RISE bringing educational programs on race relations to Houston

January 26, 2017

HOUSTON – The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) today announced several new partnerships to bring its educational programming to college and high school athletes and coaches in Houston leading up to and following Super Bowl LI.

RISE is an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals using sports to bring people together to promote understanding, respect and equality. Through public awareness campaigns and educational programming, RISE aims to improve race relations.

Erin Pellegrino, vice president, events & programming, for RISE, announced the partnerships with Texas Southern University, University of Houston and Texas High School Coaches Association at a news conference at TSU attended by Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins and Eva Pickens, vice president, university advancement & media relations, for TSU.

Programs announced are:

  • Texas Southern University – RISE training programs in early February to educate and empower student-athletes to be leaders in discussing and addressing matters of racism, prejudice, diversity and inclusivity within their teams, schools and communities. One of the sessions hosted at TSU also will feature participation from the Texas Southern Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
  • University of Houston – Similar RISE training programs in early February with student-athletes and athletic administrators. The programs will include RISE leadership training as part of course Core 1101 – Life Skills for the Freshmen Student-Athlete and a training session for senior athletic staff.
  • Texas High School Coaches Association – Developing a RISE training module for coaches, RISE participating in the association’s annual Convention & Coaching School in July in Houston and selecting three to four Houston high schools to participate in the RISE leadership program for student-athletes and coaches.

Pellegrino also discussed the Super Bowl Town Hall planned for 3:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in The McCoy Auditorium of TSU’s Mickey Leland Public Affairs Building. RISE and the NFL will present the second annual event, “From Protest to Progress: The Power of Sports to Improve Race Relations.” The town hall, hosted by TSU and supported by The Players’ Tribune, will be broadcast live on SiriusXM’s Business Radio powered by the Wharton School channel 111.

A two-part panel discussion will review lessons learned from the activist athlete and examine solution-oriented next steps for the sports industry to drive social change. Participants will include Anquan Boldin of the Detroit Lions, Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns, Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants, Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets, Roland Martin of TV One’s News One Now, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins and NFL Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams.

At the town hall, RISE will release a report looking at the reach and impact of, reaction to and outcomes of activist athletes in the second half of 2016.

Fans also can visit RISE to show their support at the NFL Experience at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston. RISE will be there from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 4; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, RISE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. To date, RISE has provided events and programs in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

For more information about RISE, visit www.risetowin.org.