Philadelphia 76ers Celebrate Black History Month

This February, the Philadelphia 76ers celebrated Black History Month and continued to further its commitment to diversity and inclusion for all. By focusing on our communities’ young leaders, the 76ers strive to positively impact those who will be making history in the future.

One of those whose impact can be felt is Aniyah Ayres, a 76ers youth ambassador through the organization’s Walk In My Shoes mentoring program. As part of the program, Ayres is mentored by 76ers guard Jerryd Bayless. Through their tightly-formed bond, the two worked together to help craft the organization’s celebration of Black History Month.

On Feb. 13, the 76ers hosted the inaugural Kids Can! Youth Summit, presented by PECO, at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, which focused on kids mentoring fellow kids. The summit featured seven extraordinary youth leaders, including Ayres, who discussed the importance of uplifting voices and bridging divides in our communities.   

Following the panel discussion, a tour of the museum was given for the youth panelists and 50 students from Philadelphia’s Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School, who were also in attendance. Harambee is the first Pennsylvania African-centered charter school to teach Black History every day.

On Feb. 2, Ayres was honored at halftime of the 76ers home game with the Game Changer Award, presented by Firstrust Bank, for her work through her own nonprofit organization. Ayres’ fellow panelists were also recognized at following games with the 76ers Youth Excellence Award, presented by PECO.

Throughout the month, the 76ers honored numerous local African American leaders. The organization’s work during Black History Month is a part of its ongoing work through the NBA Voices platform that represents another step in the efforts to bring people together and use the game of basketball to demonstrate the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion.