NNPA President to Give Keynote in Forum on Social Justice Activism in Sports


National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., will deliver the keynote address for an upcoming social justice activism in sports forum hosted by the HeroZona Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona.

The forum, titled “One Team,” is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

The invitation-only event is supported by the RED Development, City of Phoenix District 8, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, MINT Social, Golden Rule Live, and the NNPA.

The forum, which will be live-streamed to the public at Facebook.com/HeroZonaOrg, will include prominent Arizona sports leaders, including executives from the NFL’s Cardinals, MLB’s Diamondbacks, and NBA’s Suns.

The participating panel of sports executives includes Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael J. Bidwell, Arizona Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez, Phoenix Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley, Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall, and Arizona State University Athletic Director Ray Anderson.

The panel plan to discuss systemic racism in America and how major and minor league organizations can enact social change.

“Since the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited in May, major sports teams have ardently expressed their support for the cause by using their reach to advocate for change,” said U.S. Desert Storm Veteran Alan “AP” Powell, the founder of the HeroZona Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to empower Heroes in the community through entrepreneurship, employment, and education.

The group works with veterans, first responders, and those who bring social good to future generations and under-served communities. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for the men and women who serve their country and community each day.

“With such massive platforms, it is imperative that the community hear from these leaders on what steps they are taking to ensure that their organizations are not only standing up against racial injustice but also taking concrete actions to fix the systemic issues at hand,” Powell stated.

The event will be moderated by ESPN host and CNN columnist LZ Granderson, while Chavis will deliver the keynote. “The NNPA acknowledges and supports the active engagement of professional sports athletes and leaders who publicly stand up or kneel down for the cause of racial and social justice, equality and freedom,” Chavis declared.

“The Black Press of America affirms that Black Lives Matter!”

For more information about the Bridge Forum, the HeroZona Foundation, and stream the upcoming event, visit www.thebridgeforum.com.