PNC celebrates Black History Month locally and nationwide

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Through local performances, speaking engagements, literature and film events in nine cities, the PNC Financial Services Group has been celebrating the storied history of African-Americans throughout the month of February.

PNC-sponsored programs and activities in recognition of Black History Month were held in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Greater Maryland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

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DAUGHTER AND SON—Lynell Nunn and Bill Nunn III accept their father’s award from Chuck Cooper III. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

“From programs at neighborhood libraries and museums to partnerships with local sports teams, we’re recognizing Black History Month in ways that best represent the communities in which we live and work” said Marsha Jones, chief diversity officer, PNC. “Our hope is that these events will help bring together individuals, families, business leaders and PNC employees as they celebrate diversity and experience Black History Month locally.”

As part of a weekend of events in Pittsburgh, on Feb. 11, PNC and Duquesne University hosted a building dedication and luncheon in honor of Chuck Cooper, a Duquesne alumnus and former PNC employee who was the first African-American drafted into the NBA. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture also held a special concert tribute to Cooper’s many accomplishments in professional basketball and community development

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler scout and former journalist Bill Nunn Jr. received the inaugural Chuck Cooper Award, which honors an individual who has contributed to Pittsburgh’s African-American community. Speakers at the luncheon included Kevin Colbert, Steelers director of football operations and former Steeler Mel Blount.

On Feb. 13 PNC and Duquesne also hosted the second annual Chuck Cooper Classic. The basketball game between the Duquesne Dukes and Xavier Musketeers was held at the CONSOL Energy Center.

For the ninth consecutive year, PNC sponsored the “Returning to the Roots of the Civil Rights Bus Tour” which travels to landmark cities of the American civil rights movement.

In Chicago, a program featuring Rev. C.T. Vivian, a renowned civil rights leader and author known for riding the first Freedom Bus into Jackson, Miss., and Diane Nash, a leader of the student wing of the civil rights movement and the Freedom Riders was held at the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Cleveland was the site for a series of events in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers including a Martin Luther King Tribute Night with performances by gospel choirs and a half-time tribute to the “I Have a Dream” speech.

Other events featured notable speakers such as Rev. Paul Smith, a civil rights veteran, educator, author and diversity consultant who held a discussion in Baltimore. Similarly, Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated newspaper columnist gave a presentation as part of St. Louis Public Library’s Black History Month events.

Another discussion took place in Washington, D.C., with Khalil Gibran Mu­ham­mad, the incoming Director of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

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