During Black History Month, Detroit Pistons partner with Rosa Parks Estate

Detroit Free Press

With Rosa Parks’ birthday upcoming, the Detroit Pistons are kicking off Black History Month by partnering with the civil rights icon.

In conjunction with the Rosa Parks Estate, Priority Health and The Knight Foundation, the Pistons will provide free bus fares to Detroiters on Friday and Monday. The team is also launching a line of Rosa Parks-themed merchandise, with some of the proceeds supporting Parks’ estate.

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On Wednesday, the Pistons gifted 500 jackets to Detroit Department of Transportation bus drivers and staff members at the Rosa Parks Transit Center downtown. The bus drivers will wear the jackets on Friday, Parks’ birthday. The team gave away free tickets to staffers for an upcoming home game, and will host a group of DDOT staffers at their game on Friday against the Boston Celtics.

In addition, two DDOT busses and four bus shelters across the city will be decorated in Rosa Parks-inspired artwork created by local artist Desiree Kelly.

“Mrs. Parks’ heroism and activism helped initiate a civil rights movement that changed U.S. history and continues to this day,” Pistons chief business officer Mike Zavodsky said in a release. “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.”

The Pistons have several other Black History Month initiatives planned for February, including an “HBCU Night” at Little Caesars Arena on Feb. 26.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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