Rolling Out

David Gould bringing together Philadelphia 76ers and HBCUs for sports bootcamp

David Gould is investing in Black communities

As chief diversity and impact officer for Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, David Gould spearheads HBSE’s action plan and commitment to promote racial equality through internal and external diversity and inclusion standards, programs, and initiatives. Over three years with the organization, Gould guides efforts to invest in Black communities, support Black and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, and amplify and build workplaces founded in respect, diversity, and inclusion across HBSE properties.

How did your career start?


I’m a native son of Philly. The majority of my career wasn’t in the sports and entertainment industry; it was in government and [the] nonprofit [sector]. My career has been focused on what are the different positions that I can put myself in to give back to the communities and the city that I come from and grew up in. The opportunity to do that, not only for my hometown but also for my hometown NBA team [that] I’ve been a lifelong fan of, is amazing. Just to be able to sit in the C suite of an organization like this, and bring my life and professional experience in to think about how we as a company [can] have a positive impact on our communities and think about different sorts of unique, [and] hopefully innovative, ways to do that is something I don’t take lightly.

What’s it like knowing you are an intellectual sports leader?


I think for a long time in our culture and communities, we [have known] the incredible value that exists within our culture and the great ideas of Black entrepreneurs. But we also know that they don’t often have the same level of access to opportunities as our majority counterparts, so it’s something that I’ve believed my entire life, [which] is that a lot of the disparities that we see economically and socially in our country are not based on ability, but are based on access, opportunity, and the resources that folks are provided. I’ve seen that time and time again through the different paths of life that I’ve walked, and now that I get to be in a position where not only do I get to give people those opportunities, but now everybody can see how successful and talented these folks are. It’s like, “Alright, we’re not crazy, we belong here.” That’s something that I want to figure out with ways that we can do more of it, and I hope that there’s a broader ripple effect in the industry and society that we can be a small part of [initiating].

By doing it at a place like the 76ers, which is a big platform, I see the individual wins that we have, and our partnership with Eastside Golf, or our partnership with other companies such as local artisan foods, it’s just setting an example for what more teams and organizations and companies should be doing.

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