January 31, 2024 – Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) today announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) will serve as the presenting partner of the organization’s Black History Month efforts for the sixth consecutive year. Throughout February, the two organizations will host a variety of community activations that promote collective learning, honor Black culture and recognize the contributions of Black Americans – past, present and future – in alignment with the annual theme, “Honor. Amplify. Celebrate.”

On Saturday, February 4, HSE and Blue Cross NC will host HBCU Night when the Hornets take on the Indiana Pacers. Prior to the game, the Johnson C. Smith University choir will perform the U.S. National Anthem, along with the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. The Benedict College marching band will perform during halftime. Including mascots and cheerleaders, at least eight different HBCUs will be represented during the celebration.

A few days later, on Tuesday, February 6, HSE and Blue Cross NC will host their second annual fireside chat, Vanguards of Change, for invited guests, including community leaders and elected officials. Building on the “Honor. Amplify. Celebrate.” theme, the Fireside Chat will feature immersive conversations with three Black changemakers who are actively shaping  the history of Charlotte today through their respective community-driven initiatives – Lusenii “Lou” Kromah, Founder of Dark Mode; Tchernavia Montgomery, Executive Director of Care Ring; and Cheryse Terry, Owner of Archive CLT. Hornets In-Arena Host Ohavia Phillips will moderate the discussion.

Also as part of the celebration, on February 13, HSE and Blue Cross NC will host a separate youth-focused Black History Month event that will provide select students the opportunity to interact with Hornets players while participating in a creative project that celebrates Black culture. 

“Every February we look forward to celebrating Black History with our friends at Blue Cross NC,” said HSE Chief Operating Officer & Interim President James R. Jordan. “We’ve worked hard to create meaningful events throughout the month that elevate Black history, highlight individuals in our community who are making positive contributions and uplift Black joy and experiences.”

"During Black History Month, Blue Cross NC proudly honors the history, achievements and contributions of Black Americans," said Kelly Calabria, Chief Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Blue Cross NC. “Working with the Charlotte Hornets, we continue to support programs that give all North Carolinians the opportunity to be healthy.”

Additional content, including more information about each of the organizations’ Black History Month efforts, will be available at hornets.com/bhm throughout the month of February. HSE will also honor Black History Month through the digital and social channels of the Hornets, the Greensboro Swarm, Hornets Venom GT and Spectrum Center.

To tip off the Black History Month partnership, volunteers from HSE and Blue Cross NC spent January 30 at Nourish Up, helping to sort and pack food items to be distributed to local shelters, emergency pantries and soup kitchens in 24 counties across the Carolinas.