Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast

Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast

With two new episodes each month, Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast gives athletes and leaders in sports a platform to tell their stories and share their perspectives on issues of race, social justice and diversity, equity & inclusion in sports. Hosted by Ian Cutler, our podcast features interviews on how athletes are making a difference in their communities, and the power of sports to bring people together, improve race relations and advance racial equity and social justice.

Episodes

May 25, 2022 23 min
During the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, Denver Broncos all-pro safety Justin Simmons began joining weekly virtual sessions of a RISE multi-week leadership program with youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. The program provided a safe space for teens to learn about diversity and inclusion related topics, and discuss what it means to be a champion of change for addressing racism and injustice in their commun...
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The Intercollegiate Sailing Association Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Task Force - otherwise known as ICSA TIDE - is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive sailing community. Four of its student-athlete leaders – Lily Allen, University of Michigan; Preston Anderson, Bowdoin College; Michelle Lahrkamp, Stanford University; and Emi Ruth, Brown University – join us to discuss the experiences of women and athletes of colo...
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When Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier on April 15, 1947, it was as a seminal moment in the fight for racial justice that changed our country forever. But 75 years later, we must ask if we have made enough progress since. What can we learn from Robinson’s life and legacy to continue that fight both within sport and in society? As we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day and the 75th anniversary of his groundbreaking achievements,...
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In the height of March Madness, RISE’s Dr. Andrew Mac Intosh leads this conversation with Omar Brown (BIG TEN, Senior Vice President, People & Culture Officer), Felicia Martin (NCAA Senior Vice President of Inclusion, Education, and Community Engagement) and Bill Shelton (Group 1001 Chief Marketing Officer), as they discuss addressing challenges of racism, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and ways to create more inclu...
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February 28, 2022 23 min
Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Blount join us from Radio Row at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles to discuss issues of race, diversity and inclusion within the NFL and society. They also speak to their own experiences with racism and leveraging the platform of sport to advance racial equity and social justice.
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RISE Chief Program Officer Dr. Andrew Mac Intosh leads this conversation with Dasha Smith, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer; Jim Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers, the son of late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the namesake of the NFL’s Rooney Rule; Professor N. Jeremi Duru, Professor of Sports Law at American University and author of Advancing The Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportu...
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What does it mean to be an ally in the fight against racism? In this conversation, we explore the meaning of the term allyship, the challenges that come with being an ally and ways to make college athletics a more inclusive space. Megan Skaggs and Mary Korlin-Downs, two All-American gymnasts who are both white, are spearheading separate efforts to promote racial equity and inclusion. Skaggs, a student-athlete at the University of...
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RISE’s Peyton Finley and Kim Miller host this conversation with Olympic Gold Medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb. 2) and the start of Black History Month. Fitzgerald Mosley is Vice President of Community & Impact at LeagueApps and President of Fundplay, an initiative that supports sports-based youth development organizations in underserved communities across the country. Fi...
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Formed jointly by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in 2020, the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that leads the NBA family’s collaborative efforts to address racial inequality and advance social justice. James Cadogan is the Coalition’s first Executive Director, a post he has held since April 2021. Cadogan previously served as the inaugural director of the Thur...
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Professional sailing is often associated with privilege and exclusivity, but the U.S. SailGP Team is committed to making their sport more inclusive, and is taking the necessary steps to do just that. In June 2021, they launched “Foiling First,” an initiative aimed at creating opportunities for diverse youth to pursue sailing and educating and empowering the entire sailing community to address matters of racism, discrimination and i...
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When RISE educates on how sport can be a vehicle for change we often explore the different ways athletes and teams can leverage their platforms to raise awareness around critical issues, and one powerful example is by wearing special apparel. This season, select players and staff from the Los Angeles Rams are wearing custom-made RISE cleats during the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign to raise awareness for our mission to end racis...
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On Election Day 2021, we speak with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Associate Head Coach Eric Reveno, who has played an integral in helping to create the student-athlete-inspired #AllVoteNoPlay initiative taking place today across the NCAA, where coaches and student-athletes are required to pause from practice to focus on civic engagement and community action. Coach Rev joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to talk about this...
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RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford leads this conversation on inclusive leadership with NASCAR President Steve Phelps and NFL Executive Vice President, Football Operations, Troy Vincent. Both Phelps and Vincent are members of RISE’s Board of Directors. This conversation was part of FRED, an invitation-only forum and high-level gathering of CEO and industry leaders to discuss the future of ethical and inclusive leadership. Billings-B...
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Gustavo Silva, Chicago Bears Manager of Youth Football & Community Programs, joins us to help celebrate Latinx Heritage Month. We discuss the importance of recognizing and celebrating diverse cultures for the sake of inclusion, equity and representation, and reflect on how such heritage months afford us the opportunity to examine the systems and structures of our society for the sake of understanding what’s required to address ...
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September 21, 2021 31 min
We celebrate our 100th episode of Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast with Morgan Tuck, the Connecticut Sun Director of Franchise Development, a 4-time NCAA champion with UConn and a 2020 WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm. Morgan discusses her transition from player to front office and her work leading the Sun’s social justice initiatives. We also discuss the topic of bias, particularly when it comes to Black women athletes sp...
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Anthony Pardo is Director of Partnership Activation for Major League Baseball and a leader of a Latinx Business Resource Group within MLB. Anthony just completed the Pro Sports Assembly + RISE Inclusive Leadership Course, which empowered sports industry professionals across the country to be leaders in discussing and addressing matters of racism, diversity, equity and inclusion through a 12-week course based in RISE’s curricul...
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August 24, 2021 52 min
RISE’s Sumer 2021 intern class takes over this episode. They reflect on their time with RISE and discuss how they will apply their learnings and experiences from this summer to create more inclusive cultures in their respective campuses and communities. Featuring RISE Summer 2021 interns: Diego Andrade-Cabrera, Morgan Chall, Alexis Cheatum, Marcus Davis, A’kiem Gardner, Bradley Polkowitz and Drew Schiffer. Episode Breakdown: Lea...
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A conversation on identity and activism with Schuyler Bailar, former Harvard men's swimmer and the first trans athlete to compete for an NCAA Division I men’s team. Schuyler became the only trans athlete to compete on a Division I men’s team for all four years, graduating in 2019. He has since become a leading advocate for trans rights, mental health and inclusion in sports, and is a motivational speaker, author and so much mor...
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The Denver Broncos accomplished something this year that no other organization in sports was able to achieve. They were nominated for the ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award in consecutive seasons. Allie Engelken, the team’s Executive Director of Community Development, leads those efforts and joins us to discuss the impact the Broncos have had on the Denver community over the past year, from COVID relief to social justi...
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With the Tokyo Olympics beginning next week, Max Siegel and Renee Washington, the CEO and COO of USA Tack & Field, join RISE’s Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker. They discuss the impact of COVID on the upcoming Olympic Games, the state of athlete activism at the Olympics and the recent decision to leave sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson off the U.S. Olympic roster. Max and Renee also discuss their role on RISE’s Board of Directors and M...
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