The NBA family has announced their Juneteenth celebration, acknowledging national holiday commemorating emancipation from slavery in the United States, with a variety of league and team programming, conversations, and partnerships that encourage employees, fans, and all members of the NBA family to further educate themselves on the holiday while also reflecting on past and present racial injustices in our county.
The NBA is set to observe the holiday this Friday, June 18, with paid time off for all U.S. employees, following the Senate’s decision to pass a bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
All league and team employees have been invited to a virtual panel on June 17 hosted by the NBA employee resource team “Dream in Color.” The panel will feature the team behind “A Most Beautiful Thing,” a documentary executive-produced by NBA legends Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade, Seattle Storm President Ginny Gilder and GRAMMY award-winning artist Common that chronicles the history of the first U.S. African-American public high school rowing team.
“Dream in Color” will also host the first-ever Dream in Color Cafe, a live virtual event on June 16 for NBA employees to highlight Black Excellence in art and culture. The event will have a live performance by award-winning saxophonist Trey Daniels and “America’s Got Talent” winner Brandon Leake followed by a moderated discussion on Juneteenth.
NBA players were invited to prescreen the new History Channel documentary executive produced by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America, which will premiere on Juneteenth. The one-hour documentary chronicles the key movements that have made a major impact throughout history including the labor movement of the 1880s, women’s suffrage, and civil rights, as well as LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements.
WNBA players will wear warmup shirts honoring the league’s commitment to social justice and teams will play Lift Every Voice and Sing, also known as the “Black National Anthem,” in arenas in celebration of the liberation and perseverance of Black people.