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December 15, 2020

Press Release

(CHARLOTTE, NC) - The NJCAA has announced a partnership with RISE to educate and empower student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations. Through the partnership, RISE will inspire NJCAA leaders in sports to create lasting, positive change on issues of race, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Established in 2015, RISE works toward creating a nation unified through sports committed to racial justice and social equity. RISE programs build skills and create safe spaces to have difficult conversation, and the national nonprofit works with partners from youth leagues to the collegiate level to professional sports, including the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR.

"At RISE we believe that this is a time we can unify our country through educating and empowering the sports community," stated Diahann Billings-Burford, RISE CEO. "We're excited and proud to partner with the NJCAA, which for almost a century has served an integral role in providing equitable opportunities for student-athletes, coaches, and staff and positively impacted their development both on and off the field. Together we will help eliminate racism and bridge diverse communities.”

RISE engages the sports community, including the full spectrum of collegiate athletics programs, to make a difference in bridging diverse communities. "Social justice and equity have always been at the forefront of the NJCAA values and we look forward to connecting our member colleges with the outstanding resources RISE has to offer," stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. "We hope our member colleges will take advantage of the educational and growth opportunities available by becoming involved with RISE, if they have not already."

With the NJCAA and member colleges, RISE will conduct perceptions surveys, RISE Critical Conversations and Town Halls, online digital courses, and workshops on topics such as leadership and diversity concepts.

"The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council recognizes that educational programming is vital to advance this important work," stated Kerri-Ann McTiernan, NJCAA Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council Chair. "Our partnership with RISE is a significant step in educating and empowering all our members to become advocates for change. Our Council will work hand in hand with RISE to support and engage all levels of our association to actively contribute towards these shared goals."

About RISE

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.

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