Kings Join with 8 NBA and WNBA Teams to Host Third Team Up for Change Summit Virtually

The third meeting focused on an array of subjects pertaining to the current landscape of our nation.
by Kyle Ramos
Social Coordinator

With social justice, racial equality, voting and other societal topics at the forefront of people’s minds, the Sacramento Kings partnered with several franchises across the NBA and WNBA to foster important discussions in the third installment of Team Up for Change.


Joining the Kings in these conversations were the Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Dallas Mavericks and Wings, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver along with Kings Owner & Chairman Vivek Ranadivé provided opening remarks to tip-off the event that was done remotely and virtually.



Former Kings forward and NBA Champion Caron Butler started the main program out by sharing his inspirational path from a troubled teenager to becoming a success on and off the court.


Next up was the topic of police accountability, with a discussion between Marisa Renee Lee of The Justice Collaborative and Milwaukee Bucks Sideline & Digital Reporter Zora Stephenson. The pair talked about what true police reform looks like in an effort to create true public safety.


Tyra Patterson then shared her remarkable story of serving 20-plus years in prison for a crime that she was wrongly convicted of and how she is fighting for others to not end up in similar situations.


Following these discussions, Stockton native and America’s Got Talent Season 15 Winner Brandon Leake performed a spoken word piece titled “Mosaic”.

A panel conversation came next with the topic of civic engagement and voting at the center of it. Dallas Mavericks Game Night Emcee & Inclusion Ambassador Chris Arnold hosted a group consisting of Akilah Wallace of Faith in Texas, Veronica Torres Hazley of Hey Chica!, Xavier Henderson of Strategy at For Oak Cliff, and Elizabeth Henneke of the Lone Star Justice Alliance as they highlighted the importance of civic awareness and engagement to address racial inequities, promote social justice and drive sustainable change.


Kings forward Harrison Barnes and his wife Brittany were next to share as they touched on why everyone’s vote matters on a national and local level.


Sacramento poet laureate Chianne “Cloudy” Carrier added another spoken word performance to the program with her reading of “This Poem Gone Hurt”.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert made some remarks on the great work the WNBA has been doing to advocate for social justice.


Chicago Sky guard Sydney Colson followed the Commissioner’s remarks with her own take on the WNBA’s social justice initiatives with Kings Sideline Reporter & Analyst Kayte Hunter to discuss her role in the WNBA Social Justice Council and more.



The conversation then moved to policy reform.

Chanda Smith Baker of The Minneapolis Foundation, joined by Minnesota Lynx Head Coach & General Manager Cheryl Reeve and Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders, led a discussion about the policies, research, advocacy and convening necessary for long-term systemic criminal justice reform.




Continuing the dialogue were Dr. Katrice Albert of Third Eye Consulting Group LLC and Dr. Sean Huddleston of Martin University, where they discussed Inclusive Excellence and why it’s everyone’s responsibility to reduce their bias and increase their cultural intelligence around topics of equity and inclusion.


Indiana poet laureate Alyssa Gaines had a spoken word performance of her piece, “Aguas Negra.”


Moving to economic empowerment, Cleveland Cavaliers Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement Kevin Clayton hosted a discussion with Danielle Sydnor of the NAACP and LaRese Purnell of CLE Consulting Firm on the challenges Black entrepreneurs face and how the Cavaliers are working to lift up and partner with Black-owned businesses in surrounding communities.




In support of Team Up for Change’s efforts, Black employees throughout participating organizations came together to relay that Black representation matters across all levels of businesses.


To close out the historic event, leaders from the Kings, WNBA, Bucks, Timberwolves, Lynx, Pacers, Fever, Mavericks, Wings and Cavaliers addressed where the NBA and WNBA have been, where they are today and what’s ahead in the continued pursuit of racial equality and social justice.

Watch the full Team Up for Change Summit below.

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