2017-03-23 / Sports

RISE partners with MIAAA to expand to more state’s schools


Sideline Racism basketball shoes, worn by Michigan State University grad and Golden State Warrior, Draymond Green. Sideline Racism basketball shoes, worn by Michigan State University grad and Golden State Warrior, Draymond Green. Collaboration to bring race relations program to significantly more students

The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is partnering with the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), creating RISE’s first collaboration with a statewide athletic association to expand programs to more students, coaches and administrators.

RISE will work with the high school and junior high/middle school athletic administrators who make up MIAAA to bring the RISE leadership curriculum to their schools. The leadership program works with administrators, coaches and student-athletes to help increase their ability to recognize and address racial discrimination, bullying and harassment.

RISE also will be exhibiting and presenting at the MIAAA Annual Conference in March. The presentation, “Using the Power of Sports: Equipping Athletic Directors to Drive Social Change,” will provide an overview of the 10-week RISE leadership program and its impact within seven Michigan high schools. Those at the conference will learn how RISE is equipping athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes to be leaders in improving race relations and driving social change within their teams, schools and communities.

“Our partnership with MIAAA will play a key role as we expand RISE’s work in Michigan,” said Jocelyn Benson, CEO of RISE. “For the 2016- 17 school year, RISE is working with seven Michigan high schools to bring our leadership program to about 750 students and more than 40 coaches. We are confident that after presenting to 400 to 450 athletic administrators at the MIAAA conference, we will be able to bring our programs to significantly more Michigan high schools and expand to junior high/middle schools, as well. We also hope this partnership will serve as a model as we expand to other states.”

This is the first time MIAAA is partnering with an organization for educational training.

“We are happy to have RISE as a partner and welcome the opportunity to bring their important programs to our members and their schools and teams,” said George Lovich, MIAAA executive director.

Michigan State University in February announced a partnership with RISE following a year-long pilot program. RISE and MSU Athletics presented a program Wednesday, Feb. 1, to about 250 student-athletes, primarily sophomores and juniors, as well as athletic administrators. Derek Greenfield, a nationally known speaker, provided a keynote presentation on leadership, diversity, implicit bias and team building.

MSU grad and current Golden State men’s basketball player, Draymond Green, a Saginaw native, has worked with RISE over the past couple of years and wears and donates “Sideline Racism” shoes to support the growing initiative.

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner and Detroit native Stephen M. Ross, RISE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. RISE is an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals using public awareness campaigns and educational programming to bring people together to promote understanding, respect and equality.

Headquartered in New York, RISE recently opened its first regional office, a Detroit location serving the 12 Midwest states.

For more information about RISE, visit www.risetowin.org. For more information about MIAAA, visit www.miaaa.com.

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