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Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast
27 minutes | May 25, 2021
Akil Baddoo, Detroit Tigers
Akil Baddoo is the rookie outfielder for the Detroit Tigers who has hit the major leagues by storm both on and off the field. After not playing for two years due to injury and the pandemic, the 22-year-old homered off the first pitch he saw as a big-league player in his first game, hit a grand slam in his second game and a walk-off single in his third. But what’s more special about Akil is how he converted his early success into a fundraising campaign for social justice. Akil created an NFT series around his MLB debut with proceeds going to RISE and Detroit RBI. We speak with Akil about his journey to the big leagues, overcoming personal and professional adversity and what from his own life inspires him to be an advocate for racial equity and social justice.
31 minutes | May 14, 2021
Blayre Holmes Davis & Mike Marchinsky, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers Director of Community Relations Blayre Holmes Davis and Youth Football and Player Relations Manager Mike Marchinsky discuss the ways the Steelers and their players are addressing social justice issues in their community. They also talk about the RISE Coaches Leadership Series that the Steelers hosted for top high school football coaches in the Pittsburgh area this spring, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to effectively discuss and address matters of racism and injustice with their teams, school and communities.
57 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Ryan S. Clark, NHL reporter, The Athletic
Ryan S. Clark, National NHL and Seattle Kraken reporter for The Athletic joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to share insight and reporting on the NHL’s approach to addressing social justice and making the game of hockey more inclusive. Plus, we talk about diversity and inclusion and the importance of representation in sports media, and the responsibility journalists have in asking athletes questions around social justice issues. We also talk about the experiences of BIPOC players and journalists in hockey and Ryan's experience covering the Kraken, which will take the ice for the first time next season.
51 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Michaela Onyenwere, Lauryn Miller, Charisma Osborne & Camryn Brown - UCLA Women's Basketball
UCLA Women's Basketball players Michaela Onyenwere, Lauryn Miller, Camryn Brown and Charisma Osborne discuss More than a D.R.E.A.M., the social justice initiative they created this season in response to the events of 2020. As we celebrate National Student-Athlete Day, RISE's Ian Cutler and RISE Group 1001 Fellow Michelle Picard speak with these four young leaders about the inequities they face as young Black women and student-athletes, and what is required to address them. Plus, they share what they learned interviewing famous UCLA alums like Gabrielle Union, Cari Champion and Baron Davis as part of their social justice efforts, share their experiences from the NCAA Tournament amidst the pandemic and discuss the controversy around disparities between the men’s and women’s games that were exposed there last month.
47 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Kim Davis (NHL), Jason Sinnarajah (Buffalo Bills) & Sam Toles
RISE's Ian Cutler moderates a conversation on Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Toronto Sports and Business Association’s 10th Annual Sports Industry Conference with Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs for the NHL; Jason Sinnarajah, Senior Vice President of Business Administration for the Buffalo Bills; and Sam Toles, a media & technology executive who most recently served as Chief Content Officer at Bleacher Report. Learn more about the University of Toronto Sports and Business Association and find other panels and speakers from their annual conference at www.uoftsportsbusiness.com
50 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Saroya Tinker, Rebecca Morse, Briana Mastel and Tera Hofmann - NWHL
Fresh off their historic "bubble" season in Lake Placid, New York, NWHL stars Tera Hofmann, Rebecca Morse, and Saroya Tinker of the Metropolitan Riveters and Briana Mastel of the Boston Pride, discuss gender equity in sports and their efforts to raise awareness around racial injustice. Joining RISE’s Peyton Finley and Michelle Picard, a RISE Group1001 Fellow and the NWHL Deputy Commissioner, the players share why they used their platform this season to fight racism and talk about the importance of taking risks and engaging in difficult conversations with teammates, family, friends and fans in order to create change. They share what they’ve learned about finding their voice as socially active athletes and how they overcome negative feedback to their activism to continue advancing equity and inclusion. (photo credit: Michelle Jay)
41 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Trevor Baptiste, Atlas LC (PLL) & Philadelphia Wings (NLL)
Trevor Baptiste is a professional lacrosse player for the Premier Lacrosse League’s Atlas LC, National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings and a U.S. men's national team gold medalist. Trevor joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to talk about the newly formed Black Lacrosse Alliance, an organization of players who are determined to make the game more inclusive at the professional, collegiate, high school and youth levels. We speak with Trevor about his own experiences as a Black athlete in a majorty white sport, the encounter with police that motivated him to speak out for racial justice and steps the BLA, PLL and NLL are taking and should be taking to grow the game of lacrosse and make it more inclusive.
48 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Trey Flowers (Detroit Lions), Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos), Andrew Whitworth (LA Rams)
Part II of the Sixth Annual RISE Super Bowl Critical Conversation features a conversation with three Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees in Trey Flowers (Detroit Lions), Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos) and Andrew Whitworth (Los Angeles Rams). Tracy Wolfson (CBS Sports) moderates and is also joined by RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford.
21 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
Patrick Mahomes, Tyrann Mathieu, Tracy Wolfson and Diahann Billings-Burford
Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Cheifs join Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports and Diahann Billings-Burford, RISE CEO, for Part I of RISE's Sixth Annual Super Bowl Critical Conversation.
26 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins RB
At the start of the NFL season in September, Miami Dolphins players shared a powerful video in which they called for the league and team owners to go beyond the optics and statements of support for social justice, and follow the players lead in committing more resources to create real tangible change in our country. Dolphins running back Patrick Laird was one player featured in that video and played a key role in the Dolphins Social Impact Committee, which the team formed this season to effect change in areas of civic engagement, economic empowerment, education and community impact. We speak with Patrick about how the team found its voice and determined their key areas of focus, the specific initiatives they spearheaded and the experiences he’s had that inspire him, as a white athlete, to join the fight for racial equity and social justice.
28 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Jennifer King, Washington Football Team & Sam Rapoport, NFL
When Jennifer King was named an assistant running backs coach for the Washington Football Team last month she became the first full-time Black female position coach in NFL history. Sam Rapoport, NFL Senior Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has spearheaded a number of historic initiatives to create more opportunities for women in football, including one a few years back where King first met Ron Rivera, Head Coach of the Washington Football Team. King and Rapoport join this special Super Bowl episode to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and speak with RISE’s Erin Pellegrino, a former Special Teams coach at the University at Albany, about their football journeys, obstacles they’ve overcome, the importance of representation and how to create more opportunities for women in sports.
53 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Paul Tagliabue, former NFL Commissioner & RISE Co-Chair
Paul Tagliabue talks about his tenure as NFL Commissioner and his role as co-chair of RISE. He shares his perspective on issues of race and diversity, and how sports are used to drive social change. Plus, how the NFL can build on the Rooney Rule, what it takes to be an inclusive leader and reflecting on his Super Bowl experiences.
38 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Kirk Walker, UCLA Assistant Softball Coach, Sports Equality Foundation
Kirk Walker is an Assistant Softball Coach at UCLA and co-founder of the Sports Equality Foundation, a newly launched TikTok initiative that provides a space for LGBTQ student-athletes and coaches to be their authentic selves and advance inclusion and acceptance within the larger sports community. Kirk was considered the first openly gay NCAA Division I male coach when he came out publicly in 2007 while head coach of Oregon State’s Softball team, and recently was named the Outsports 2020 Male Hero of the Year for his role as a leader for LGBTQ coaches and student-athletes in college sports. We speak with Kirk about his personal journey, the issues facing LGBTQ athletes and coaches, the importance of intersectionality and addressing issues of race and equity in the larger discussion about inclusion and how coaches, athletes and administrators can create more inclusive cultures within their teams and athletics communities.
53 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Torrey Smith, 2x Super Bowl Champion & Joanne Pasternack, Co-Founder, Athletes' Voices
Torrey Smith and Joanne Pasternack discuss their involvement with a new initaitve, Atheltes' Voices, a program dedicated to providing tools, guidance, and mentorship for athletes to grow their social impact. Smith and Pasternack also share what it was like inside the San Francsico 49ers organization in 2016 when Collin Kaepernick first took a knee to protest racial injustice and discuss the growing influence athletes have to effect social change. We also discuss the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and how it will impact the way athletes continue to advocate for social justice.
40 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, U.S. Navy & Reagen Coleman, Daphne High School
Reagan Coleman left her high school cheerleading team in Daphne, Alabama, after several of her teammates posted a photo to social media while holding a shirt that read, “I love Redneck boys” and had an image of the Confederate Flag. Reagan and retired Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, the US Navy’s 26th Chief Chaplain, join RISE's Dr. Andrew Mac Intosh to discuss the aftermath after participating in a RISE critical conversation to address the incident in the community.
56 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Phaidra Knight, Rugby Hall of Famer & WSF President-Elect
Phaidra Knight is one of only two American women inducted in the World Rugby Hall of Fame and was USA Rugby's Player of the Decade, but now in her post-playing career, she will begin her term as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation in January 2021. She discusses her athletic career as a multi-sport star, upcoming role at the WSF and how our country can better support women athletes, experiences with an intersectional identity and serving as a role model for the LGTBQ+ community as a proudly gay woman.
44 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Kalley Armstrong, Founder, Armstrong Hockey
Kalley Armstrong, a former captain for Harvard's women's hockey team, shares how her grandfather, Hockey Hall of Famer George Armstrong, who led the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups and was one of the first Indigenous players to play in the NHL, inspired her to reconnect with her roots and launch a hockey development and mentorship program for First Nations youth in Ontario, Canada. Co-hosting this episode with Ian Cutler is Michelle Picard, RISE's Group 1001 Fellow. Michelle is a former teammate of Kalley’s at Harvard and won a Silver Medal for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Michelle is also the NWHL Deputy Commissioner and is a former player in the league.
38 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
Scott Pioli, former NFL Executive & RISE Board of Directors
Scott Pioli discusses the state of diversity and inclusion in the NFL, why he's personally given back to HBCU’s, the impact athletes and sports had leading up to the 2020 U.S. Election, and how athletes can continue growing their influence on issues beyond their sport.
50 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
Author Jen Bryant & Illustrator Frank Morrison
Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison collaborated for a new book titled “Above the Rim” that looks at the life and career of Elgin Baylor, an NBA Hall of Famer as a player and former NBA Executive of the Year. The book focuses on a relatively lesser-known moment of athlete activism in the late 1950s. Baylor, then a player on the Minneapolis Lakers, took a stand by taking a seat and refusing to play after he was denied a room at a West Virginia hotel. It resulted in the NBA changing its rule, and it was among the earliest instances of activism in the NBA.
28 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Jaguars WR Chris Conley and Michigan State Football Coach Mel Tucker
RISE recently led sessions with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Michigan State football team as part of its nonpartisan voter education and registration initiative, RISE to Vote. In the first of two interviews in this episode, Jaguars WR Chris Conley sheds light on his family's connection to the civil rights movement and how discussions about voting is changing in NFL locker rooms. Then, the Spartans' head coach Mel Tucker discusses his response to the national reckoning on race as one of only a few Black FBS coaches, and he talks about why he's dedicated to educating his players about civic engagement and leaving an off-field legacy.
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