DETROIT PISTONS BLACK HISTORY MONTH ACTIVITIES BEGIN IN COLLABORATION WITH ROSA PARKS ESTATE ON HER BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE CIVIL RIGHTS ICON AND HONOR HER DETROIT ROOTS

temp-post-image



BASKETBALL CLUB TO PROVIDE FREE BUS FARES FOR DETROITERS ACROSS THE CITY ON FEBRUARY 4 AND FEBRUARY 7, GIFT 500 ROSA PARKS INSPIRED JACKETS TO DETROIT BUS DRIVERS AT ROSA PARKS TRANSIT CENTER

DETROIT – Feb 2, 2022 – The Detroit Pistons kicked off the beginning of their Black History Month celebrations by announcing a collaboration with the Rosa Parks Estate to honor one of the most influential civil rights icons. Mrs. Parks moved to Detroit in 1957, served as an administrative aide in the Detroit office of Congressman John Conyers Jr. (1965-88) and co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development which served Detroit’s youth beginning in 1987.

Pistons Chief Business Officer Mike Zavodsky lauded the partnership and the collaboration with the Rosa Parks Estate as part of the organization’s Black History Month festivities and reaffirmed the team’s commitment to serving the Detroit community, advancing social justice and enhancing education opportunities for the city’s youth.

“Mrs. Parks’ heroism and activism helped initiate a civil rights movement that changed U.S. history and continues to this day,” said Zavodsky. “We are honored to kick off the beginning of this year’s Black History Month in collaboration with the Rosa Parks Estate. As we celebrate her life and place in our nation’s history, recent events demonstrate that significant work remains to advance equality and social justice for all. Our organization will continue finding ways to enhance economic opportunity, enrich youth education and support voting rights.”


temp-post-image

In partnership with the Rosa Parks Estate, Priority Health and The Knight Foundation, the Pistons will provide free bus fares for Detroiters across the city to celebrate Mrs. Parks’ birthday on February 4 and February 7 and have created a special Rosa Parks commemorative merchandise line. Following her passing in 2005, Detroit bus seats were adorned with black ribbons to honor her life, activism and advancement of the civil rights movement in the United States.

Earlier today at the Rosa Parks Transit Center, 500 jackets were gifted to bus drivers and staff from the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT). These jackets will be worn by city bus drivers on February 4. To provide a token of gratitude for their hard work and dedication to the city of Detroit, each driver will be gifted free tickets to an upcoming Pistons home game, a group of whom will be recognized in-game on February 4 as the Detroit Pistons host the Boston Celtics. Lastly, two DDOT buses will be wrapped in Rosa Parks-inspired artwork created by local artist Desiree Kelly, in addition to four bus shelters (SB Woodward at State Fair, WB Jefferson at E Grand Blvd., SB Gratiot at E. Grand Blvd, and EB Grand River at Livernois).

Elaine Steele, longtime friend of Mrs. Parks and co-founder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, described the partnership as a celebration of Rosa Parks legacy.

“Mrs. Parks would be pleased with the Pistons' celebration of her legacy and, more importantly, with its outreach to the community,” said Mrs. Steele. “As Mrs. Parks said, her mistreatment on the bus did not begin with her arrest in 1955 -- she ‘did a lot of walking in Montgomery’. Today, the public buses in the City of Detroit provide a critical artery for transport in the region and are ridden, driven and administrated by folks who will never be forced to the back of the bus again.”

“Detroit is honored to be a part of Mrs. Parks’ legacy,” says C. Mikel Oglesby, Detroit’s Executive Director of Transit. “DDOT was one of the transit agencies to honor her after her death with black ribbons on the front seats of our buses. And when the new transit center opened downtown in 2009, it was a no-brainer to name it after her.”

“DDOT could not function without our dedicated operators,” he adds. “We’re thrilled to work with the Pistons to help recognize the hard work of our operators on Mrs. Parks’ birthday and every day.”


temp-post-image


Detroit Pistons will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of activations and partnerships throughout the month of February. Events include the Pistons 17th Annual Black History Month Scholarship Event where high school seniors in Detroit will have an opportunity to earn $50,000 in scholarships and an “HBCU Night” at Little Caesars Arena when the Pistons host the Boston Celtics on February 26. The team will visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. on February 28 and honor prominent Detroit creatives and leaders in our community during game nights throughout the month.



-pistons.com-



About Detroit Pistons:
Since their arrival in 1957, the Detroit Pistons have become one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. With over 2,300 regular-season and playoff victories, the club has celebrated three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five NBA Finals appearances (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005) and 11 Eastern Conference Finals appearances. In October 2019, the club opened the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center located in the New Center area, a campus that serves as the organization’s practice facility and corporate headquarters. Since its purchase by Michigan native Tom Gores in 2011, the organization has focused on operating as a community asset while promoting a culture of innovation and industry- leading thought.

About Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development:
The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development was co-founded in February 1987 by Mrs. Rosa Parks and Ms. Elaine Eason Steele, in honor of Raymond Parks (1903 – 1977). It is the living legacy of two individuals who committed their lives to civil and human rights.



temp-post-image