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Lloyd Pierce reacts to being named to Lowery Institute Board of Directors

The work continues for the Hawks’ head coach.

New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Lloyd Pierce has another title to add to his growing list of responsibilities.

The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights named the Atlanta Hawks head coach to its board of directors Tuesday, which would’ve been the late Rev. Joseph E. Lowery’s 99th birthday.

“I am honored to join the @loweryinstitute as a Board member,” Pierce wrote in an Instagram post. “Continuing the legacy of Dr. Lowery is important as I believe in their mission to create more ‘Change Agents.’”

Pierce went to work immediately as a board member, being a part of a week-long campaign, with a focus on Black and underserved communities of registered voters, to cast ballots on Nov. 3.

This isn’t Pierce’s first time being involved with the Lowery Institute. He has previously served as a judge on “Change Agent Tank,” a competition that encourages local college students to become social entrepreneurs by combining their passion with social justice interests to create transformational initiatives and movements. The contest is based on the show “Shark Tank,” and the finalists have chances to receive cash funding and rewards.

“Lloyd exudes boundless positive energy and incredible aptitude for mobilizing his peers to address societal issues – a remarkable skill we strive to nurture and glean within the Lowery Institute’s Change Agents,” Cheryl Lowery, Lowery Institute CEO & President said in a release. “Through his work with our Change Agent Tank, it was immediately evident that his passion to mentor and nurture young people went beyond the basketball court. We are proud and excited that he will serve alongside us to continue to create Scholar activists who are not afraid to speak truth to power- nor to turn words into deeds.”

Lowery was one of the founding members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, which was a civil rights group co-founded by Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Baynard Rustin and Fred Shuttlesworth. In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

Lowery died this past March at 98.

When Pierce first got the job in Atlanta in 2018, Lowery was one of the first historic figures he met. In Tuesday’s announcement, Pierce said it was an honor for him to meet him and get to know Cheryl Lowery. He called the work the civil right icon’s family has done inspirational.

Pierce has also highlighted some of the lighter encounters he had with Lowery.

“To Reverend Lowery: Your Hawks team won’t be as young anymore, so you can stop making jokes about [Hawks assistant] Melvin [Hunt] and me!” Pierce wrote in his Players’ Tribune piece in July. “Ambassador Young will be there to attest to that, and we’ll make you proud.”

Tuesday’s news is just the latest announcement in Pierce’s commitment to social justice. Last week, it was announced Pierce and his wife pledged to donate $15k to the Georgia Innocence Project.

This has been a busy offseason for Pierce, headlined by the news of him being named a chairman of the Coaches for Racial Justice committee.

“It’s truly an honor to join the [Lowery Institute] Board and take an active role in cultivating the next generation of leaders to take up the mantle and ensure social justice for all,” Pierce said in the press release.