Orlando Magic Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with In-Game Activities, Encourage Volunteerism on Jan. 17
The night to include the Orlando Magic Diversity Game Changer honoree; special in-game performances and Magic Vision Mobile trivia to honor Dr. King
ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his life and legacy, leading up to MLK Day with various volunteer opportunities and an in-game celebration when the Magic host the Portland Trail Blazers on Mon., Jan. 17. As part of the Magic's Volunteer Program (MVP), the team will highlight volunteer opportunities in the Central Florida community for its staff to honor Dr. King's legacy through volunteerism. The team's in-game festivities will include:
- Pregame crowd address from a Magic player
- Magic players wearing a custom Nike Martin Luther King Jr. day on-court warm-up T-shirt. The T-shirt was designed in collaboration with the MLK
- Foundation, Martin Luther King III and the NBPA
- Encourage fans and the community to sign the Orlando Community Pledge
- National Anthem and halftime performances by the University of Central Florida Gospel and Cultural Choir
- City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joining the Magic to honor the MLK Youth Humanitarians
- The Magic Diversity Game Changers special recognition honoring Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue Market President
- Interactive MLK Trivia on Magic Vision Mobile
- The Magic will recognize and honor the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans in the Central Florida community throughout the game
The night will feature the Magic Diversity Game Changer honoree. As part of the Magic's continuing equality efforts, alongside Champions of the Community partner Florida Blue, each game the Magic honor one local leader who has made a difference in the realm of social justice. The Magic and Florida Blue are committed to fostering equality and justice throughout Central Florida. This program spotlights community members who are continuously doing the hard work, day in and day out, fighting for sustainable change.
The Jan. 17 in-game Diversity Game Changer honoree is Florida Blue Market President Tony Jenkins. Jenkins' efforts in his quest to eliminate racism, discrimination and inequality have taken shape with Florida Blue serving as task force chair of Orlando Economic Partnership's "Take the Pledge" initiative which seeks to advance racial and social justice, cultivate economic equality and remove barriers to growth opportunities while having participants commit to promoting inclusive discourse. The initiative began with around 70 local CEOs and high-level executives promising to educate themselves, create listening sessions, improve employment and career advancement opportunities for marginalized communities, and conduct annual check-ins on reaching those goals. The effort since has garnered the support of more than 150 companies, organizations and agencies in Central Florida — including Florida Blue. The public/private partnership board, addresses hurdles to diversity, equity and inclusion, and works alongside committed organizations to ensure that each is walking the walk. Part of that process is a prosperity scorecard that will track several economic indicators that signify equality.
At Florida Blue, Jenkins has orchestrated several ongoing listening sessions, encouraging conversations with employees to express individual experiences, and he has been actively involved in the launch of its Equity Alliance initiative focused on addressing systemic racism and the health disparities that exist for Black Americans. The alliance is led by a task force of internal stakeholders and outside advisors and works in conjunction with Florida Blue's ASPIRE employee affinity group for people of color. In 2020, Florida Blue announced a $25 million investment over five years for organizations focused on diversity and inclusion, and health equity.
During the game, the Magic will encourage all residents to join in signing the Orlando Community Pledge, which offers an opportunity for every individual and organization to stand with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, his MLK Commission and the city to denounce racism and discrimination. By signing the pledge, Orlandoans demonstrate their support.
The Magic and Mayor Dyer will also recognize the MLK Youth Humanitarian award winners at halftime of the game. The Magic will host them in a suite for the game as well. The winners are Orange County middle and high school students selected by school officials for exemplifying the ideals embraced by Dr. King. The mission for the Orlando Mayor's MLK Commission is to strengthen the Orlando community by promoting Dr. King's legacy of service, equality, justice, peace, respect and inclusion for all. For more than three decades, the MLK Commission has joined with corporate and community partners to plan and promote a variety of programs and events that celebrate his life and legacy. The Commission is a partnership and represents a cross-section of civic leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors.
The Magic celebrate diversity and embrace its many characteristics and the value it brings to both business and community—understanding what can be accomplished when everyone works together to achieve legendary moments. The Magic are committed to creating an environment in which employees, community partners and fans feel welcome, valued and appreciated. Fans can join the MLK Night celebration on Mon., Jan. 17 by visiting OrlandoMagic.com. Fans can also join in the NBA celebration of MLK Day and all its teams’ efforts in the community through social media platforms using the hashtag #MLKDay.