GROUP1001 PARTNERS WITH RISE TO COMBAT SYSTEMIC RACISM THROUGH THE POWER OF SPORT WITH NEW $2M MULTI-YEAR CONTRIBUTION
December 14, 2020
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Group1001, an insurance holding company with a corporate social responsibility focus to drive social change through sports and education, is committed with RISE to spark sustained change to help end systemic racism, empower the next generation of leaders and unify Indianapolis and the nation through sports.
Through Group1001's contribution of $2M over two years to RISE's mission of eliminating racial discrimination, championing social justice and improving race relations, RISE will strengthen its presence in Indianapolis at a key time for the city, as it prepares to host several marquee events.
Dan Towriss, President and CEO of the Indianapolis-based Group1001, announced the partnership and the creation of the new Group1001 Fellowship to company employees in July with special guests USA Track & Field COO Renee Washington and Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin. As part of the partnership, RISE will develop future leads in addressing issues of race through creating, recruiting and facilitating a group of two Group1001 Fellows for both 2020 and 2021. Former U.S. Women's National Hockey Team player and Olympic medalist Michelle Picard joins RISE as the first paid fellow, and over the next two years RISE will recruit three more former professional athletes to join RISE's offices.
Internally, RISE will engage Group1001 in a yearlong learning series through 2021 that includes results-driven programming and interactive training.
"We have a positive culture within Group1001, but we can do better, do more and learn more, especially about topics addressing race, diversity, and inclusion," said Towriss, a RISE Board Member. "Town halls and this learning series create dialogue and a positive step forward. We are disheartened by recent events that have captured the horrors of systemic racism, and while it won't be solved overnight, we can contribute to the solution to end racial discrimination through new ideas and actions that bring a positive impact."
Through this commitment, RISE will engage every level of the greater Indianapolis sports community, including through partnerships with two local professional teams and two collegiate athletic departments. RISE will also develop community-wide RISE Critical Conversations as well as multi-week programming and RISE to Action sessions for high school and community partners. Additionally, RISE will bring its Champions of Change Activation to select sporting events in Indianapolis.
To bridge opportunity gaps and support equitable access, Group1001's commitment will also help RISE serve more youth with a complete virtual experience by providing devices and other technology needs for students and formatting curriculum to fit more technological capabilities.
"We believe the work RISE does is especially important right now, and Group1001's continuous commitment to proactively push for change sends a powerful message," said Diahann Billings-Burford, CEO, RISE. "This is a time we can unify the country. Our programs bring together diverse populations, and we're having these conversations on race and social justice with diverse groups. We believe that has the greatest impact, and we firmly believe and what we have seen, especially in our youth programming, is that sports boost these conversations because people are already coming together with a common goal."
Group1001 has long believed education and sports have the power to transform communities. Its corporate social programs to date have spanned 22 states, positively impacting more than 200,000 youths, and have included public and private partnerships to revitalize youth sports fields in at-risk communities and create mentoring and education programs with organizations. It has worked with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Oklahoma City's Fields and Futures, and EverFi to foster programs across the country in STEM education to name a few.
"It's important to be intentional about doing the work necessary to eliminate systemic racism and create more inclusive environments," Towriss said. "A year ago, to address racial inequality and problems facing the nation, we focused on increasing opportunities, but we need to do more. While we want to continue our work to increase opportunities and participation for at-risk communities across the country, we know that we also need to turn to education more broadly including the work we can do with RISE."
RISE is the coalition of every major U.S. professional sports enterprise – commissioners and executives; every major sports media network; and national intercollegiate sports associations, including the NCAA and athletic directors. In less than five years, RISE has educated, empowered and engaged more than 110 sports partners and 12,000 students, athletes, coaches and staff at all levels, equipping them with the tools to be culturally competent and advocates for racial equality. RISE continues to push its own boundaries, developing social justice software in 2020. The software's two e-learning modules cover race, racism, anti-racism and bias and will promote understanding and advocacy across all levels of sport and business in the United States.
"I've had the privilege of knowing Dan personally and what Group1001 brings to the table will make a significant impact. We understand sports is one of the biggest platforms in the world and as athletes we recognize our influence goes beyond the field," Curtis Martin said. "It's incumbent upon us to use that platform in a very wise and strategic way. That's what you see in Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and now LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick in the leadership roles they play. I know through RISE that we can continue to impact change from a racial equality standpoint."
Said Renee Washington, a RISE Board Member: "We ask ourselves if these injustices and systemic racism will continue, and we ask if this is the time the conversation on racial equity will be an ongoing discussion across all communities? So, I applaud Group1001's commitment and efforts, because it's clearly saying this conversation will not stop."
RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, RISE inspires leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality. RISE programs build skills and create safe spaces to have difficult conversations. RISE equips students, athletes, coaches and administrators with the tools to be culturally competent, effective advocates for racial equity and leaders in addressing racism, prejudice, diversity and inclusion. RISE's vision is to create a nation unified through sports committed to racial equity and social justice.
Group One Thousand One, LLC ("Group1001") is an insurance holding company and family of companies striving to make accumulation and insurance products more useful and intuitive for everyone. Group1001 has combined assets under management of approximately $40.5 billion as of September 30, 2020 and continues to look for opportunities to help disciplined investors grow and protect their savings. Group1001's family of brands includes Gainbridge®, Delaware Life®, Clear Spring Health®, and Clear Spring Insurance®.
Group1001 also believes education and sports have the power to transform communities. Its corporate social programs to date have spanned 22 states, positively impacting more than 200,000 youths, and have included public and private partnerships to revitalize youth sports fields in at-risk communities and the creation of mentoring and education programs.