Empowering and Inspiring One Generation to the Next.

BHC Presented by Crown Royal Regal Apple

The Cleveland Cavaliers 16th Annual Black Heritage Celebration (BHC) presented by Crown Royal Regal Apple will tip off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 20th at 5:00 p.m. when the Cavs take on the New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The special early-evening matchup will begin a multiweek celebration themed “Empowering and Inspiring One Generation to the Next.”

The BHC, which is an expanded salute to Black History Month in February, recognizes the remarkable accomplishments of African Americans of today and throughout history who continue to pave the path for future generations. In January and February, the Cavs will spotlight black history moments during the game presentation of featured matchups at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The upcoming months will also include annual events that celebrate, showcase and provide opportunities for black professionals throughout the Cleveland community in concert with the BHC. In addition, players, coaches and staff members will dedicate volunteer efforts to Black History Month at projects throughout Northeast Ohio. Details regarding these volunteer events will be announced soon.

“The achievements and contributions of African Americans, past and present, are far-reaching and an important part of our community in Cleveland and the history of our nation,” said Campy Russell, Cavaliers Legend and director of alumni relations. “We celebrate and recognize these accomplishments every day and work to provide opportunities for African Americans in Northeast Ohio throughout the year. The BHC provides us the platform to tell these stories with a deeper emphasis to inspire our fans and budding heroes of tomorrow.”

Game/Event Schedule

Signature Black Heritage Celebration theme nights and events in January and February include:

  • Monday
    January 20, 2020
    5:00 PM
    vs. Knicks
  • Saturday
    February 1, 2020
    8:00 PM
    vs. Warriors
  • Wednesday
    February 12, 2020
    7:00 PM
    vs. Hawks
  • Wednesday
    February 26, 2020
    7:00 PM
    vs. 76ers

2020 BHC Spotlight

Harrison Dillard

Harrison Dillard was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 8, 1923. He began hurdling at the age of eight, running in an alley and using the springs from abandoned car seats as barriers. Originally inspired by the victory parade in his hometown of Cleveland, OH for Jesse Owens after the 1936 Olympics, Dillard developed into one of the most consistent hurdlers the world has ever seen. Dillard went on to win 14 AAU titles and six NCAA championships, as well as setting world records in both the high and low hurdles. Dillard was also a member of the famed Buffalo Soldiers, the African-American troops who fought valiantly in the Italian campaign from 1943-45 during World War II.

After his time in battle, he attended the trials for the 1948 Summer Olympics. Dillard failed to qualify for the 110 meters hurdles event, but qualified for the 100 meters instead after finishing third. Dillard eventually came out victorious at his first Olympic games in London.

After his Olympic career, Dillard worked for the Cleveland Indians baseball franchise and hosted a radio talk show in Cleveland, as well as worked for the Cleveland City School District for many years as its Business Manager.

Harrison Dillard was a staple in Northeast Ohio up until his recent passing in November of 2019. His legacy will continue to live on.

Donshon Wilson

Donshon Wilson was born and raised in East Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended East Cleveland City Schools from Elementary through High School. As a percussionist student he participated in Concert Band, Wind Symphony, private lessons, Rhythm Teens (jazz band), Shaw High School Marching Band, and even created a stage band with a few friends. Needless to say, music has always been a part of his life.

Mr. Wilson created Music Through the Streets in 2007 to support student musicians throughout their college careers and to encourage middle and high school students to explore instrumental music.

In 2008, Mr. Wilson obtained his Masters in Educational Leadership from The American Intercontinental University. Now, he is the Administrator of Communication for East Cleveland City Schools and the Marching Band Director for Shaw High School.

Since 2000, Mr. Wilson has taken the Shaw Band to an unimaginable level! He has traveled with students across America to participate in competitions, showcases, and on many college campus tours. One of Mr. Wilson's greatest honors was to lead Shaw Marching band as they participated in the 2008 Musical Tribute to the Olympics in Beijing, China, of which only five American marching bands were selected to participate.

Mr. Wilson is a dedicated educator who encourages students to achieve greatness despite the odds that they may encounter. He consistently provides motivational speeches to students and challenges participants to believe in themselves just as he believes in each one of them.

Renee Powell

Renee Powell is one of only three African American women to ever play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association's (LPGA) Tour. She is the daughter of William Powell, owner of the Clearview Golf Course in Canton, Ohio, the first such facility designed, constructed, owned and operated by an African American. Renee Powell graduated from high school in Canton in 1964 and attended Ohio University and Ohio State University.

She began competing as a golfer at age twelve, and continued perfecting her game during her college years. She made her professional debut on the LPGA Tour in 1967, and her first tournament was the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the United States Golf Association. In 1980, when she finished competing on the Tour, she taught golf in Africa and Europe and later returned home to Canton where she currently serves as the head professional golfer at Clearview Golf Course.

Marcus Graham Project

Cavs BHC Extends to the Classroom

In addition to the celebration on the court, the Cavs have teamed up with the Marcus Graham Project to host the 6th annual Sports Marketing Workshop for diverse students and professionals interested in a sports marketing career. The workshop will take place January 29th through February 1st at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Marcus Graham Project is a network of diverse professionals formed with the purpose of developing the next generation of leadership by mentoring and training ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the advertising, media and marketing industry. Over the last five years, alumni of the Cavs MGP workshop have landed jobs throughout the industry, including six who now work, or have previously worked, within the Cavs organization.

Workshop participants will receive first-hand knowledge from some of today’s top executives in the Sports Marketing industry. One standout participant from the workshop will earn the opportunity to be sponsored by the Cavs to attend MGP's iCR8 Summer Boot Camp in Dallas, Texas. All participants will be recognized at the Cavaliers game on February 1st vs the Golden State Warriors.

To register for the MGP workshop, visit jobs.lever.co/marcusgrahamproject


Taste of Black Cleveland: The Food Showcase 3.0

February 10th at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

In continued partnership between the NAACP, The Real Black Friday, the Cavs and Aramark, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will welcome 20 black chefs who own local Cleveland restaurants, food trucks and catering businesses to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for Taste of Black Cleveland: The Food Showcase 3.0. After very successful events in 2017 and 2018, The Food Showcase 3.0 (formerly the Launch Test Kitchen Food Tasting & Business Development Experience) has expanded from an annual private tasting and industry event to a public celebration of food and opportunity as part of Cleveland’s dynamic restaurant landscape.

Tickets are $30 and include admission and food at The Food Showcase 3.0 and one ticket to the BHC Cavs vs. Philadelphia 76ers game on Wednesday, February 26th. Tickets are available for purchase online at http://rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com/thefoodshowcase3.0 or at the Box Office at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Proceeds from The Food Showcase 3.0 tickets will benefit Cleveland NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students, and the Cavaliers Community Foundation (CCF), supporting programs for children, families and young adults designed to positively impact the community in the areas of education, health, recreation, employment, entrepreneurship and life skills.

Previous winners include Tiwanna Scott-Williams in 2017, whose unique and flavorful comfort food concept called Pearl’s Kitchen can now be found on the main street-level concourse at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Other previous winners include Chef Vic Searcy (Sauce The City) and Chef Sonia Steele (Vegan Vicki), who have items featured on menus in the Budweiser Brew House and in premium spaces around Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, respectively.

For more information visit cavs.com/tasteofblackcle


More Exciting BHC Activities!

The Cavs have also teamed up with MARTK’D, Culture Junkie and Yellowbrick to host a “Art on Sneaker” community engagement initiative. The program is designed to provide opportunity to individuals that are exploring career paths that align with their passions, including sneakers, fashion, sports, music and media.

As part of the unique activation, the Cavs will host 50 of Northeast Ohio’s most talented emerging artists in a competition to design a blank white sneaker with limited time and in front of a live audience. Multiple winners from the competition will be awarded scholarship money.

In addition to the celebration on the court and in the classroom, staff members across the Cavaliers organization will have the opportunity to attend a screening of the movie Just Mercy. The movie will be followed by a roundtable discussion, as well as the organization's annual soul food luncheon, which is a BHC tradition.

Fans can engage online and in social media throughout the month by visiting cavs.com/BHC and following the #CavsBHC hashtag on Twitter (@cavs), Instagram (@cavs), Facebook (Facebook.com/Cavs) and Snapchat (cavs).

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