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RISE Collaborates with Artist Maxwell Pearce to Launch 'Champions of Change' Shoe Fundraiser

Fundraiser Starts with Art Exhibition Displaying Customized NFL & WNBA Player Shoes Featured in Online Auction to Support Various Causes

November 16, 2023

NEW YORK, NY - RISE, the national nonprofit coalition of major U.S. sports leagues and media networks that uses sports to eliminate racism and champion social justice, is proud to announce it has partnered with professional athlete and artist Maxwell Pearce to launch its Champions of Change Shoe Fundraiser.

The fundraiser kicked off with a “Athlete Heroes” Art Exhibition, which featured athletes' shoes designed by Pearce during the 'Art of an Athlete' art showcase at Mile FortyFour in Los Angeles on November 3rd and 4th.

The shoes, which will later be worn by each of the players involved, are part of an online auction taking place now until December 13th to raise funds to support RISE and initiatives professional athletes are passionate about in communities across the country. Proceeds from the auction will go to specific causes designated by each athlete. All of the shoes can be found by visiting, https://fans.winwithdash.com/team/rise.

In addition, the exhibition will feature a Critical Conversation panel called “Athlete Heroes,” which will include voices from various sports and non-profit organizations who will discuss ways communities can advocate change through sports and athletes.

Pearce is a Harlem Globetrotter Guard and mixed media artist who celebrates Black athletes' abilities through his work. Art in his collection often highlights sports figures who have used their platforms to fight for social justice.

“What is your superpower?” said Pearce. “Athletes have an incredible ability to unite and influence millions of people at a time. With this collection, I challenge how athletes use a basketball, football or any sports ball for that matter. The use of a ball is not limited to being scored into a goal or thrown for a touchdown. It has a limitless reach that stretches far beyond the court or the field.”

Athlete participants include, Terron Armstead of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, who will support RISE, Ariel Atkins of the WNBA's Washington Mystics, who will support RISE and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Jesse Luketa of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, who will support RISE and Girl's flag football and Darryl Worley of the Baltimore Ravens, who will support RISE and Autism of Baltimore-Chesapeake.

The NFL players involved will have the opportunity to wear their shoes in Week 13 games during the league's “My Cause My Cleats” initiative.

RISE's Champions of Change Shoe Auction was created to give fans a chance to walk in the shoes of their favorite athletes, who share their personal perspectives on race, identity, social justice and activism. The customized cleats and sneakers featured in the auction will also be showcased at RISE's Champions of Change fan booth at Super Bowl's Fan Experience in Las Vegas next February.

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