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February 25, 2021

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will bring the Diversity Foundations for High School program to local schools through a partnership with national nonprofit RISE and EVERFI. The program will be made available free of charge to all high schools in Western New York.

Diversity Foundations for High School introduces students to key concepts of identity, bias, power, privilege and oppression while establishing the importance of ally behavior, self-care and creating inclusive spaces. The content of the program is delivered through five 10- to 15-minute digital online lessons suitable for students grades nine through 12. The lessons are designed to be incorporated into curriculums in advisory, senior seminar, social studies, and English and language arts classes.

"The Buffalo Sabres are proud to partner with RISE and EVERFI to bring this critical program to our community," said Rich Jureller, the Sabres' vice president of community relations. "Now more than ever it is important for us to amplify programs such as this as a first step to necessary learning and understanding in the sports community and beyond."

The EVERFI course includes resources from RISE, a nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to be leaders for eliminating racial discrimination, championing social justice and improving race relations.

"History has shown that sports can inspire a movement and make real change, and now it is the time again to use that power to unify our country to end racism," said RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford. "At RISE, we are equipping the sports community and youth leaders with the tools to be advocates for racial equity. We've seen how partners like the Sabres, who are committed to action, can amplify this work by bringing diverse communities together to achieve long-term impact. It is clear the Sabres are dedicated to taking meaningful steps that bring sustained change, and we're excited and proud to partner with them."

"The national conversation on racial justice and equity is driving the most powerful demands for action, accountability and change that we've seen in a generation," said Jesse Bridges, EVERFI Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. "We're working with RISE to create a digital learning experience that teaches the critical life skills of valuing diversity, collaborating across differences and being an ally. By amplifying their critical conversations on social justice, removing the cost barriers for educators and students, and doing so at scale; we're able to empower this generation with the information and skills to be a part of this moment and movement toward a more equitable society."

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