Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings Partner with 7 NBA and WNBA Teams to Host Third Installment of “Team Up for Change” Summit to Call for Racial Equality and Social Justice
Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Dallas Mavericks and Wings, and Cleveland Cavaliers Join Innovative Team-led Partnership
The Milwaukee Bucks, in partnership with the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Dallas Mavericks and Wings, and Cleveland Cavaliers will host the third Team Up for Change” summit to unite, inspire and activate around a shared commitment and call for racial equality and social justice. Through interactive and educational programming, the nine teams will address issues of police accountability, brutality, criminal justice reform, economic empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and civic engagement to propel forward the commitments made to their respective communities.
“On behalf of the entire Kings organization, we are tremendously humbled and proud to grow the Team Up for Change platform, expanding this urgent conversation across the country to address systemic racism,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “It is incumbent upon us all to take a stand for justice, equity and equality, and further commit to investing in transformative and sustainable change for our Black communities.”
“We are excited and proud to add more teams and perspectives to the growing Team Up for Change platform,” said Milwaukee Bucks Co-Owner Marc Lasry. “This important initiative enables our voices to unite and inspire conversation around the injustices in our community. Our goal is to activate and make a longstanding, positive impact in the areas of police accountability and criminal justice reform.”
The expanded multiday experience will begin with a virtual event on Wednesday, October 21 followed by a week of action featuring community activations in team markets and a nine-part online content series. The free summit will be livestreamed on team digital channels and aimed toward an audience of high school and college-aged students, youth advocates, community leaders, team employees, season ticket members and corporate partners.
“We are fortunate to be a part of the NBA and WNBA where we have the power to unite, inspire and take action to create a place that’s equal for all,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Ethan Casson. “In Minnesota, and as a nation, we have felt immense pain through tragedy that’s rocked our communities, but it’s incredibly powerful to have Team Up for Change bring together voices from different capacities to show us that by working together, we can be agents of change.”
“One of the most critical things we can do is to ensure we are keeping these important issues front and center in our community,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment COO and President Rick Fuson. “We are excited about the opportunity to bring the Team Up for Change initiative to Indiana, furthering our commitment to be leaders in our city and state on the most pressing issues we face.”
In solidarity with communities nationwide, the goal of Team Up for Change is to shine a spotlight on local and national movement builders, faith-based leaders, highlight fresh perspectives from young innovators and trusted experts, lift up voices for future engagement, and hear from team leadership on franchise commitments, all with a focus on the intersection between sports, race and the pursuit of more equitable communities. Programming will be designed to provide insight into social justice reform, strategies to combat systemic racism and showcase voices driving sustainable change. During the week of action teams will deepen connections with their communities by hosting events for youth that spur dynamic conversations and promote healing with an emphasis on mentorship, advancing pathways to substantial economic mobility for future generations. Elements of the expanded third annual Team Up for Change platform include:
- October 21: Third installment of the Team Up for Change summit held virtually. Agenda and speakers to be announced in early October.
- October 22-28: Week of Action incorporating virtually and socially distanced, in-person events for youth ages 14 to 24 in Sacramento, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Dallas and Cleveland in partnership with community organizations and local leaders. Event details are forthcoming.
- October 29: Launch of a nine-part online content series on team social channels featuring shared storytelling across the nine participating teams.
“As part of the Mavs Take ACTION! plan, the Dallas Mavericks are proud to join our fellow teams for Team Up for Change in the pursuit of more equitable communities,” said Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall. “It takes all of us working together to unite and move our communities forward.”
“The Dallas Wings are excited to join other NBA and WNBA teams in participating in the 2020 Team Up for Change initiative,” said Dallas Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb. “Bringing together team representatives and players along with community leaders from each of our cities to speak about current social & civic topics is important. This summit will help showcase the united front the NBA and WNBA set as our foundation.”
“As leaders in the community we continually seek to unite, inspire and activate, not only in Northeast Ohio, but nationally as well. We are pleased to be able to ‘team up’ with our NBA and WNBA brethren to provide another platform for Clevelanders and others around the country to engage in social justice conversations,” said Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO Len Komoroski. “Discussions such as these are vital to making progress and creating sustainable change.”
Team Up for Change, which was first held in Sacramento in 2019, was started by the Kings in partnership with the Bucks and was born from each team’s encounter with injustice. In March 2018, the Sacramento community was rocked by the killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, by police. Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé heard the cries for action, took to the courtand made a commitment that the Kings, who strongly believe in the power of sports to bring people together, would work alongside the community to help prevent future tragedies.
In May 2018, the Bucks expressed steadfast support for guard Sterling Brown, who was tased and arrested in relation to a parking violation. The franchise committed to work with local leaders and organizations to foster safe neighborhoods and better the community.
In February 2020, the two teams once again partnered and hosted the second Team Up for Change in Milwaukee.
Earlier this year, the NBA recognized the Bucks and Kings for their Team Up for Change initiative by honoring the teams with the 2020 NBA Inclusion Innovation Award. The award recognizes a specific innovative program across the league that advances inclusive practices.