What’s unique about how the Brooklyn Nets celebrate Black History Month is that they truly celebrate all month long. Not only do they recognize the contributions of African Americans, but they celebrate the entire diaspora.
Throughout the month of February, the Nets cover all the bases of Black culture. This stems from the world of music, dance, education and cuisine. This is all intently thought out and headed by Jackie Wilson, Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Nets. Wilson believes that the impetus for their Black History Month programming is all about giving back to the community.
“We are intentional, not only in our celebration but also in providing programming that creates access to opportunity for the Brooklyn community,” he said. “Through initiatives such as our HBCU college fair and panel, merchandise collaborations with Black designers, featuring Black-owned restaurants on the concourse at Barclays Center and celebrating the Black diaspora through music, dance and food; we are working to increase access and awareness. And we want to continue to build each year.”
Wilson isn’t just blowing smoke either, there’s a reason behind all of this programming. These types of programming fall under the Nets Unite initiative. According to Wilson, Nets Unite is all about being a mirror.
“The goal of our Nets Unite platform is to authentically celebrate and amplify the cultures and heritages that make up the melting pot that is the Brooklyn community,” Wilson said. “We want Brooklyn to see themselves in our programming. And its important that we use our platform to educate and support our community. Our focus is on developing meaningful programming that has a lasting impact.”
When asked how he wants to see the programming grow, Wilson explained that he hopes to expand the programs and initiatives, as well as find new and innovative ways to help the community.
“We want to continue to grow the programs and initiatives that we are currently doing, while also finding innovative new ways to elevate the voices and people of our community. Black History is being made in real-time and we have the opportunity to be active participants in the story,” Wilson said.
There’s no question that through this programming The Nets are making a difference in their community. The Nets close out Black History Month strong versus the Milwaukee Bucks as they continue their playoff push.