One Team. One Goal.

Mission

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. Led by an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals, we use sports to promote understanding, respect and equality.

Making An Impact

Since our inception, we’ve launched initiatives across the country to educate, empower and support athletes, coaches and administrators at every level to be leaders in improving racial equality, while encouraging fans to join with professional athletes and community leaders in taking a pledge to stand against racism.

Our Core Values

Understanding

Understanding

We strive for greater appreciation of individual values, perspectives, and experiences.

Respect

Respect

We strive for greater appreciation of individual values, perspectives, and experiences.

Equality

Equality

We strive for greater appreciation of individual values, perspectives, and experiences.

History

History

Stephen M. Ross, Founder

Growing up in Detroit, Stephen M. Ross witnessed firsthand the negative impacts of racism within the community. As our society continues to address and navigate the very complicated issues of racism, he established the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to bring the sports community together to advance equality, respect and understanding. Ross, his RISE team and their partners hope to spark enduring change by inspiring dialogue and providing tools for progress.

I saw a unique opportunity to harness the unifying power of sports, produce real change and create a new paradigm. Sports brings together athletes, coaches and fans of all races, uniting us with shared experiences and common goals that allow us to transcend our differences. If there is any place where there is real equality, it's sports. The sports community is uniquely positioned and empowered to break down barriers, and provides us with a vast platform in which to begin open conversations, impact youth and be an effective catalyst for social progress.

Stephen M. Ross

Our Team

Jocelyn
Benson
Chief Executive Officer
Ian
Cutler
Director, Media Relations
Hayes
Grooms IV
Vice President, Athlete Engagement & Sports Outreach
KUMARIE
JOSEPH
Director of Finance and Administration
Anna
Karefa-Johnson
Regional Director, Events & Programming – South
Scott
Koenning
Regional Director, Leadership & Education Programs – Midwest
Andrew
Mac Intosh
National Director, Leadership and Education Programs
Dexter
Mason
Regional Director, Events & Programming – Midwest
Kim
Miller
Vice President, Leadership & Education Programs
Erin
Pellegrino
Vice President, Events & Programming
Shawn
Starkey
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
Karen
Tarnas
Director, Executive Affairs
Collin
Williams Jr.
Regional Director, Leadership & Education Programs – South
ADAM
WOOD
Director of College Partnerships

Board of Directors

STEPHEN M. ROSS
Chairman, RISE & Owner, Miami Dolphins
KATRINA ADAMS
Chairman, CEO & President, USTA
GARY BETTMAN
Commissioner, NHL
SCOTT BLACKMUN
Chief Executive Officer, USOC
PETER BEVACQUA
CEO, PGA of America
Maverick
Carter
CEO, SpringHill Entertainment
ANITA DeFRANTZ
International Olympic Committee
MARK EMMERT
President, NCAA
BRIAN FRANCE
Chairman of the Board & CEO, NASCAR
Don Garber
Commissioner, MLS
ROGER GOODELL
Commissioner, NFL
MATT HIGGINS
President, RSE Ventures
LARRY JONES
EVP, Fox Sports Network Group
DAVID LEVY
President, Turner Broadcasting
MARK LAZARUS
Chairman, NBC Broadcasting and Sports
ROB MANFRED
Commissioner, MLB
Ndidi Massay
Interim Chairperson, NY State Athletic Commission
SEAN McMANUS
Chairman, CBS Sports
KENNETH SHROPSHIRE
Professor & Author, The Wharton School
MAX SIEGEL
CEO, USA Track & Field
ADAM SILVER
Commissioner, NBA
JOHN SKIPPER
President, ESPN, Inc.
DONALD SUN
Managing Partner, AVP

Advisory Board

STEPHEN CURRY
NBA Player, Golden State Warriors
CARLOS FLEMING
SVP of Talent Management, WME/IMG
LARRY FITZGERALD
NFL Player, Arizona Cardinals
Gina Hemphill-Strachan
Talent Executive and Sports Television Producer
DESMOND HOWARD
Analyst, ESPN
SHIRLEY FRANKLIN
Former Mayor of Atlanta
Dr. DANIEL GOULD
Professor & Director, Inst. for the Study of Youth Sports Michigan State Univ.
DRAYMOND GREEN
NBA Player, Golden State Warriors
WARDE MANUEL
Athletic Director, University of Michigan
ARTHUR MILLER
University Professor, Dean & Director, NYU Sports Institute
RALPH MOORE
President, Ralph G. Moore & Associates
MARC MORIAL
President & CEO, National Urban League
LORI OKIMURA
Chair of the Board, USA Volleyball
SCOTT PIOLI
Assistant General Manager, Atlanta Falcons
JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO
President & CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA
Former Mayor of Los Angeles
TROY D. VINCENT, Sr.
EVP Football Operations, NFL
VENUS WILLIAMS
Tennis Champion

Our Partners

  • Nfl
  • Nba
  • Mlb
  • Nhl
  • Mls
  • Nascar
  • Pga
  • Usta
  • Usatf
  • Avp
  • Olympicsusa
  • Ncaa
  • Cbssport
  • Nbcsport
  • Turnersport
  • Detroitpal
  • Hispanic