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Nike unveils ‘Watch Us Rise’ Black History Month visuals honoring inspiring leaders


NikeBlack History Month is an annual observance celebrating the outstanding achievements of prestigious African-Americans, as well as their history.

With that, Nike has tapped various leaders of color for their Watch Us Rise BH ’20 campaign to create powerful imagery and spread insight into their individual contributions, goals and efforts toward a future they believe in.

“I want to see my people win,” said professional BMX rider Nigel Sylvester, who’s featured. “I want us to feel good about ourselves and our ambitions. I want us to identify the things that we want to accomplish and then take the necessary actions needed to reach those goals.”

Sylvester continued, “The most important part is the ‘we’: being together, being a team, and being a squad that’s always here for each other.”

Other leaders featured in the collection include McKinley Nelson, founder of Project sWish, a Chicago-based community organization that uses basketball to combat street violence by providing vital resources needed within under-resourced communities.

Amanda Gorman, 19, who’s an empowering published author as well as the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America, is also featured.

“We might look different,” Gorman says in a statement. “Our blackness might show itself both phenotypically and culturally in a wide myriad of ways, but there’s a certain commonality in what we’re willing to fight for.”

The powerful Watch Us Rise BHM ’20 imagery also gives us a glimpse of a new Black History Month collection of sneakers from Nike, which will officially be released on February 19.

To further push the envelope for Black History Month, Nike is also recognizing 20 U.S.-based nonprofits that offer play and sport programs, and that support education and career development, with a total of $500,000 in grants.

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