Memphis Grizzlies to celebrate Black History Month with virtual engagements throughout February
Memphis, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies are celebrating Black History Month (BHM) by offering fans a way to make an impact locally by driving traffic to locally-owned Black businesses as well as offering educational opportunities for fans of all ages. Fans can visit grizzlies.com/BHM as a resource, including videos from Grizzlies players Ja Morant, Justise Winslow, De’Anthony Melton, Xavier Tillman Sr. and Desmond Bane as they share their personal reflections on Black History Month. The Grizzlies hope to inspire excellence, innovation and creativity within all industries, as well as empower greater collaborations and shared purpose that uplifts the Black community through these offerings.
Supporting local black-owned businesses
Grizz Shop Local is an initiative created to help support and sustain local businesses during the pandemic. In partnership with Cynthia Daniels & Co., Grizz Shop Local-Black History Month Edition, is a virtual shopping event that provides economic equity and empowerment featuring 12 Black-owned, local Memphis businesses during the month of February. In order to participate, shoppers will RVSP in advance at no cost. On the event date, shoppers will be emailed the link to shop from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on February 27th. Additionally, the Grizzlies will feature a “28 Days of Celebrating Black Businesses” calendar at grizzlies.com/BHM, highlighting a different locally-owned Black business such as B Chill Lemonade, Premier Flowers and many more every day in February.
Historically black colleges and universities engagement
During the month of February, the Memphis Grizzlies will honor this year’s HBCU Empowerment Award honorees during home games. The HBCU Empowerment Award honors individuals who have graduated from an HBCU and are empowering the Memphis community within the areas of education, health & wellness and service. The eight honorees will receive a $1,000 gift in their name to their school. This year’s honorees include:
- Patrick “Trey” Carter, III, President of Olympic Training Career Institute; graduate of Florida A&M University
- Trevia Chatman, Senior Vice President, Memphis Market Manager/Local Markets Organization for Bank of America; graduate of Tennessee State University
- Tyrone A. Burroughs, President/CEO for First Choice Family of Companies; graduate of Benedict College
- Kontji Anthony, Evening Anchor at WMC Action News 5; graduate of Howard University
- Linda McNeil, Senior Account Manager at Gaskill Strategies; graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College
- Miska Clay Bibbs, Chief of Staff at Teach for America; graduate of Hampton University
- Sandra Reed MD, Partner/Anesthesiologist- Mid South Anesthesia Consultant, PLLC; graduate of Spelman College
- Dillon H. Robinson, Clinical Research Monitor at St. Jude Research Hospital; graduate of Jackson State University
The Grizzlies will honor Historically Black Colleges and Universities and celebrate the rich diversity of HBCU’s and their contributions to ensure students receive a solid and sound education. On Thursday, Feb. 18, a panel discussion entitled “The HBCU Experience: Education, Culture, and Impact” will premiere on grizzlies.com/BHM and the Memphis Grizzlies YouTube Channel at 6 p.m. The panel, hosted by Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace, will feature Rust College President Dr. Ivy R. Taylor, HBCU Awareness Foundation Founder & President Corey Allen and 2021 Grizzlies Empowerment Award Honoree Trevia Chatman. The discussion will explore the historical birth of HBCUs, how they have shaped Black culture and their impact in the world.
BHM Check-Ins, a new weekly digital video update hosted by Grind City Media talent, will bring fans impactful discussions focusing on current events surrounding Black History Month and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The video updates, which will be available on grizzlies.com/BHM and the Memphis Grizzlies YouTube channel, will explore the Grizzlies’ and NBA’s sports and social initiatives throughout the month of February.
As part of the ongoing celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Grizzlies will put a spotlight on the long-standing tradition and pageantry of HBCU Marching Bands by showcasing virtual performances from Tennessee State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College and Rust College to name a few. The performances will occur throughout the month-long celebration at Grizzlies home games, along with additional HBCU content including testimonials, trivia games and a return of last year’s viral HBCU Greek Stroll Off.
Art installation at FedExForum celebrates black music in Memphis year round
The Memphis Grizzlies and Memphis Tourism have partnered together to celebrate local Black history all year long with an art installation on the bollards outside of FedExForum titled “Roots of Memphis Music.” The 24 concrete bollards are dedicated to this history of Black music in Memphis and honor those who created the legendary Memphis sound and drive the new Memphis sound of today. Fans will be able to learn more about the history of great musicians and moments by scanning QR codes on the back of the bollards as they go on a journey through time. Local Memphis artists Mia Saine and Toonky Berry designed each bollard to celebrate different moments of Black music in Memphis. Each of the 24 different vibrant designs celebrates the likes of W.C. Handy, David Porter and Three 6 Mafia, as well as renowned locations such as Stax Records and Royal Studios.