BLACK HISTORY MONTH IS THE REMEMBRANCE OF NOTABLE PEOPLE AND EVENTS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY THAT HAS BEEN CELEBRATED ANNUALLY IN THE UNITED STATES IN FEBRUARY SINCE 1976. THE REMEMBRANCE HAS ITS ROOTS IN 1926 BY HISTORIAN CARTER G. WOODSON. HE CHOSE THE SECOND WEEK IN FEBRUARY BECAUSE IT MARKED THE BIRTHDAYS OF TWO AMERICANS WHO GREATLY INFLUENCED THE LIVES AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS: FORMER PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND ABOLITIONIST AND FORMER SLAVE FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

The Washington Wizards are proud to honor the great and countless contributions of African Americans. In addition to events throughout the community, the wizards will spotlight and honor various African Americans making a positive difference in their communities. The spotlights will take place during four Wizards home games in February. The Wizards will honor individuals that are making a difference in their communities using the pillars supported by the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The five pillars are hunger and homelessness, military and veteran, health and fitness, education and youth basketball.


Black History Spotlight Honoree: Preston Lindsay

Game Date: 2/6/17 vs. Cavaliers

MSE Pillar: Education

Preston Lindsay is the Executive Director of New Community for Children, a nearly thirty-year-old nonprofit in NW DC. NCFC aims to provide underserved children and youth (Pre-K through 12th Grade) quality educational programs and advocacy in education. The programs offered by the organization are largely focused on college and career readiness and provides educational emphasis in STEAM. Each of these programs are data driven and designed with great intention by dedicated and trained education practitioners, who are passionate about transforming the lives of children and youth in the District of Columbia by supporting academic achievement, developing life skills, fostering creativity and cultural awareness, nurturing spiritual connections and growth, and ultimately empowering children to succeed.

For nearly 7 years, Preston has served in leadership capacities for various mission and human service oriented nonprofits. He is committed to bringing his skills in strategizing and administering plans for organizational sustainability and advancement and in leadership to the world of nonprofits because he recognizes that having access to quality programs provided by nonprofits organization in largely disenfranchised and underserved communities can truly be life changing for many families.

Mr. Lindsay’s professional experience is supported by his academic background in the advance social sciences & psychology, management and organizational development and is expected to graduate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a PhD in I/O Psychology, Organizational Leadership Studies in 2019.


Black History Spotlight Honoree: Henry McFarlin

Game Date: 2/10/17 vs. Pacers

MSE Pillar: Military & Veteran

Sergeant First Class McFarlin entered the military in 2001 and performed both basic training and AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He has answered the call to war on several occasions and performed each to the highest standard. Sergeant First Class McFarlin started his military career as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Specialist. Before attending Airborne School and earning his wings, he graduated each Non-Commissioned Officer school on the Commandant's List and received honor graduate for the WLC Warrior Leadership Course. Sergeant First Class McFarlin later became a Drill Sergeant, graduating in the top 5 percentile of his class. During his career, he has trained several thousands of soldiers, both physically and mentally preparing them for Army life.

Sergeant First Class McFarlin was later promoted and entrusted to be the First Sergeant of the 359th Transportation Battalion. He served as the First Sergeant for three years and was later reassigned to the 317th Regimental Battalion to serve as a Senior Drill Sergeant. After a year, he was selected to deploy to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait as the First Sergeant of the 313th Movement Control Battalion out of Baltimore, MD. While serving, he was injured and medevacked to Germany and quickly flown to Walter Reed's ICU. He is currently healing as a Wounded Warrior at Walter Reed Medical Center. Sergeant First Class McFarlin has served in the U.S. Army for more than 16 years and continues to serve.

Sergeant First Class McFarlin is a role model and mentor to the children in his neighborhood. For the past 6 years, he has coached basketball, football and baseball. While attending the University of Southern Mississippi, he established the campus’ first Big Brother/ Big Sister Program. He matched over 40 children with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in within their neighborhood.

Sergeant First Class McFarlin's awards and decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Unit Commendation Award, Army Good Conduct Medal with two knots, National Defense Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Airborne Badge, Barack Obama President's Lifetime Achievement Award, The President's Call to Service Pin, Barack Obama's Presidential Coin.


Black History Spotlight Honoree: Johnny Bailey

Game Date: 2/28/17 vs. Warriors

MSE Pillar: Education

Johnny Bailey is the Executive Director of The Shine Hard Family, a four year old nonprofit located in Washington DC. Shine Hard was created to recognize and connect the nation’s top black millennial leaders and then unify them to educate and inspire the next generation of African American leaders. Our membership base is comprised of talented innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs from companies like ESPN, Google, Nike, Amazon, CNN, CBS, Snapchat, & more. Primarily focused on at-risk youth and young professionals (Ages-14-25), our millennial leaders serve as podcast interviewees, workshop instructors, seminar leaders, cultural curators, & keynote speakers for our community programming. We partner with schools, universities, and other nonprofits aiming to seamlessly bridge the gap between at-risk youth & millennial leaders. Ultimately transforming the lives of young people by helping them identify their passion, gain invaluable mentorship, accelerate career readiness, and fully understand the variety of professional opportunities that are available to them in 2017 & Beyond.

Mr. Bailey began his career in the sports industry working as a client service rep at NFL sports agency Paramount Sports & Entertainment. Years later hired for marketing role at Nike, Johnny contributed to events like NBA All-Star, World Basketball Festival and co-managed a nationwide basketball tour for Nike ID. Johnny walked away from Nike to pursue entrepreneurship. Along with Shine Hard, Johnny is an operating partner of creative agency, Bold Management Group and also a business coach for young professionals through his consulting platform, “Serious Students Only.”

Johnny is a native of Petersburg,VA, a former Track & Field standout from Hampton University and earned a Master’s Degree from Virginia State University, respectively.

Follow on Instagram: @ShineHardFamily