greatly to the program’s continued success.”

“State Farm is honored to be the title sponsor of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 8th Annual Black Heritage Celebration,” said State Farm Representative Joel Mohler. “Our diverse employee workforce, driven by our agents, is something that we pride ourselves on and allows us to create remarkable customer experiences.”

“PNC and the Cleveland Cavaliers are continuing our annual partnership to present an exciting hometown Black Heritage Month celebration,” said Paul Clark, PNC regional president for Cleveland. “At PNC, celebrating diversity and inclusion is our way of doing business, every day. We address the unique needs of our customers, employees and communities through a variety of ways - including supporting community celebrations that spotlight diversity and achievement, doing business with more than 1,700 minority-and women-owned enterprises, providing culturally diverse programs, and engaging our employees through resource groups.”