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RISE AT SUPER BOWL LIV Understanding Power, Perspective and Privilege to Take Action

We used Super Bowl LIV to celebrate the diverse landscape of South Florida and leverage the power of sports to transcend cultural and structural barriers and create meaningful change.

Throughout Super Bowl LIV week, (January 25 through February 2) RISE hosted a series of events and programs that educated and empowered NFL players and executives, students, local leaders and fans, to address racism and unify the community. We challenged them to reflect on their individual power and privilege and learn to better understand different perspectives in order to become leaders for inclusion and champions of change.

Here's how we made an impact.

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RISE's Champions of Change Fan Experience at Super Bowl LIV Experience

Throughout Super Bowl LIV Week, our Champions of Change fan activation was featured at Super Bowl LIV Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Champions of Change takes fans on a multi-sensory journey that educates, evokes empathy and inspires action. The refreshed and enhanced activation has four key elements. It teaches about the intersection of sport and social justice through the "Road to Progress", an interactive digital timeline that chronicles the important role spots and athletes have played in advancing social justice throughout history. It gives fans the chance to take, "A Walk In Their Shoes," in a virtual locker room where they can hear personal stories from athletes on their experiences with racism and their perspectives on identity, diversity and activism. Finally, it encourages fans to express their commitment to fighting racism and discrimination through the RISE pledge and empowers them to use their voice through RISE to Vote.

RISE's 5th Annual Super Bowl Critical Conversation:

"Examining Perspective, Privilege & Power"

Our fifth annual Super Bowl critical conversation on social justice, inclusion and athlete activism featured two solutions-based panels moderated by RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford with NFL players and executives who effectively use their platform to champion racial equity and social justice.

The first examined the state of diversity and inclusion in sports leadership and discussed the NFL's Rooney Rule with Jim Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers; Aileen Dagrosa, Philadelphia Eagles Senior Vice President, General Counsel; Michelle McKenna, NFL Chief Information Officer; and Paul Tagliabue, the league's commissioner when the Rooney Rule was enacted. The second panel will gave center-stage to athletes, as Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts and Vince Biegel and Walt Aikens of the Miami Dolphins discussed their role as athletes to create social change and the complexities of being a public figure advocating for equality.

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Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast from Super Bowl Radio Row

For the third consecutive year, Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast interviewed NFL players, executives and celebrities from radio row at the Super Bowl.

Our week of coverage was highlighted by our Super Bowl Sunday Roundtable, featuring a conversation on race and the power of sports to create change with NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, Pro Football Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Aeneas Williams, and former NFL player and Executive Director of The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, Scott Turner.

Other guests throughout the week included: Former NFL Running Back and Dancing with the Stars Champion Rashad Jennings, and Celebrity Chef Aliya LeeKong; Alan Paige Award Winner Brandon Copeland of the New York Jets and two-time Super Bowl Champion Bethel Johnson, among others.

You can find and subscribe to our podcasts on: Spotfiy, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn and SoundCloud. Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast features interviews with athletes, coaches and sports executives, providing them a platform to share their perspectives on matters of race, diversity and inclusion within sports and society. We discuss athlete activism, highlight how athletes and other leaders in sports positively impact their communities, and talk about the power of sports to bring people together and improve race relations in our country.

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RISE Super Bowl Leadership Program Celebration

We launched our inaugural Super Bowl Leadership Program in November and celebrated its culmination with the NFL throughout Super Bowl Week in Miami.

The leadership program used sports to unite South Florida stakeholders – students, athletes, local sports executives and law enforcement – over the course of three months to build bridges, address racism and drive inclusion in the community. Participants from Boca Raton High School, Hollywood Hills High School, St. Thomas University, Florida Memorial University, the YMCA, YWCA and North Miami Police Department were challenged to examine aspects of perspective, power and privilege, and how best to leverage an understanding of those concepts in order to create positive social change. They've been empowered with the knowledge that each of us have the individual power to make a difference through whatever platforms we have, and that if we each better understand our own privileges and the perspectives of others, we will be best positioned to be leaders for advancing inclusion and addressing racism.

Our culmination event at the Perez Museum of Art during Super Bowl Week gave our participants a chance to share the progress they've made as a community with NFL executives and local leaders, in hopes of inspiring these prominent figures to act as they have to drive inclusion and racial equity.

To cap things off, we surprised four of our program participants with tickets to Super Bowl LIV for their outstanding work and commitment to being leaders for racial equity and inclusion in their community. Watch the moment they found out they were going to the Super Bowl!

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