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.
Leadership programming for student-athletes, coaches and administrators at every level to equip them with the knowledge and skills to stand up against racism and advance the conversation around race relations.
Opportunities for athletes to amplify their voice and make a difference as effective advocates to stand up against racism and promote social change.
Events for fans in conjunction with college and pro sports games and public awareness campaigns encouraging the public to join with professional athletes and community leaders in taking a pledge to stand against racism.
CONTACTS FOR MEDIA
Ian Cutler, director, media relations – ICutler@RISEtoWIN.org – 212-634-8075 (office)
Shawn Starkey, vice president, communications & marketing – SStarkey@RISEtoWIN.org – 313-788-7475 (office), 810-434-1301 (cell)
Jocelyn Benson, RISE CEO, is available to speak with the media on a variety of issues related to race and race and sports. She is an expert on civil rights law, education law and election law. Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit from 2012 to 2016 and has taught courses on Legislative Oversight, Race and the Law, and Sports and Inequality. She continues to serve as director of the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Poverty Law Center and Michigan State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
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Jocelyn Benson on Huffington Post
RISE IN THE NEWS
ESPN: Liberty re-up their commitment to racial justice by hosting Unity Game at Garden (Aug. 21, 2017)
The Washington Post: 'Let love win': WNBA's Kia Vaughn shares a message before 'Unity Game' (Aug. 20, 2017)
Bleacher Report: Kaepernick Controversy Has NFL Players Searching for Louder Voice in Society (June 29, 2017)
The Undefeated: Warriors’ Draymond Green: ‘I’ve gotten the N-word, all of that’ (May 4, 2017)
USA Today: Athletes can lead the push for social change (April 5, 2017)
NBC Sports: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross gave players the OK to take a knee (April 4, 2017)
Bleacher Report: Draymond Green Opens Up About Racial Profiling Incident, Outspoken Athletes (Feb. 2, 2017)
ESPN: Pistons among Detroit's sports teams represented at town hall (Nov. 3, 2016)
The New York Times: Giants Host Senator Cory Booker at Internal Meeting on Race Relations (Oct. 16, 2016)
CBS This Morning: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tackles racism, talks economy (Oct. 16, 2015)
The New York Times: Miami Dolphins Owner Backs New Effort to Combat Racism (Oct. 15, 2015)
More RISE in the news
RISE statement on vandalism of LeBron James’ home (May 31, 2017)
RISE statement on taunts to Adam Jones at Fenway Park (May 2, 2017)
RISE bringing educational programs on race relations to Houston (Jan. 26, 2017)
RISE partners with MIAAA to expand to more Michigan schools (Jan. 25, 2017)
Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) expands to Detroit (Jan. 10, 2017)
REPORTS, CASE STUDIES
- From Protest to Progress: Athlete Activism in 2016 (Feb. 3, 2017)
BY THE NUMBERS
ESPN Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award (July 11, 2017)
Headquarters: 423 W. 55th St., 12th Floor, New York City
Midwest office: 719 Griswold St., Suite 600, Detroit
Future offices planned for the South (in Miami) and the West (in San Francisco)