“Team Up for Change” Brings Together Thought Leaders and Community Voices to Inspire Meaningful Change

Last month, the Sacramento Kings, in partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Dallas Mavericks and Wings, and Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they will host the third “Team Up for Change” summit to unite, inspire and activate around the NBA and WNBA’s shared commitment to racial equality and social justice. The expanded multiday experience will begin with a virtual event on Wednesday, October 21 at 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET), followed by a week of action October 22 – 28 featuring community activations in team markets and a nine-part online content series.  

“It is a huge privilege and honor to have our most accomplished role models, who are at the forefront of advancing social justice efforts, join us for this program,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “Team Up for Change is a model for how sports teams across the nation can come together and work hand in hand with the community to use their platforms to elevate voices, address issues of social injustice and call for racial equality.” 

The virtual event will tip-off with remarks from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver followed by messages from team governors. NBA Champion Caron Butler will take part in a keynote conversation, sharing his journey from Racine, Wisconsin to becoming a professional basketball player, the importance of mentorship and his advocacy for criminal justice reform and racial justice. NBA and WNBA players and team executives, as well as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, will also make appearances throughout the program. To propel forward the commitments made to their respective communities, each team will lead a conversation addressing one of the following issues: police accountability and brutality, criminal justice reform, economic empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and civic engagement. 

The free approximately three-hour program will be livestreamed on team digital channels and geared toward an audience of high school and college-aged students, youth advocates, community leaders, team employees, season ticket members and corporate partners.

Team Up for Change speakers and performance groups, subject to change, include (in alphabetical order):

  • Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner
  • Akilah Wallace, Executive Director, Faith in Texas
  • Brian Payne, President and Chief Executive Officer, Central Indiana Community Foundation
  • Brittany Barnes, Founder, GoodBody
  • Caron Butler, NBA Champion  
  • Cathy Engelbert, WNBA Commissioner
  • Chanda Smith Baker, Senior Vice President of Impact, Minneapolis Foundation
  • Cheryl Reeve, Head Coach and General Manager, Minnesota Lynx
  • Chris Arnold, Inclusion Ambassador and Game Night Emcee, Dallas Mavericks
  • Cynt Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Mavericks
  • Danielle Sydnor, President of the Cleveland Chapter, NAACP
  • Doug Christie, Color Analyst, Sacramento Kings
  • Elizabeth Henneke, Founder and Executive Director, Lone Star Justice Alliance 
  • Ethan Casson, Chief Executive Officer, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx 
  • Greg Bibb, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Wings
  • Harrison Barnes, Forward, Sacramento Kings
  • Dr. Katrice Albert, Founder and Managing Member, Third Eye Consulting Group LLC, Executive Vice President of Culture, Innovation and Inclusion, S2A and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Pacers Sports and Entertainment
  • Kevin Clayton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • LaRese Purnell, Managing Partner, CLE Consulting Firm
  • Len Komoroski, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Marc Lasry, Co-owner, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Marisa Renee Lee, Entrepreneur and Senior Advisor, The Justice Collaborative
  • Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks
  • Matina Kolokotronis, Chief Operating Officer, Sacramento Kings
  • Ryan Saunders, Head Coach, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, Spoken Word Artists
  • Dr. Sean Huddleston, President, Martin University
  • Steve Simon, Alternate Governor, Indiana Pacers
  • Tony Mason, President and Chief Executive Officer, Indianapolis Urban League
  • Tyra Patterson, Community Outreach Specialist, Ohio Justice and Policy Center
  • Veronica Torres Hazley, Director, Hey Chica! By Healthy Latina Lifestyle
  • Vivek Ranadivé, Owner and Chairman, Sacramento Kings
  • Xavier Henderson, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, For Oak Cliff
  • Zora Stephenson, Sideline and Digital Reporter, Milwaukee Bucks

Snapshots of Franchise-led Team Up for Change Programming (in order of appearance): 

Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx – Criminal Justice Reform

Chanda Smith Baker of The Minneapolis Foundation, joined by Minnesota Lynx Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve and Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders, will lead a conversation about the policies, research, advocacy and convening necessary for long term systemic criminal justice reform. Chanda will share what role we all can play in driving transformational change, both as individuals and as a collective.  

Cleveland Cavaliers – Economic Empowerment

Kevin Clayton of the Cleveland Cavaliers will host a conversation with Danielle Sydnor of the NAACP and LaRese Purnell of CLE Consulting Firm on the challenges black entrepreneurs face and the opportunities available to partner with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse to elevate the impact that black owned businesses are making in our surrounding communities. 

Indiana Pacers and Fever – Inclusive Excellence

Brian Payne of Central Indiana Community Foundation and Tony Mason of Indianapolis Urban League will share their insights on the importance of intentionality in focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion within cities. Dr. Katrice Albert of Third Eye Consulting Group LLC and Dr. Sean Huddleston of President Martin University will then discuss Inclusive Excellence and why it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce their bias and increase their cultural intelligence around topics of equity and inclusion. 

Dallas Mavericks and Wings – Civic Engagement

Chris Arnold of the Dallas Mavericks will host a discussion with community leaders on the importance of civic engagement and specifically voting both on the local and national level.  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 will share powerful insight highlighting the importance of civic awareness and engagement to address racial inequities, promote social justice and drive sustainable change in our local communities. 

Sacramento Kings – Importance of Voting 

Doug Christie of the Sacramento Kings will discuss the importance of registering and exercising the right to vote with Kings forward Harrison Barnes and his wife, Brittany Barnes, the founder of Oakland-based hair and beauty destination GoodBody. Encouraging education around voting, this discussion will address voter access, suppression issues and how sports teams can play a role in getting out the vote.

Milwaukee Bucks – Police Accountability 

Marisa Renee Lee of The Justice Collaborative will take part in a discussion with Bucks sideline and digital reporter Zora Stephenson on police accountability and policy reform in an effort to create a more just America. The Justice Collaborative supplies deep legal, policy, communications, and networking support to communities working to end dehumanization and to build a society with dignity and freedom for all of us, starting with those who are the most vulnerable.  

Following the summit, the Team Up for Change Week of Action will focus on engaging with young adults ages 14-24 in Sacramento, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Cleveland, in collaboration with community organizations and local leaders, through a variety of activations devoted to empowering the next generation. 

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 February 2020, the two teams once again partnered and hosted the second Team Up for Change in Milwaukee.

For more information about the summit and week of action, visit Kings.com/TeamUpForChange.